march

All photos available for print and licensing >

On June 9th in Houston, Texas, Rev Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy at George Floyd’s funeral.  At that time he also announced that he would plan a demonstration in Washington to rally for criminal justice revisions. Ever since that day, I kept my eyes and ears open for the information as it developed. I knew this was going to be a huge event that I wanted to attend.

The Black Lives Matter movement in Washington has been an eye-opening experience for me. In all my years living in the area, I’ve never attended any protests or rallies like this. So when I went to my first one, I knew immediately that I wanted to keep going back with my camera. I couldn’t help but be in awe of all the passion and emotions I felt while attending these protests.

But the day before Rev Sharpton’s Commitment March on Washington, President Trump accepted his Republican nomination for  US President and had a fireworks display at the Washington Monument. Since I missed photographing on the 4th of July this past year, I figured I would go to the Reflecting Pool and practice some of my night photography. Although there were only 3 other photographers at the Reflecting Pool, there was also a news crew right next to me who was listening to President Trump’s speech. I listened to every word and as soon as he finished, the fireworks went off.

I’m glad I went because they were very different from the previous 4th of July firework displays. You could tell that they were shot off with the White House as the main spectators so all of my images were a little skewed to the right. I should have thought of that before picking my firework location. Oh well. I also noticed how the Washington Monument was the centerpiece of the show. I had never seen rings of fireworks go around it before. It was pretty cool and I had fun photographing the show from a vantage point that was only seen by a few others.

But watching the fireworks from the Reflecting Pool also allowed me to see the set up of the rally the night before. It was interesting to see how the sides of the Reflecting Pool were gated off, the chairs for people with special needs were socially distanced, and there were so many lights set up all over the memorial grounds.

A little sneak peek of the rally set up from the night before

On August 28, 2020, the 57th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Rev Sharpton and the National Action Network held its rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a march ending at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial.

I’m grateful to know this part of the city like the back of my hand so I was able to park my car as close as I could to the White House and walked over to the National Mall with ease. It was a hot, humid summer day and a little harder to breathe with a facemask on. With a water bottle in my backpack and my camera in hand, I was ready to go.

My game plan was to start close to the WWII memorial and walk down the Reflecting Pool to try to get as close to the Lincoln Memorial as I could. Other than that, I had no real intentions of what kind of images I wanted to photograph. I was just going to go with the flow and stay mindful of everything that was happening around me. That means I zipped my phone into my backpack and watched the people around me.

Click here to read more

All photos available for print and licensing >

Another puddle shot. I’ve been loving them this year and shooting them at the Tidal Basin is super easy because there are always puddles! Even when it’s super clear and nice out, there will be a puddle. It’s just because the sidewalks can be really uneven that if you look around there will be at least a little one in the cracks somewhere.

This however was not a little puddle. It was quite big and pretty much took over the whole sidewalk. Days like this, I’m super grateful to have rain boots. That way I can walk comfortably wherever without having to worry about my socks getting wet or my shoes getting muddy.

I’m also really grateful that the cherry blossoms peaked so nicely this year. It was totally unexpected that they would since we had that cold spell in the middle of March. I think it scared away a lot of the people because everyday that I went down to the Tidal Basin, there weren’t a lot of people there (compared to previous years where it’d be hard to even walk, let alone get shots without many people in it). Overall I’m just so happy spring is here and the cherry blossoms were amazing. I don’t know if I’ll be at the Tidal Basin anymore shooting the cherry blossoms this year but hopefully in other places around the DMV area <3

This was shot at F5.6 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 400. Again, I did not shoot this on my tripod because it just can’t get low enough. Which reminds me, if you guys have any tripod recommendations that can get super low, like almost touching the ground, let me know. I’d love to try that out. The only reason the ISO was at 400 was because this was hand held and I wanted to make sure to get everything sharp and in focus.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’d like to visit the tidal basin as much as I can this week. Cherry blossoms are no where near what they were like in previous years but regardless they’re still beautiful. With the cold weather, only about 50% have survived and will be peaking. As of right now, the flowers are almost there. Some trees are really beautiful and have some great blooms on them. Some are just completely dead. The others are half and half and it’s hard to tell which direction they’re going. I’d say if you were planning on a trip to go, I’d go towards the end of the week or even the weekend.  That is if you want to battle the craziness of the crowds and the actual cherry blossom festival.

This was taken yesterday morning around sunrise. The sunrise itself wasn’t too impressive since it was too cloudy but it made for the perfect backdrop for a moody cherry blossom shoot. I ran into my friend, Jarrett again. We always seem to run into each other during sunrise but especially during cherry blossom season. It’s sort of become a running joke with us. Regardless, he’s great company to walk around the basin with. We’ll talk about anything from photography to social media to creepin’ on other people’s engagement photoshoots. You’ll have to watch his instagram stories to understand. LOL.

My settings on this image was F8 at 1/80th of a second ISO 500 with my 28-70mm. I intentionally set my aperture around f/8 so I can get most things in focus. I definietly wanted the flowers to be seen and the Washington Monument. Another grey day means another high ISO image to make sure the wind wouldn’t make this image blurry.

But there will be more of these updates throughout this week and maybe even next week. Please let me know if you like them because I like posting them 🙂

All photos available for print and licensing >

If you get to your location earlier enough, even on the cloudiest of days, you can still get a pretty awesome light show. This was taken last week after all the snow fell. The tidal basin was glowing in purples and I thought going behind Jefferson memorial would be a pretty cool view of it all.