Home from another amazing weekend in New York. I seriously love going to that city and I don’t think I’ve ever said “photo” so much in my life. But it was all worth it because PhotoPlus was so much more than I expected. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming. So while I’m still digesting everything that happened, here’s a little image I captured of the General Andrew Jackson Statue located close to the White House in Washington DC right before I left on the trip.
My favorite part of this image is how simple it is, but I also love the framing. The American Flag in the background is the flag you see on top of the White House and it was just in perfect alignment with General Jackson and his hat. Patriotic but effortless all at the same time. LOL. I think the cloudy day even worked well for this shot to simplify this image even more.
I plan on spending the day going through the images I captured in New York over the weekend. More about that soon!
My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/40th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.
You know me, I love a good colorful sunrise and I think the best ones happen in the winter time. It must be something about the cold air that mixes with the clouds or something but some of my favorite images are usually in cold environments. That, and it’s probably easier to capture a winter sunrise because it’s later in the day (but harder to get out bed).
So I captured this image on the same morning as this image. The early morning color did not fill up the entire sky. It really was just a portion but I’m glad I had my 70-200mm to really zoom in on the most interesting part. Judging by this image, you could never tell. I really like how the streaks in the clouds are intersected by the Washington Monument but is it me or is it giving off a creepy vibe? It sort of feels like the two red lights on top of the Monument sort of look like evil eyes. Right? You see it? LOL It doesn’t help that the light is all behind the Washington Monument and making it look darker than it actually is. Maybe I should have saved this image for Halloween 🙂
Fun fact: Did you know the Washington Monument is the only monument in Washington DC? Everything else is a memorial. Funny right? I never realized until my friend, Birch mentioned it to me a little while ago. Now I can’t get it out of my head.
Anyways, I’m back home from Las Vegas and had an amazing, fun weekend with my family. Looking forward to going through all the images and sharing them with you 🙂
My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/8th sec at ISO 2500 with my Canon 5D Mark II with my 70-200mm lens.
I’ve lived in the area my whole life and been photographing the National Mall for over 8 years. I’ve pretty much been to every one of these places at least 20 times. So I compiled the top 7 best spots to make your trip to the Nation’s capital easier to navigate.
I’ve done all the research for you so you can just get out there and shoot. Here’s everything you need to know to capture a stunning sunrise in Washington DC:
How to Prepare for Sunrise
I love the alignment of where the sun rises among the monuments as opposed to where the sun 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.
Don’t worry though even if no one else is around, park police have the memorials under constant surveillance which makes this one of the safest places to be in DC at night. If anything bad should happen, help will not be far away.
I typically try to arrive at my sunrise location about 30 minutes before the sun actually 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 so I would just take your tripod if you want and just be respectful when photographing the grounds. The worst that will happen is that someone will ask you to put it away.
In my opinion, the Reflecting Pool 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 to 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.
It looked like nothing even happened the day after it snowed last week. It was like back to fall all over again, which I don’t mind in the least. I went out to photograph the sunrise because I thought with the weird weather it would bring something dramatic, it didn’t, but it was the fall leaves that caught my attention. They were particularly colorful by the Korean War memorial so I decided I would spend some time photographing a memorial I don’t usually photograph.
It’s funny because I always had this idea in my head about the Korean War Memorial. I thought it was a difficult memorial to photograph because where it is on the National Mall (it’s not in a very well lit corner) or how the figures are placed. I don’t know, I never really got a composition I was really happy with… until this time.
Maybe it was the colorful leaves behind the figures or I was feeling particularly inspired, but I had a really good time photographing the memorial. To be honest, I still think that photographing this is the best during snow or fog. It just reduces things everything down. It even makes the shrubs in between the soldiers a little less visible which I think makes it a little better in a photograph. Oh well, since it’s going to be a particularly snowy this winter, I guess I’ll have more time to put this into practice.
That orange glow though! My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 500.
Also, let me know if you like these multiple image posts 🙂 It takes me a little bit longer but I feel like it tells more of a story of what it was like being at the location.
Flew in last night from my trip out west. Since I preschedule these blog posts, I can’t tell what happened yet because I don’t actually know. I do know that I had a very good time though.
But if you’re reading this, it means I survived. Actually, that may be a bit early. If you see a blog post from me tomorrow, that means I survived because on this trip, I went camping for the very first time ever in life. Leading up to the event, I was nervous. I do consider myself an adventurous/try anything at least once type of person, but camping was something that has not been very high on my priority list. I mean, sleeping outside with bugs does not sound like my idea of a good time. But we camped in Lake Tahoe! And based on the images that I’ve seen, Lake Tahoe is amazingly beautiful. So I’ll let you know how it went soon. Hopefully.
In the meantime, I love coming home and seeing this view. I used to always fly in and out of Dulles Airport which is in Virginia. But something just clicked in my head where in the past few trips I’ve taken, I made it a point to fly in and out of Regan National. I personally think the airport itself is nicer, but if you’re sitting on the correct side of the plane you get cool views like this. I’m lucky that I live pretty much in the middle of the two so while booking a trip, I can be flexible. But nothing feels more like home when you’re driving and you see the Washington Monument in the rear view mirror 🙂
My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.
Sometimes finding a new point of view can be difficult. Especially if you’ve visited the same location multiple times. That’s always the problem that I have visiting the memorials. How can I make it look different from all the other times I’ve shot it. Sometimes I try to go at different times of day, other times I’ll make sure the sky is really unique or different. I’ll shoot high or I’ll shoot low. But I always try to make the memorials that I love so much different in each of my posts. So when I saw this puddle I was super excited. It was just this gigantic puddle in the middle of the grass/dirt. I got some crazy looks from people when I kneeled down to get closer to it, but I think it was all worth it in the end. There were people who even stopped next to me just to get down low to see what I was looking at. LOL. Some people may not get it but these puddle shots are quickly becoming some of my favorite to shoot.
The camera settings for this was F7.1 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 160. It was a pretty cloudy day. A storm was expected to hit a few hours later (and you know how I can’t resist shooting in storms). My main focus was to get everything even and symmetrical. I think my favorite part about this image is the tree leaning over. When you’re standing up you barely notice it, but I think with the reflection in the puddle the curvature is a little more exaggerated. It really acts as a leading line to bring you through the whole image.
Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend filled with fun, amazing light and beautiful views. We’re celebrating my brother and my grandma’s birthdays tonight with some Turkish food!