puddle

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So the Thomas Jefferson memorial is still under scaffolding. It’s been like this for more than 6 months and I don’t like it.

There have been times when there’s been scaffolding around other memorials and monuments that I don’t mind. But the scaffolding around the Jefferson is just so much that it’s very difficult to find the good out of it. It’s there because the roof is getting restored and clean so it may not come down until later this year.

Until then, I’ve been purposely avoiding the tidal basin because it’s just so distracting. However, I met up with a few friends on Sunday to capture the moonset and the best spot to watch was the Tidal Basin. So on my way to the location, I tried my best to try to think of it differently and make the best of it.

I found this puddle that had very interesting textures in the mud and thought it went well with the sunrise clouds. I also like how you can see the entire memorial and see that it’s not entirely covered by scaffolding. Maybe next time I’ll just go to the back and take pictures of that. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/5th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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I’m so glad that Sunrise Sundays are becoming a thing with my photography friends. It all started on the first Sunday of 2020 when my friend, Andy invited a few people to photograph sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial. And ever since then, it’s becoming a weekly meetup at different locations and it’s been such fun each time.

This past weekend we went to the US Capitol. Currently, the reflecting pool is under construction so we ended up meeting at the Ulysses S Grant Memorial instead. I’m glad we did. The white marble allowed for a different kind of reflection than the reflecting pool would have offered. I love how the Capitol dome is just poking out from the edge of the Grant Memorial.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/250th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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After a rainy day (or night) in the Washington DC area, you can count on finding a lot of puddles in the National Mall. In grassy areas and things, I think that is expected, but this image was taken on the steps on the way down the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. There is a landing in the middle of the steps that almost always has a puddle. The questionable part is that sometimes it doesn’t even have to rain for there to be a puddle either. Regardless, this puddle is great for reflections.

The sunrise this day wasn’t the best. It was very blue with overcast skies. So to make it a little more interesting, I thought the puddle could create some interesting symmetry. I purposely left that gap in the middle so that you can see that this was not taken at the actual reflecting pool.

But on a side note, I got a new tripod! I received the new Peak Design tripod a little bit before the holidays. It’s been so much more convenient to carry this travel tripod around then my previous Gitzo tripod. I plan on doing a review on it soon so if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/160th sec and ISO 1600 and my Sony A7II and 16-36mm wide-angle lens.

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Thank you to my friend, Frithjov who told me about this location. He actually told me about it years ago and I have always kept it in the back of my mind to go and try to find some reflective puddles. But now that the fencing around the Washington Monument is down, I thought that Sunday was the perfect opportunity to go back and check it out. Also, I saw him while I was parking my car earlier in the morning which was probably another memory trigger to go back to the Sylvan Theater. LOL.

So after we were done capturing images at the Lincoln Memorial, Jarrett and I made our way over to the Washington Monument. It was such a beautiful morning with fast-moving clouds. I felt like I captured so many different images on our little walk but this one was probably my favorite. I love seeing the perfect circle the American flags created around the Washington Monument plus the tiny person even reflected a little in the puddle couldn’t be more ideal.

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/200th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Since the new year has started, I’ve been trying to go out with my camera as much as I can. I’m not sure what kicked my butt into high gear like this, but I’m grateful to live in a place where I can never get tired of exploring and documenting. In the past two weeks, I may have visited the Lincoln Memorial at least 5 times. Each time is different and I am still not tired of it.

But over the weekend, we had surprisingly beautiful weather. For the middle of January, I will take temps in the high 60s any day! So I was even more excited to be out with my camera. On Sunday morning, as I was walking towards the Lincoln Memorial, I got a text from my friend, Jarrett asking if I was out shooting. He had already been there for a while so he had already scoped out the scene. The rain we got Saturday evening left a huge puddle inside the Lincoln Memorial. After catching up a bit, Jarrett took me inside and my mind was blown by how clear and reflective the puddle was. I took a few shots and then had to ask Jarrett to step in for a few.

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/4th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Hump Dayyyyy

I feel like I’ve been traveling a lot in 2019 so far. And if there’s anything that I’ve learned in these recent travels, it is never put your camera away. I try my best to always keep my camera in hand for those ‘just in case’ moments. I’ve also found that sometimes if my camera is already in my backpack, I may feel a little lazy to take it out to try to capture a moment and end up regretting it. So as a rule, I try to always have my camera ready and available.

Another consequence of always having your camera available is that you start taking random selfies like this. LOL. or even this one…

I’m not always on the lookout for puddes but if I see one, I do like to see if there’s anything interesting in the reflection. This one was taken just around the corner of our hotel. It’s actually the very last image that I captured on the trip and thought it was cool to see the edges of the tall buildings around me. To add a little foreground interest, I included my shoes in the images and at the very last moment threw up a peace sign. Just something fun but ended up giggling when I saw it as I was looking through my images once I arrived home.

But trust me. This is definietly not the last image I have from Chicago. I have so many more that I’m excited to share. PS I’m starting to work on a Chicago photo guide so if you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to answer them in the guide.

Also excited for more travels in the next few months 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/100th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.