national mall

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So I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to post this image. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate but it’s such a cool shot! LOL.

I captured this image the same night I was out with my friend, Zack storm chasing. We actually started off the night at the Lincoln Memorial, figured the storm was moving in a direction that it would look cool at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial and then eventually ended at the Washington Memorial. I didn’t expect the lightning so I didn’t have my tripod so to capture this, I was using the flower beds in the middle of the walk area as my support. But it’s so funny because this was the first shot that both Zack and I took at this location and we both caught the same lightning strike with the same point of view. LOL.

I blame the low hanging clouds. The clouds were hanging so low and heavy that there weren’t that many huge strikes that evening. If there was, they seemed to crawl horizontally across the sky. And since I was using the flower beds as support, I couldn’t fully see my composition so it was a happy surprise to see the leaves on top of the image. I think it frames everything so well.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/13th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Now that I’m officially a sunset photographer, this was probably the best skies I’ve seen in a while. It’s a funny story because I was actually on my way to the gym when at the last minute I decided that I would go out to shoot. I don’t know what actually compelled me to do it, let’s just call it a photographer’s intuition. LOL.

On my way to the city, my friend, Birch texted me and told me she was on her way there too. We decided to meet at the WWII memorial and I’m so glad we did. I was able to capture this awesome reflection. One that I don’t think I’ve photographed like this before. In order to capture it, I got down really low behind the memorial. Mostly because I wanted to avoid people’s heads that were actually in the memorial, but mostly because I wanted to see if i could get something different. It’s so simple and it may be a little confusing but I really like the way that it turned out. Kinda alien spacecraft like but also interesting with the Washington Monument poking out and its reflection 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/60th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

 

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You know I haven’t gone out for sunset much in the past, but when I do I want to make sure it glows! HAHA jk. This sunset was totally unexpected but so welcomed. I love the way the sun is just lightning up these park benches along the National Mall. I don’t think I would have normally thought to capture an angle like this but the light just caught my eye. This is actually the same sunset as this image, just way more zoomed out.

It may not seem like a significant detail, but I actually waited for that bicyclist to ride by too. I felt like there was too much negative space on the right-hand side of the image and there needed to be something to balance it all out. So I just waited by the bench for someone to walk or ride by. That one little detail made such a difference. Plus I feel like it tells a better story of what it’s like to be there at sunset as opposed to sunrise. With sunset, it’s hard to not get people in your shot while it’s just the opposite at sunrise. It’s hard to get people in your shots! LOL.

Looking forward to seeing what more of these sunset adventures will bring.

My camera settings for this image is F4  at 1/60th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

 

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I’m not sure when I started to become a sunset/night photographer but it just sort of started happening naturally. The summer days have been rough to wake up for sunrise but to be honest, the sunsets have been looking way better than sunrise anyways. Sunset around Washington DC has it’s own interesting challenges like parking and dealing with the crowds of people but the more I get out there, the more I’m appreciating the sunset glow more and more.

But this image came by accident. I was out with Zack (again, on a different night) to photograph the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. The sunset wasn’t really what we expected so we waited a bit longer for blue hour to try to capture the monuments at night. Then when I was about to say bye to Zack and walk back to my car, I saw a lightning bolt out of the corner of my eye.

OMG change of plans. I did not end up going back to my car, quickly texted Andrew that I was going to be home later than I expected and both Zack and I started looking at weather apps to see where the storm was headed. We made a game plan to try to capture it by the Tidal Basin and then as the storm moved forward we were going to try to capture it with the Washington Monument. It ended up being a super exciting night of storm chasing but the only problem was that I left my tripod in my car! Argh! Capturing lightning is significantly easier with a tripod and remote.

So I had to improvise. In order to capture this, I was basically just sitting on the ground hoping to get something. I was so lucky. But I also LOVE how the street lights are red. It’s sort of like a warning to not pass in case of lightning.

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/15th sec and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 wide-angle lens.

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I don’t know much about clouds. I remember learning about them in middle school but nothing really stuck except for cirrus clouds. But I do like looking at them. And in the past couple of years of photography, I’ve figured out that mammatus clouds are pretty rare but highly sought after. Like the meteorologists go crazy over them. I’m not sure why other than they look super cool so now I’m always on the lookout for them.

These particular clouds came at sunset, right before full moon shooting. We had a pretty significant storm in the afternoon which caused these stunning clouds and color in the sky. Zack and I were going bananas over the color and running all around the National Mall trying to find different angles to capture it.

It just so happened that a bunch of airplanes were flying into Reagan as well. The storm caused a whole bunch of flight delays earlier in the day so I guess when the sky cleared up, the airplanes started coming in as quickly as possible. It seemed like every 5-10 minutes there was another airplane. But can you imagine looking out your window and seeing this? OMG, what I would have done to be one of the passengers on that airplane.

My camera settings for this image is f6.3 at 1/320th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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It’s been a while since I’ve photographed the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. Sometimes the fountains aren’t on in the mornings and in the evening, it can get really packed with visitors. And especially on hot days, people like to soak their feet in the water. So for a while, I just pretty much skipped the entire memorial and went straight for the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial.

But I’m glad I went back!

I was out with my friend, Birch just walking around and talking when she asked if we could stop by the memorial. There had been a shot that she’s been wanting to get but never was able to. Of course, I said yes, so while she was trying to get her shot, I sat down on the steps to capture this one. I loved how the fountains looked like they were right by the Lincoln Memorial but I loved the silhouettes the Lincoln Memorial was helping to create. So I just sat there waiting for the precise moment to capture somebody walking by without too many other people in the foreground. I like the way it came out because there are just so many different layers to look at. And especially if you’re familiar with this memorial, you know there’s at least a good 2,000 ft between the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/30th sec and ISO 4000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.