Memorial day weekend

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Typically when I go into the city, I like driving my car. It’s so much easier because I can come and go as I please and blast my music or podcast as loud as I want. LOL. Plus if I need to stop at the grocery store or something along the way, I can do that as I please.

I don’t find taking the metro as convenient. I’m dependent on their schedule and if there’s any kind of delay or back up, you’re pretty much stuck in the metro car for who knows how long. The only time you’ll really find me on the metro is if it’s snowing a lot or if there’s a big event in Washington DC and parking/traffic is a lot worse than usual.

So when I was planning my trip to Rolling Thunder, I knew I didn’t want to drive. The metro was going to be way more efficient. In order to get to the spot I wanted by the Lincoln Memorial, I got off at Foggy Bottom and walked down 23rd street.

It was pretty cool because along the way there were motorcycles EVERYWHERE. Along the street, on the sidewalks and even in the grass. This image was captured at the Pan American Health Organization building and it was covered by rows and rows of motorcycles. I liked this image in particular because of all the lines and shapes created by the architecture and even the little grass blades you see in the foreground, but I love the flowers in the background of the bikes. I feel like it adds just a little bit of color and femininity to the masculine chopper.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Another one from Rolling Thunder this year. Does this guy look cool or what?

If you can look behind him, you can see just the tip of the Lincoln Memorial. I purposely was standing by the memorial and in front of the turn arrow on the road to try to get some cool angles, then this guy rolled by. I think there must have been a stop because he just paused and looked right at me. I had to capture the moment.

But I also like how when you look beyond the obvious focal point of the image, you can see what it’s really like at Rolling Thunder. Just lines of people everywhere watching the motorcycles roll by. It’s a little crazy how many people are at this event year after year.

With this year being the last Rolling Thunder event (but hopefully not), I really wanted to try to create some meaningful images. I’ll definitely be sharing more as time goes on but I was thinking about creating some ‘timeless’ images. Meaning if people didn’t know this was taken in 2019, you would have never known if this was the first ever Rolling Thunder or any other year. I love how there are no cell phones in the image or anything dating this image. An image that you can go back to and reflect what it’s like being in Washington DC on Memorial Day weekend.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 200 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Rolling Thunder! A highlight of the weekend for sure! And I definitely wanted to make sure I attended this year because I heard that this is probably the last year they’re going to have Rolling Thunder. It’s such a shame. I can’t remember a Memorial Day without hearing hundreds of motorcycles roaring down the highway. So if it’s true, I wanted to make this last one count.

I keep saying, “if” because I’m hoping there can be some kind of agreement or something made because I can’t imagine MDW without them!

Either way, I had to be down at the National Mall to photograph them. This year, was so special. There were non-stop motorcycles flying by the Lincoln Memorial for 2 straight hours. It was insane how many people there were. One of my favorite things about Rolling Thunder is just the energy of everyone there. Everyone standing by was there to honor our veterans and it was amazing. The sun was super hot and I have no idea how any of these leather wearing guys did it. Even more props to them.

So I started the morning at 23rd Street and just started wandering around for 2 hours. This image was captured toward the end of the ride but I just loved how all of the motorcycles are lined up on the curve. I was standing along the Arlington Memorial Bridge looking down on Ohio Drive. I never imagined them riding around there but I think this turned out super cool.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/640th sec and ISO 320 with my  Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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But of course, Memorial Day weekend is to honor those who have died in active military service.

On my way to Washington DC to photograph Rolling Thunder, I stopped by Arlington National Cemetery. I was riding the metro so it was just a quick stop off at Rosslyn Metro station and then a scooter ride to the cemetery. I didn’t expect to make this stop but I’m glad I did. I had never seen “Flags In“.

I think one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts about the Arlington National is the rows and rows of the perfectly lined white headstone. The patterns created can be hypnotizing. So with the American flags right next to them, it adds a little bit of color and it is so symbolic. Seeing so many American flags in a row is emotional. I wish I could have spent just a little more time photographing them but hopefully, I’ll plan my time better and try again next year.

This image was taken around 10:30a. The sun was definitely out so while walking around so I was purposely looking for a light/shadow composition. I was thinking it would be really cool to see some flags in the shadow but then have some emerging into the light. I stood underneath a large tree to capture it and I love the way it highlights that fourth flag in from the side. To get that really compressed look, I used my ultra zoom lens and got down real close to the ground. Almost eye level with the flags.

My camera setting for this image is F9 at 1/250th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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If you remember Memorial Day weekend 2018, I went on the Old Rag Hike trail in the Shenandoah Mountains with my cousins. Well, a few weeks before Memorial Day weekend this year, I was trying to come up with a plan and asked everyone again if they wanted to go on another hike. Luckily, most were free and we ended up going on a hike that none of us had ever been before, Hawksbill Summit Trail.

It was a short stroll compared to Old Rag, but the elevation on the hike was no joke. In about 3/4th of a mile, you climb an elevation of 672 feet. So pretty much going straight uphill the entire way. I’m not exactly sure how long it took us but I want to say less than an hour. Once you get to the top, it’s totally worth it.

Luckily we started the day early by starting the hike at 9 am. There weren’t many other people on the trail yet and the trees covered the sun for most of the way which probably made the whole experience that much easier. By the time we reached the summit a few clouds had rolled in so I asked my cousin, Mona to sit on some rocks and pose for me. I loved how the jagged rocks were sticking out of the mountain. It was a little iffy actually getting her to that spot though.

You may have caught my other cousin, Karen on the summit too in last week’s post. LOL.

Overall, I would do this hike again if I were looking for a quick hike in the Shenandoah Mountains. It was strenuous enough to get a good sweat in, but it didn’t take all day which was nice.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm

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Honesty hour…

Lately I’ve been thinking about my style of photography. I think I’m most known for sunrise at the Washington DC monuments, but I want to be more than just that. I want to become a more well rounded photographer that can photograph much more than empty, open spaces. I want expand and push my creativity. I’ve started to photograph more street, lifestyle, and portrait work but haven’t really said anything about. I haven’t really said anything about it because it’s not what I’m known for. And is it really even that good? I dunno, but I am enjoying it and when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters, right?

So this is an example of the type of work that I’m leaning more towards. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my landscapes and sunrises but I’m expanding. This was taken memorial day weekend on the Old Rag trailhead in the Shenandoah Mountains. Typically I would have waited to bring out my camera until we got to the summit of the mountain and photographed the landscape but this time I wanted to capture the experience of what it was like to get to the top. This image is of my cousin, Mona, my sister-in-law, Audrey, Andrew and another hiker who just happened to be standing at the right spot at the right time. For me, it perfectly describes what it’s like. Cautious getting to the top while climbing over big ass boulders with amazing views along the way. My favorite part of the image is Mona’s body position and the way she’s getting around the rocks.

I have many more images that I took while on this hike. I’ve already sprinked a few here and there and theres more to come. So let me know what you think of these. I’d love to know!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.