glow

All photos available for print and licensing >

After 3 years of repair work, the Washington Monument finally reopened. I was so excited to get back up there, I had only been once before – the last time it reopened. LOL.

So I heard a rumor that it was actually staying open until 9 pm the first week that it was opened. I had to jump on this opportunity as fast as I could because it will be difficult to get sunset views like that ever again. There’s a possibility that it could happen again in November when the sunset is closer to 5 pm (the regular closing time), but to be able to take my time and take images as I please, I wanted to get up there asap.

From now until October 15th, you will have to go in the morning to line up and get tickets at the Monument for the same day. After the 15th, it can be done online. But waking up early in the morning never stood in my way. I arrived around 6:45 am and I was about 20th in line. Luckily, you can request what time you want to go up and so I got it for 6:30 pm.

It was a cloudless day but the sun was still glowing all over the city. Obviously, I spent most of my time in the window facing east. I love this view of the WWII memorial with my long lens. It’s so interesting to see all the people and what they are doing… from above 🙂

My camera settings for this image are F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

You know I haven’t gone out for sunset much in the past, but when I do I want to make sure it glows! HAHA jk. This sunset was totally unexpected but so welcomed. I love the way the sun is just lightning up these park benches along the National Mall. I don’t think I would have normally thought to capture an angle like this but the light just caught my eye. This is actually the same sunset as this image, just way more zoomed out.

It may not seem like a significant detail, but I actually waited for that bicyclist to ride by too. I felt like there was too much negative space on the right-hand side of the image and there needed to be something to balance it all out. So I just waited by the bench for someone to walk or ride by. That one little detail made such a difference. Plus I feel like it tells a better story of what it’s like to be there at sunset as opposed to sunrise. With sunset, it’s hard to not get people in your shot while it’s just the opposite at sunrise. It’s hard to get people in your shots! LOL.

Looking forward to seeing what more of these sunset adventures will bring.

My camera settings for this image is F4  at 1/60th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

Chicago is such a photogenic city. I felt like everywhere I turned there was a new image to capture and I probably took way more pictures than I had expected to prior to leaving for the trip. Which is 100% why I am so excited for the photo workshop in July. The whole time I was walking around the city, I just envisioned walking around with some of you and having so much fun with our cameras. I was so inspired by Chicago and the vibe that I think I found some great photo spots to help you create some stunning images. So if you’re interested in learning more about spending a week with me in Chicago, click here. Feel free to send me or Focus on the Story any questions you may have.

This image was captured a little bit after sunrise. To be honest, I was surprised by how many people were out there so early in the morning. A little surprised, but not really because I did notice a lot of people walking around with cameras. Even in the non-touristy spots, there were photographers everywhere. But I’m glad I was there in the early morning because this spot can get real packed, real quick. Also that amazing glow that was going on underneath the bean was stunning! As soon as I saw it, I just kept on hoping and waiting for someone to walk right underneath. This lady was under the bean all by herself taking pictures and I love how her outfit just matched that early morning light.

PS Can you spot me in the image? Andrew is standing just a few steps behind me. I love how reflective that surface is.

My camera setting for this image is F4 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Washington DC is starting to warm up and everyone is enjoying the weather! Especially this guy on the Lincoln Memorial ROOF! I mean what?! How can I get up there?

But I love this image because you can just feel the warmth. This was taken during sunrise. It was a particularly beautiful sunrise and it was very bright too. So I knew if I turned around from looking at the Reflecting Pool, that the Lincoln Memorial would probably be glowing as well. I was right. I think I may have been the only one with my back towards the colorful sky but I think that photographing the warm tones on the white marble is just as beautiful and sometimes even more difficult to capture. This glow probably lasted for 5 minutes before the light went back behind the clouds.

It was a total surprise to see that man on top of the roof. Everytime I see a guy up there, I always want to capture them because it’s just such a unique thing to see. But now that construction is in full swing, it’s becoming more and more common. I thought it would be interesting to use the scale of the columns and the Lincoln statute itself to show the scale of everything. Plus I really enjoy looking at that little sliver of orange that’s in President Lincoln’s hair.

One day I would really love to get up there. It has to be the coolest view of the city. This guy knows it because I could definietly tell he was taking pictures of the sunrise with his cell phone. Lucky. Hopefully roof repairs mean that we can go up there one day? I doubt it but fingers crossed.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/80th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Speaking of fog, Saturday was really foggy. There were times that you could not even see the Washington Monument it was so foggy. But at sunrise, the fog brought this beautiful glow to the city and it was amazing.

On this particular day, I parked on Ohio Dr. so coming from that side of the National Mall, I had my first glimpse of the US Capitol at the Reflecting Pool. I love how the dome is partially covered by the mist and lights. This was the very first shot I took and probably my favorite from the entire morning. I didn’t have my tripod with me so I sort of balanced my camera along the side of the reflecting pool and for this shot it worked well. Others, not so much. Another reason why this is my favorite shot. LOL.

So I have been getting questions about foggy mornings. Just like a colorful sunrise, they’re hard to predict. This particular morning I knew it was going to be foggy because the night before had been incredibly foggy and the weather apps said it was going to last all night. However, there have been times that I have been out and knew there was going to be fog without the weather apps saying so. I’ve realized that when I listen to the radio or a weather forecast and the meteorologist says, “warm front” then there’s a good chance for fog. It’s the combination of the warm air mixing with the cold that brings the foggy mornings and I love it. Foggy mornings like this is what makes photography so much fun. You just never know what you’re going to get.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II with my 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

While I was busy storm chasing the other day, I didn’t even notice the sunset that was happening. I figured with so much rain, cloudiness and overall darkness going on that we weren’t even going to get a sunset. I was totally wrong. It was this incredibly glowing pink, orange, purple color. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like it and was completely shocked when I did. Man at least I saw it for the last 5 minutes because I would have been real upset if I missed it.

I was standing in between the columns when I noticed the glow out of the corner of my left eye. I scrambled inside the memorial because I knew the only way to shoot with a cool foreground and not stand in the rain was to shoot the Jefferson statue. I am so glad there are little openings all the way around the memorial because I love the way this image turned out. The reflection on the marble floor is super nice too. I consciously made an effort to include that in the image while I was shooting.

The sunset lasted about 5 minutes (for me at least) and then I went right back to my spot in between the columns to shoot the lightning. Overall it was a great night for photography and I am so glad I was able to go out.

Funny though, the first song that I heard on the radio when I got back into my car was Lightning Crashes by Live. That song brings back so many childhood memories for me. LOL. Mostly of me sneaking into my brothers room and listening to his cd collection.

The settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.4 seconds at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm and a tripod.