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If you’re like me and drive on 66 past the Kennedy Center, you must have been wondering what they are building there? I feel like there have been a massive hole and cranes by the Kennedy Center for at least 2 years now, but never knew what it was.

I finally got my answer a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to visit the Reach at the Kennedy Center. I was so excited to hear that it’s an extension of the Kennedy Center that’s all about interaction and inspiring art. To be honest, it’s way cooler than I thought it would be.

Set to open this weekend, we got invited while the building was still getting its final touches. So despite the construction that was going on, I was still awestruck by the beauty. I loved how simple and clean the lines of the building were. It’s very minimalistic but with beautiful details just like the Kennedy Center.

Besides the architecture and beauty of the building, my favorite part was when we stumbled upon a class of dancers practicing ballet. If I remember correctly, these young adults were from New York and were there for a performance. I loved being able to peek at them from a window above. What an inspiring place for art.

Since I couldn’t decide which were my favorite images, I decided to include a couple more. I hope you enjoy and get a chance to visit the Reach this weekend!

My camera settings for the first image is F4 at 1/1250sec and ISO 640 and my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Happy Independence Day and Happy Birthday America!

And #tbt to my favorite firework image I captured last year. Actually, it’s probably my favorite firework image I’ve ever created just because I’ve never seen anything like it. I love how everything is just so symmetrical. I was lucky to be able to squeeze my way to the front of the reflecting pool to capture this image.

Unfortunately, there may not be a view like this for a while since the firework location has changed this year. So if you’d like to see my tips and tricks on how to capture the fireworks and suggestions as to the best spot to capture them in Washington DC today, check out my guide here.

I’ll be out photographing the show this year, unless we get another one of those evening storms that we’ve been getting so much lately. Fingers crossed the weather works out.

My camera settings for this image is 5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

Hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July 🙂

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This image was taken right before I captured this one. I was standing at same exact spot when I captured both images. So the image from last week was taken if you’re looking towards the right and this image was taken if you’re looking to the left.

At first it was all the light posts that caught my attention. I love how they were all lined up in a row and I was trying my hardest to try to capture them in the reflection of the building but it wasn’t until a crosswalk sign turned green where I was able to capture this. I love how everything just lines up in a row. I also love how everyone is wearing mostly black. It seemed to work perfectly for this image. Even that little bit of car you see driving across the street is black. Kinda like a “Walking Dead” type scene but not really.

Anyways, my weekend trip to Richmond was so fun. I went with my friend, Albert and it was great because we wanted to do all the same things. Basically just walk around and explore with our cameras. I’ll be sharing more about that trip soon but for now I feel like I’m still going through all these Chicago images. I have so much more that I still want to look through.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/800th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Home from Vegas and I had the time of my life. Is it me or even if you’re not up all night partying and drinking, it’s still an exhausting place to be. LOL. There’s just so much to do and see that the sensory stimulation is on overdrive 24/7. Whatever the case is, I had a blast over the weekend. Like I said before, I was there for a wedding in the family and so most of my weekend was spent with them but I did manage to slip out for some time on my own and check out some of the sights that I’ve always wanted to go to.

For example, the Neon Museum. Talk about a cool place to visit! The best part was the short art talk provided by the museum as we walked around the grounds, they explained some of the more popular signs that are there. One interesting thing that I never thought about was the fact that Las Vegas is known for these neon signs, but they’re quickly becoming extinct as casinos and hotels are opting for LED signage. So this museum only has the potential to grow so much.

I think the next time I visit, I’ll go at night. Even though it was still cool to see in the daytime, I’m sure the night time experience would be so different. I heard that a lot of the signs actually light up. Unfortunately with all the activities already preplanned, I was only able to go during the day. This image is a selfie I managed to capture through a neon sign. I really like the way that it turned out and totally show off the “behind the scenes” of what it’s really like there.

My camera settings for this image is F14 at 1/80th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Shout out to Oregon for this year’s US Capitol Christmas tree! It’s stunning!

This isn’t my first time capturing the US Capitol Christmas tree but as I was capturing it this year, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it is. Maybe I’m just older and feel like I appreciate the holidays more or something but I really enjoyed just walking around and finding the different angles.

A few weeks ago, I woke up for sunrise and made my way over to the US Capitol. I started off at the usual reflecting pool spot but saw a few other photographers there. For some reason something clicked in my head that I didn’t want to stay there and figured it would be better if I walked around a bit. I made my way all around the front of the Capitol. I was trying to find different angles but for some reason the tree itself was blocked off. I couldn’t get down to the grass where the tree was. The US Capitol police must block it off sometime in the middle of the night because I know I’ve been close to the tree before. Weird…

But I love the way this turned out. Mostly because I like the way the branches are just sticking out. I don’t know, I find it cute and it makes me smile. Hope this image makes you smile and brings you a little holiday cheer today. Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate. Wishing you all the best this holiday season.

I’ll be with family all day today and most looking forward to watching all my nieces and nephews open their christmas presents. It’s the best watching them so happy 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/640th sec at ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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#TBT to last week on the National Mall and how I snuck my way to the best spot to capture the Washington DC firework show

To be honest, I’ve didn’t envision this. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a fireworks image like this at the National Mall but it’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken. Luckily, I was so close to the reflecting pool that I was able to get this view point. It also helped that I was shooting with my 70-200mm and that this was taken at the very beginning of the show so there was no smoke or anything else to cloud the view of the Washington Monument. Just a very clean sky and an amazingly still day. It was kind of crazy though because I was so close to the reflecting pool that pieces of the firework shrapnel was falling on me. I didn’t even bother looking down to clean myself off because I was so focused on capturing light that there was no time.

This was my first time shooting the fireworks from here. So within that 30 minute window I had time to try different angles. Meaning I was standing up and sitting down throughout the entire show. I found out that sitting down was probably my best bet. I got some cool images of just the tip of the Monument but I think the advantage of being so close to the reflecting pool is the reflection. In the beginning I thought the fencing would get in the way, but I actually kind of like it now. It adds an extra element of line and reflection that isn’t usually seen unless it’s the 4th.

My camera settings for this image is 5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.