library of congress

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Since I’ve been out photographing the sunset and night so much, I found myself craving a morning in Washington DC. There’s something about the early mornings where it’s so quiet and peaceful, you really get to appreciate the city that you live in. Or at least, that’s how I feel.

So one morning I found myself by the US Capitol and in an effort to photograph something different, I spent a lot of time around the Library of Congress. I’ve mentioned many times before how the Library is my favorite interior in the entire city, but the exterior is beautiful all on its own. This particular composition struck me because of all the layers. I love how the staircases divide the image but I also love the little splashes of green. Everything is just lined up so nicely in this image.¬†The best part is that the city is such a healthy city, that it doesn’t take a long time to wait for a runner to run by your shot ūüôā

PS I love how if you peek through the windows on top of this image, you can kinda see what it looks like on the inside. LOL Can you tell I was proud of myself when I captured this? HAHA

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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Confused by what sights to see on your short visit to Washington DC?

There are so many monuments, memorials, and museums. Where do you even start?

If want to know the absolute best of the best things to see in Washington DC, keep on scrolling. This guide is for you!

I’ve lived in the Washington DC area my entire life and in that time I’ve gotten to know the city very well. It has changed so much in the past few years that it may be hard to keep up with all the new and fun things to see. Sometimes I even think it’s hard to keep up with all that is going on. There have been new museums, memorials and points of interest that would be fun for a solo traveler as well as families all at the same time.

So in this guide, I will share some highlights of my favorite sights as a Washington DC native and photographer.

My 7 Favorite Must-See Sights in Washington DC:

 

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Although the peak bloom dates that everyone watches out for are for the cherry blossoms by the Tidal Basin, there have been some other random cherry blossom spottings around the city. This particular tree can be found at the corner of the Library of Congress. They weren’t all fully bloomed yet but I feel like they were late enough in the growing stage that they may be effected by the cold and snow. They were fun to photograph but its kind of sad at the same time. Who knows how long these flowers will hold on with all the snow that’s covering them.

But I have some good news. I heard that the Magnolia trees may actually be ok from the snow. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with the Smithsonian gardens and the DC blooms in general, I recommend following James, the horticultureguy on instagram. He’s a new follow for me but he seems to update almost daily on the gardens and it’s awesome! He was even able to capture the Enid A Haupt garden in the snow and the images are so beautiful. I tried to go, but the gates were closed ūüôĀ¬† Anyways, he said that they spent the day knocking the snow off the trees and he’s thinks the flowers will be fine. Guess where I’ll be this weekend? LOL

Hope you have a great weekend! As of now, we’re expecting more snow Saturday evening to Sunday morning. You can’t see me but I’m rolling my eyes at the computer screen right now. I really hope that it doesn’t happen. I’m so ready for spring, spring flowers, warm weather, and cute spring dresses. No more snow!

The settings for this image is F11 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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Speaking of adding a human element¬†in your images... What about adding a puppy element? Dogs make the best models ūüôā

We didn’t have much planned last weekend but all of us wanted to get out of the house. Including Frankie. So we ran a few errands and along the way stopped at James Madison Memorial Building. I have¬†seen pictures of it on¬†instagram,¬†but never actually visited. Also, we didn’t get the chance to go inside because we had Frankie, but the outside was beautiful. I love all the repeating columns. They’re really different than the ones you’d see at the Jefferson Memorial or Lincoln Memorial because theres hardly any space in between them. It gives off a totally different effect. Plus these columns are a lot more straight and modern looking than the other memorials.

Frankie was the perfect model. You can’t see it but Andrew was standing just to the left of him in between the columns just to make sure nothing happened. But he just sat there and posed. It really wasn’t much effort at all to get him to sit like that. He didn’t even move until a group of¬†people walked passed and all he wanted to do¬†wag his tail and greet them as if they had walked into his home. To be honest, I did photoshop out his leash. It was just a long, red leash that totally didn’t go with the final image I was looking for. I love how he looks so tiny in this massive environment. I hope next time we’ll be able to go inside.

The day after I took this, I showed it to my nephews. They said that next time I should photograph Frankie on a throne. LOL. I think their dad has been watching a bit too much of Game of Thrones. LOL.

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My favorite interior in all of DC! The Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress. When you walk in for the first time, you can help but to say “Wow”. With all the beautiful windows and light coming from the ceiling your immediate reaction is just to look up. I remember the first time I visited the main reading room, I just kept on clicking and clicking away on my camera. I was stunned by how amazing it all was, especially all the fine details. Now that I’ve been a couple of times, I love to walk around and just appreciate all that is there.

I love how it’s still a library. The card catalogue is kinda like an ancient artifact all on it’s own. I bet my nephews who are in elementary school right now have no idea what it is or even how to use it.¬†Which is funny and kinda sad all at the same time. Sad only because¬†I remember when I was in elementary school, it was a fun game to learn how to use the card catalogue. All of us would run around the library looking for a particular book. It was a fun race to find the book first. Funny because they¬†probably have¬†a way better computerized¬†system now to located their books and they would consider all of those cards so ancient. Either way, it’s just fun to run my finger tips¬†along the cards and imagine how each one of those little cards represent so much knowledge from one book.

On a side note, I’m sick. So if that was a little rambley for no reason and a little like ‘why are you talking so much about card catalogues’, that’s why. I’m usually not that passionate about library’s organizational systems.

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Yesterday was Presidents Day. So happy belated presidents day to you all. Shout out to big GW!

So not only was the weekend amazing beautiful here in the DC area but one of my most favorite things about President’s day is Library of Congress’ Main Reading Room Open House. Its only open to the public on President’s day and Columbus day so it really is a special treat to go inside. This was probably my third time attending one of these open houses and it NEVER gets old. Not sure what it is, but it’s like¬†you are smarter just by standing there. I mean the very first book ever printed¬†is even on display here. One of my favorite parts is going to the card catalog room and pretend like I’m looking for a book. This room is humungous so I’m not sure how anybody can find anything in there so that’s why I pretend ūüôā

This is obviously not an image of the reading room. I have a couple of those you can see here and here¬†that I took from previous visits. ¬†This is an image of a hallway. Where it goes, I have no idea. It was blocked off to visitors but I couldn’t help myself. I had to take a few snaps before anyone came and found me. But even from this little hallway, you can tell that this entire space is so beautiful. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this is by far my favorite interior of all of DC. It’s one of those hidden gems that a lot of tourists don’t get to see. Click here if you’d like to see the main room. It’s a stunner. Jaw droppingly amazing. So if you plan to visit at all, definietly try to come on Presidents day or Columbus day. If not, you still won’t be disappointed.