memorials

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Right before I left for Las Vegas, all my winter dreams came true. We finally got a decent amount of snow in the Washington DC area that I was able to photograph. I think one of my favorite things about photographing the snow in the national mall is the white on white that you get from the snow with the memorials. It just makes everything look so calm and monochromatic. The only way that you can tell that this is a color image is from the street signs. LOL.

The best part is that the snow doesn’t stop people from getting out there and exploring. You know what, I even saw runners and bikers on bicycles out in the snow. You can never say that the people in Washington DC aren’t dedicated. LOL.

This is an image that I’ve been planning for a while now. I’ve actually taken quite a few images from this spot but I don’t know if I’ve ever published any of them. They’ve never been exactly what I’ve been looking for. But in this particular image, I love all the snow on the ground with the tire tracks that are acting like leading lines directly to the side of the Lincoln Memorial. I saw those people crossing and purposely waited for them to be in the middle. I guess just a small detail that makes the image just a little more interesting. I love how it adds a little bit of scale as well.

Even though it just lasted one day, I’m glad I was finally able to capture some this winter season 🙂 But to be honest, I’m about ready for spring now.

My camera settings for this image is with my Sony A7II F4.0 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2019! WOW. Not to total ignore 2019 but everytime I think 2019, I can’t help but think 2020 is just around the corner and that is just bananas to me. Like can you imagine people saying that they were born in 2020? The number is just crazy to me. P.S. Where are the flying cars at?

Anyways…

Much like my top travel images of 2018, I like to reminisce and look back on my favorite images from Washington DC from the past year. It makes me feel so fortunate to live in the Nation’s Capital. I love being able to hop in my car and within minutes be among some of the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the world. I feel extremely blessed and look forward to another year of capturing more images.

Click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. In no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite images of 2018.

fog, tidal basin, winter, weather, umbrella, stranger, candid, washington dc, national mall, moody, cherry blossom trees, trunk, photowalk,

This day was definietly a highlight of the winter season. I remember we had some crazy foggy mornings but on this particular day, the fog happened in the middle of the day. Oh yea, it was raining too. Luckily, it was on a Sunday and I didn’t have much else going on. So what better way than to walk around the National Mall than with my friend, Birch. I still love how everything lines up in this image, even the little reflection you see in the puddle behind the lady is so interesting to see.

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If you asked me my favorite time of day to photograph Washington DC, it has to be sunrise. Hands down, no questions asked, absolutely the best. Yes, the early wake up time can be a little brutal especially in the long summer months but it is so worth it. I love the alignment of where the sun rises among the monuments as opposed to where it sets from. It gives off this amazing warm glow on the memorials that’s hard to get at sunset. Plus there is this overwhelming feeling of peace and calm in a city that’s usually hustling and bustling during the day. At sunrise you’re more likely to get images with no one in them while at sunset it’s nearly impossible.

Whether you’re traveling or live within the DC Metro area, I highly recommend you try to make your way down to the National Mall early in the morning at least once. I typically try to arrive at my sunrise location about 30 minutes before the sun rises. That way you will see all the great predawn colors in the sky. Dress according to the weather and grab a coffee, you won’t regret it.

For the serious photographers out there, you may be wondering about tripods. For the most part they are not allowed. However if you’re photographing sunrise and there is no one else around, you could probably get away with it. I think the biggest concern is when the memorials are crowded and other people may trip over the legs. Out of all the times I’ve been out for sunrise (trust me it’s way more than I can count), I have been asked to put it away once while I was at the Lincoln Memorial. All other times other than sunrise at any of the memorials, it’s pretty much out of the question.

The United States Capitol is slightly different. Technically, it’s not the National Mall so the same rules don’t apply as they do at the memorials. There is way more security there and I’ve heard conflicting rules about tripods. The last time I spoke to a Capitol Policeman about it, he said they are allowed. However since then I’ve heard of photographer friends being asked to put it away. It seems like there is no right or wrong answer there so I would take your tripod if you want and just be respectful when photographing the grounds.

One last thing to note, I wrote a book all about photographing Washington DC. It’s called Snap DC: Your Guide to taking Extraordinary Photos of the National Mall and Beyond… and it is available on Amazon. So if you are interested in seeing more of Washington DC than just the sunrise, click here to check it out.  As an added bonus I created a 1, 3, and 5 day sample photo itinerary for your trip to Washington DC, click here to download my ideal schedule.

Now on to that sunrise…

The Lincoln Memorial

In my opinion, this is the ultimate sunrise location in Washington DC.  It’s the most iconic and it is the place that I tell everyone they must go if they have never been to the national mall and especially at sunrise. It’s the center of 4 great landmarks all within a central area. A one stop shop if you will.

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Happy Veterans day! Living in the Washington DC area and photographing the monuments in the National Mall has definietly taught me to appreciate all the service and sacrifice veterans go through every single day. I could not be more thankful for my beautiful life right now and a large part has to do with them. Whether it’s from talking one-on-one with veterans, seeing all the trinkets left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during Memorial Day, or just seeing them ride at Rolling Thunder, I have a special place in my heart to all the men and women who have done so much for me and our country. I feel like the best way that I could possible honor them is by going through my images and collecting some of my favorite images of the war memorials. It’s my way of honoring such the brave men and women of our country.

The image above was taken in December 2012. I was lucky enough to have all the elements lined up: fog, holiday wreaths, amazing sunrise. I’m so honored that this image has been shared over 100,000 times and the reaction and messages I have received from it has been nothing short but amazing. Thank you so, so much.

iwo jima, sunrise, landscape, hdr, washington dc, angela b. pan, abpan, color,

In the beginning of 2012, I created this image on a cold winter morning in January. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the colors were in the sky and I’m so grateful to have been at the right place at the right time.

vietnam memorial, reflection, washington monument, washington dc, landscape, hdr, travel, sunrise

A unique look at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I honestly think that it’s one of my favorites. I love the reflection of the sky and Washington Monument. My favorite is that little peak-a-boo elements of the trees in the background.

 

wwii, sunrise, memorial, fountains, water, washington monument, washington dc, clouds, purple, sun

I’m sure you can tell by now that my favorite time to photograph the monuments is at sunrise. It’s just so quiet and peaceful. I’m usually the only one there and it allows me the time to really appreciate the monuments for all that they are. I love how the sun is peeking out over the WWII memorial.

Thank you today and everyday, Veterans. This is a small token of my forever appreciate to you.

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There are certain things you can almost always guarantee when you’re visiting the National Mall. 1. its stunningly beautiful 2. the monuments will always have you looking up 3. there will almost always be puddles so once in a while you should look down. For some reason, even if there has been no rain for days, this puddle will always be there. They are on the set of stairs that’s closer to the Reflecting Pool than the Lincoln Memorial but it creates these amazing reflections.

Sometimes I’ll find inspiration in this puddle, this time I thought it was really cool how that guy was looking out towards the Washington Monument and I love how I was able to catch that in the reflection as well.

If you’ve been catching up with the blog this past week, this is the 4th image in the hour that I spent at the National Mall photographing the sunrise this past month. I thought it would be real interesting to show the importance of making sure you aren’t stuck in one place and you keep walking around to find multiple compositions.

This image sort of reminds me of the first one in that there is a space in the reflection between the actual subject and where the reflection starts. I love how there is that peek a boo of trees just coming out. Everything just seems to line up real nicely in this image.

Click here if you missed the second and third image.

As far as Andrew and I? Today we’re in Geiranger, Norway. Out of our whole trip, this is the place that I’m looking most forward to staying in. We were able to get this cute cabin right along the water. I’m really looking forward to waking up and walking right out to this amazing view. Can’t WAIT!

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.