potomac river

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There have been so many beautiful highlights of 2019 and one of them was definitely the reopening of the Washington Monument this past September. Every time I walk or drive past it now, I’m just so excited there aren’t any fencing or barriers around it anymore. It’s like a whole new area of the National Mall opened up, ready to roam and explore.

The best is being able to go to the top. I haven’t been able to go since 2014, but even then it closed down a few months later. I would love to go back up during the different seasons, especially when it snows. I think the city looks so beautiful when it snows and being 555ft above ground must be a beautiful sight to see.

In case you missed it, I created a guide to visiting the Washington Monument. Everything you need to know about getting tickets and visiting before you actually go.

This image may not be as obvious, but it’s of Constitution Gardens, adjacent to the WWII memorial on the National Mall. Fortunately, I was able to get tickets during sunset so that warm glow was hitting all the trees at the right time. If you look a little further into the image, you can see the Kennedy Center and the Potomac River <3

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 at 1/60th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I still have a ton more images from Taiwan to share but taking a little break from them with some images I captured even before I left. I almost forgot that I spent a little time walking around the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts one cloudy afternoon in Mid-November.

It’s great how the Kennedy Center allows visitors even when there are no events or performances going on. You are free to roam the interior around the Hall of Nations or even the exterior on the rooftop terrace. It’s a great place to just sit and appreciate just how great Washington DC is. Everything is just so grand and awe-inspiring in this venue. Just thinking about all the people who have walked through the halls and how many performances have taken place here is amazing.

As I was walking around the outside of the building, I noticed this woman walking very fast. I have no idea where she was going, but she matched perfectly with the gold exterior and fall colors. She was just screaming to have her picture taken at this moment.

My camera settings for this image are F7.1  at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Just a short drive from Boulder Bridge is Rapids Bridge in Rock Creek Park. You could technically walk, but I wore the wrong shoes and decided to drive instead. Next time I go to Rock Creek Park, I gotta wear my hiking shoes instead of rain boots. It had rained the night before I visited so I figured the ground was going to be wet. But I should have known that I would have wanted to climb up rocks and things so that’s when the hiking boots would have been the better idea. Anything for the shot, right?

So I was extra careful when I was making my way to this spot. I had to jump across a few rocks in order to get to a big one in the middle of the river. From the picture, it doesn’t really look like it because you can see land straight ahead but I swear, I was on a rock in the water. LOL.

At this point, I left my tripod in the car. I didn’t want to have anything in my hands that would throw me off balance and I knew that I wanted to get a low angle where the majority of the image would be of the water. So I sat on this rock and used it to help keep the camera steady. At that point, I made the mental note to wear waterproof pants next time I shoot Rock Creek as well. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F13 at 1/3 sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle.

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Referring back to my autumn to-do list, I checked another location off the list, Rock Creek Park. I’ve only been one other time in the fall but this year I really wanted to go back again. In a city full of cars and people, I love it when there are big parks like this that make you feel like you’re in a totally different area.

Last time I was there, I photographed Boulder Bridge but it was around sunset time instead of sunrise. At that time it must not have rained for a while I could basically walk in the middle of the creek with no problem. This year, I captured the same spot during sunrise and there was no way. I had to improvise and photograph it from the side. Luckily there were some trees with fall colors that I could use to frame the bridge. However, I think my favorite part of the image is the rolling water. It reminds of wavy long hair. LOL. I had my tripod at the time, but I think I just used a tree trunk as a camera support.

My camera settings for this image are F22 at 0.6 sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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If you caught my blog post from last week, then you will know that tomorrow I’m headed out on a road trip to Austin, Texas. One of my best friends in the entire world is moving there and asked me to ride along with her. I’m sad that she’s leaving but looking forward to spending just a little bit more time with her.

Similar to the road trip that we did 2 years ago, we’ll be spending our first night in Nashville, Tennessee. It was both of our first time in the city and I am looking forward to going back. I remember having a blast last time just walking down Broadway and checking out the live music and all the colorful lights. I expect to be doing the same this time around. After that it will be just a straight shot from there to Austin. Unfortunately we’re not stopping to go sightseeing or anything along the way because she wants to get down there as soon as possible but looking forward to spending a few extra days in Austin before flying home. So if you have any food or photo recommendations, please let me know!

Luckily we planned this trip after the Cherry Blossom peak bloom announcement so I know I’ll be back home just in time to capture the flowers.

Click here to watch our last road trip together – we drove all the way from Washington DC to San Diego, California.

This image is of the Arlington Memorial bridge on a particularly foggy day. I figured it symbolized our road ahead but also not looking forward to saying goodbye to Sue when I have to catch my flight back to DC.

My camera settings are F5 at 1/500th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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Is it me or is today the hardest day to get anythingggg done. Holiday hangoverrrr. Last night we celebrated Christmas with Andrew’s family and it was so fun. I made christmas cookies. LOL. My family is celebrating this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing my nephews. I see them every week but still…

Hope you all got some fun photo goodies for the holidays.

This image was taken in the summertime. I remember capturing this particular sunrise so clearly because it was from one of those days that the Tidal Basin had been crazy flooded. But this day was probably the most water I had ever seen. My jaw dropped when I walked down there because it was above the park bench seats. It was so easy to capture reflections like this because there was just so much water. I have definietly made it a habit to wear rain boots whenever I visit the basin. Even if there hasn’t been any rain for days, you just never know now and it’s a sad.

My favorite part about this image is the cloud formations. I love the way it’s framing the Washington Monument and it looks so good in the water reflection. It makes me want to go back to that summer time weather. And don’t even get me started on those summertime colors. I love the transition from orange to blue.

Actually the last time I was at the Tidal Basin (earlier this month), the sidewalk was blocked off. There was no sign or postage saying why, so let’s hope something is actually being done about all this water and flooding. It can’t be good for the cherry blossoms.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.