Flowers

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One of my favorite things to do before the New Year is to go back and look through all my images from the past year. It’s fun to reminisce on all the memories and it’s a great way to see how much I’ve grown as a person and photographer. It’s funny how looking back at some of these images can bring back so many memories. In general, I feel like I share a lot when I’m posting a new image every single weekday on this blog so there’s bound to be some images that I connect with more than others. So without any social media influence or outside judgment, here are my personal favorite images I created in 2019.

Something that I found interesting is that the images that are my favorite from this past year aren’t your stereotypical Washington DC monument images. Yes, they may have some of the monuments and landmarks included in the image, but I love how unique and creative these images are. So I’m pretty sure you should expect to see even more of these types of images in 2020!

P.S. You can click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. So in no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite Washington DC images of 2019.

washington monument, washington dc, reflecting pool, us capitol, sunrise, early morning, ducks, birds, national mall,

Ok, the first image on the list and I’ve already cheated. LOL. This image was actually taken in 2018, but I didn’t get a chance to post it until 2019. Regardless, I love this image. It’s just so simple but my favorite part is the Washington Monument reflection down the middle. It’s not super obvious, but this was taken just after the sun had risen a bit and it was hitting the Monument at the right spot to make it glow orange in the US Capitol Reflecting Pool. I just love how subtle reflection is. The water also kind of reminds me of a Mary Cassatt painting. Just an impression of water with tiny brush strokes.

 

enid a haupt, garden, smithsonian, smithsonian castle, smithsonian gardens, magnolia, saucer magnolia, spring, pink, flowers, national mall, washington dc

Besides the cherry blossoms, I always look forward to the magnolias trees in the Washington DC area. My favorite of the bunch can be found behind the Smithsonian Castle in the Smithsonian Gardens on the National Mall. On this particular morning, I was with my friend, Birch while out shooting and I remember telling her about my upcoming road trip to Austin. She had been there before so she was giving me advice on what to do there. See, isn’t that crazy? I remember all those details from just this one single image? HAHA.

cherry blossoms, spring, festival, cherry blossom peak bloom, washington dc, tidal basin, nps, national park service, cherry blossom festival, spring, pink

I’ve never captured an image like this, but I’m in love. I think this may be my favorite cherry blossom image I captured all season. It’s the one that always comes to mind whenever I think of this spring and I just think it’s so unique. It’s also the fact that when the cherry blossoms flowers start falling off the trees, they fall so delicately and so beautifully that it’s actually pretty hard to capture. Especially when you’re doing it organically as opposed to staging a photo. But this image is of cherry blossom petals falling times 100. LOL. I didn’t pose this image but I did have some assistance. National Park Service was actually cleaning up all the fallen petals from the ground near the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial by using a leaf blower. So as they were trying to gather all of the petals in a pile, I was ready with my camera to capture them as they were flying in the air.

cherry blossoms, spring, washington dc, peak bloom, falling petals, national mall, long exposure, spring, flowers

On one of the last days of the cherry blossoms, we had rain. Rain or wind are usually the two deadliest elements for cherry blossoms so I knew this would probably be the end of them for the year. As I was walking around the Tidal Basin, I was noticing some petals that had already fallen onto the ground and in the water. So I captured this image almost by accident. I had left my camera settings the same as the previous image, but looking down onto the water was a little darker than it was photographing them in the trees. So by accident, this was sort of like a long exposure. Whatever the case, I love the way it turned out. The motion in this image is so interesting to me and I love how you can still make out the shape of the flower petals. SWOOSH.

US Capitol, washington dc, capitol dome, architecture, roses, red roses, flowers, spring, national mall, capitol building, flowers,

I’m starting to notice a flower theme I’ve got going on here. HAHA. But this is an image that I did not expect to find. I woke up early one summer morning so I could catch the sunrise at the US Capitol. I love just walking around with my earphones in, listening to music and watching the sunrise however the sunrise itself didn’t end up being that spectacular. So I decided to just take advantage of the early morning hour and empty Capitol grounds with my camera and walked around. I’ve noticed these rose bushes bloom every year and I’ve always tried to come up with a creative composition with them before but never really found one that I really liked until this one. I love how they are engulfing the Capitol building and all that is left is the dome in the middle of the image. I feel like this looks like a greeting card for Washington DC. LOL.

potomac, maryland, md, sunflower fields, instagram, meetup group, birch, flowers, sunflower, sunflower fields, yellow, igdc,

This technically was not photographed in the city of Washington DC, but I added it to the list anyways. This was taken in Potomac, Maryland, a little less than an hour away from Washington DC but it’s one of my favorite places to be in the summer because of all the sunflower fields! It was captured during an Instagram meet up with IGDC. My friend, Birch and I decided to go in the middle of the sunflower field to see if we could find something interesting. With a step ladder, we took turns climbing to see if there was a unique point of view but while I was on the ground, I found this framing. I just love how the top flower petals look larger than life. Or larger than a Birch! HAHA.

union station, train station, parking, parking garage, sunrise, early morning, worker, construction, us capitol, capitol dome, capitol building

For a unique view of the US Capitol, consider visiting Union Station. The top level of the parking garage is usually pretty quiet, especially if you’re there early in the morning. I don’t know why, but I’m usually just standing by the ledge you see in this image. When you look down you can get a cool shot of taxis and pedestrians walking to the train station, but this day I decided to take a step back. Not sure what compelled me to do it. I think I was just looking for a different view, but then I saw how all these light posts lined up and thought it looked very interesting. This parking garage is so quiet that I actually had to wait a bit for someone to walk by. But when he did, I was ready for him.

washington monument, reopening, north side, white house, top of the washington monument, tour, national mall, washington dc, window,

One of the best things to happen in 2019 was in September when the Washington Monument had finally reopened. After 3 long years, visitors can finally go to the top and see the city from a whole new point of view. I could have added a whole bunch of images you would see from the windows of the Monument, but I really liked how this one turned out. Just a moment of silence and contemplation as a couple as they look out on the view. If I remember correctly, they were facing north towards the White House at sunset.

#eventsatamericanhistory, smithsonian, national mall, washington dc, sunset, rooftop, american history museum, national museum of african american history and culture, museum, wedding venue, washington dc

Like I always say, “More Rooftops, More Better”. And the Smithsonian National Museum of American History listened. Soon after the Washington Monument reopening, the American History museum followed by opening its doors to the rooftop. Unfortunately, it not opened to the public, just for private events, but based on where it’s located on the National Mall, this rooftop will provide some amazing views of the city. I mean, could you imagine getting married with a view like this? This image is of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I just love the rigid lines of the architecture with the curves on the sidewalk. It’s such a contrast that I think really works for this image. Plus that sunset glow makes it even better. So if you’re planning on hosting an event here, I’d love the opportunity to go back here again! *hint, hint*

united states capitol, us capitol, reflecting pool, washington dc, lightning strike, summer, storm, lightning, lightning strike, storm clouds, capitol building, capitol hill, national mall

And last but not least, this image I posted last week on the blog. LOL. I still find it hard to believe that I didn’t know I captured this but not really all at the same time. When I’m out photographing lightning, I’m usually shooting off my images so fast that I don’t really get the chance to review them in between shots. So there could be many more lightning images that I’ve missed. I’ll have to go through my archives more carefully. Not only do I love the way the lightning strike turned out, I think the clouds behind the Capitol look so powerful. It looks like a storm that I should have stayed indoors for but glad I didn’t.

So there it is! My favorite images from 2019. I can’t believe that actually ended up being 10 images. I didn’t plan for it to be that way but it’s pretty cool that it did. I had a lot of fun creating these images and this list. It makes me excited to get back out there and photograph even more in 2020. Let me know what you think of this list and if you have any favorites. I’d love to see them.

And if you live in the Washington DC area or find yourself traveling to the capital city, check out my book, Snap DC, Your Guide to Taking Extraordinary Photos of the National Mall and Beyond… It was created for any level of photographer from mobile to DSLR, who wants to cut down the research time and spend their time out doing what they love- shooting.

Snap DC: Your Guide to Taking Extraordinary Photos of the National Mall and Beyond...
  • Pan, Angela B (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 210 Pages - 04/26/2018 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

In the meantime, I hope you have a very happy and safe New Year! Tomorrow I’ll be posting my favorite images from travel in 2019. AHHH I can’t believe its 2020!

 

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I did it. I went back to the sunflower fields again. But this time, I went with IGDC. I was a little reluctant to go last weekend because it was just so hot and humid out but I’m so glad I did.

It was so great to see so many of my friends and going out and taking pictures with them. It made the whole experience so different. I felt like I was able to see the sunflowers in a different light. Instead of just concentrating on the blooms, I was more interested in the interactions of my friends with the sunflowers. While some people brought ladders and drones, others had props like picture frames and colorful umbrellas. It was pretty interesting to see the kind of shots everyone was trying to take.

At one point, I was asked to go out into the middle of the field with the umbrella to pose for some images. I agreed and my friend, Birch said that she would go in the middle with me. After my job as “model” was done, Birch and I took some time to just stay in the middle of the field to take some pictures of our own. Luckily, we brought out this ladder so we had an elevated view of the field.

But when it was Birch’s turn on the ladder, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could get a sun flair or something coming from her shoulder. I got some shots but then I ducked down a little bit and loved the way this super tall sunflower was framing her. I love how you’re able to get the sunflower petals on top of the image but also see sunflowers in the distance. A shot I probably would have never gotten if I kept on going to the sunflowers by myself 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F22 and 1/60th of a sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

PS: click here to see this image on the Washingtonian

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When I think of spring flowers, I usually think of it as Magnolias, Cherry Blossoms and then Tulips. Magnolias are always the first sign of spring and Tulips are there to round out the end. However, somehow this year I totally missed the tulips!

I think these images were the only two images I captured this year.

The tulips a little closer up.

But hese were taken in Old Town Alexandria, right by the waterfront. I loved the way they were all lined up and the colors were beautiful. I was with my friend, Birch one afternoon just walking around and taking pics when we decided that crossing the street would probably get a cool view of the entire scene. The tulips, the house, and landscaping.

I really like this image in particular because of the dog. Yes, I’m a huge dog fan but the way that this dog is pulling on the leash totally reminds me of Frankie. LOL. Frankie is more of a ‘take time to smell the roses’ type of dog. Meaning he never wants to walk at a normal walking pace, he always wants to just take his time and sniff every single smell along the walk. This is exactly what this dog is doing and if you try to nudge him along to actually walk, he’ll resist just like what this dog is doing. It’s perfect that his person is taking a drink of coffee because he knows that he’ll be there for a while. LOL.

So in reality, walking Frankie is more like standing outside with Frankie.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/3200 sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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On the same photo walk that I captured this image, I also captured this image of my friend, Andy. It’s fun to go out shooting with friends. You can place them in scenes where I would usually have to wait for someone to pass by and hope for the shot. When I’m with friends, I know I’ll get exactly what I was looking for.

If it weren’t for Andy, I would have never been able to capture this. I basically asked him to smoosh into a corner so that I can take a picture of his shoes. There would have been no amount of time that I could have waited for that to organically to happen. LOL.

But it was perfect because Andy is known for his red shoes. I’m pretty sure he purchased them just so he can take pictures of them. I don’t think there has been a time where I haven’t seen him wear those shoes. So after I told him that I wanted to concentrate on just his shoes, he told me he was wearing his valentine’s day socks that his girlfriend gave him. PERFECT!  I asked him to pull up the legs of his pants and smoosh into the corner.

Just a fun photo for your Thursday.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1600 and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

All photos available for print and licensing >

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a proper Washington DC image. With all the fun traveling that I’ve been doing, I have backlogs of images that could last me for weeks! Super fun but I thought I’d switch it up a bit today.

This image was taken last Friday. Sunrise is early (5:55a to be exact) but for some reason it was not difficult for me to get to the United States Capitol 30 minutes prior. It has been awhile since I woke up that early, but I think I was just so excited to get and shoot that the early morning alarm did not even bother me.

The sunrise looked promising but ended up being too cloudy. So I walked around and found these awesome flower bushes. They’re actually across the lawn and a sidewalk away from the United States Capitol. Not as close as you may think but if you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I love making foreground elements look as big as the background. So to capture this, my camera was in the bushes. I angled it up just so the flowers frame the dome and I love how it looks like they look like they’re about to engulf the building.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/200th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m also a fan of when the cherry blossoms start falling. I think it adds a lot of interest when there is pink the trees but also pink in the grass.

I captured this when the petals first started falling. It was the first day of rain after a week of blue skies and I wasn’t mad about it. It ended up being a peaceful day at the Tidal Basin that allowed me to get a little creative with the petals. Luckily, there weren’t as many people out taking pictures so I had time to try different things without worrying about being in other people’s way. Trust me when I say that the Tidal Basin can get PACKED. Like tripod legs within tripod legs. It’s bananas. So a day without that many people is so freeing.

This image was almost by accident. I wanted to photograph the petals in the water, but I accidentally left my camera settings as the same as I was shooting when I was photographing the trees. Obviously, pointing up towards the sky allowed a lot more light coming in than pointing down into the water. So when I expected this image to turn out crisp and clear, it turned out a little blurry. But in such an interesting way that I tried a couple of different compositions until I came out with this one. The water was particularly choppy because of the rain so each time I clicked, I came out with something completely different. It was fun turning my camera in different angles to try something new. In the end, it’s the circular motion of these petals that really makes the image more interesting to me.

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 1/8th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.