rolling thunder

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Another one from Rolling Thunder this year. Does this guy look cool or what?

If you can look behind him, you can see just the tip of the Lincoln Memorial. I purposely was standing by the memorial and in front of the turn arrow on the road to try to get some cool angles, then this guy rolled by. I think there must have been a stop because he just paused and looked right at me. I had to capture the moment.

But I also like how when you look beyond the obvious focal point of the image, you can see what it’s really like at Rolling Thunder. Just lines of people everywhere watching the motorcycles roll by. It’s a little crazy how many people are at this event year after year.

With this year being the last Rolling Thunder event (but hopefully not), I really wanted to try to create some meaningful images. I’ll definitely be sharing more as time goes on but I was thinking about creating some ‘timeless’ images. Meaning if people didn’t know this was taken in 2019, you would have never known if this was the first ever Rolling Thunder or any other year. I love how there are no cell phones in the image or anything dating this image. An image that you can go back to and reflect what it’s like being in Washington DC on Memorial Day weekend.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 200 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Rolling Thunder! A highlight of the weekend for sure! And I definitely wanted to make sure I attended this year because I heard that this is probably the last year they’re going to have Rolling Thunder. It’s such a shame. I can’t remember a Memorial Day without hearing hundreds of motorcycles roaring down the highway. So if it’s true, I wanted to make this last one count.

I keep saying, “if” because I’m hoping there can be some kind of agreement or something made because I can’t imagine MDW without them!

Either way, I had to be down at the National Mall to photograph them. This year, was so special. There were non-stop motorcycles flying by the Lincoln Memorial for 2 straight hours. It was insane how many people there were. One of my favorite things about Rolling Thunder is just the energy of everyone there. Everyone standing by was there to honor our veterans and it was amazing. The sun was super hot and I have no idea how any of these leather wearing guys did it. Even more props to them.

So I started the morning at 23rd Street and just started wandering around for 2 hours. This image was captured toward the end of the ride but I just loved how all of the motorcycles are lined up on the curve. I was standing along the Arlington Memorial Bridge looking down on Ohio Drive. I never imagined them riding around there but I think this turned out super cool.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/640th sec and ISO 320 with my  Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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On Monday night before I went to bed, I checked the weather like I always do. It called for fog in the morning so I set my alarm to wake up for sunrise. I didn’t have any real plans of where I was going to go, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere near water. So I figured the reflecting pool would be cool.

I walked around and nothing really was catching my attention so I made my way over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I figured with all the Memorial day festivities that it may be cool. I was wrong. It was freakin’ amazinggggg. I don’t know why I’ve never done it before.

There were so many flowers, notes, and just little tokens of appreciation to our veterans. I even saw cans of beer. It was one of the most touching displays of affection that I have seen in a very long time. I took the time out to read some of the notes that were left there and I just can’t even imagine what friends and family had to go through during this period of time. I can’t even imagine what the men and women who severed our country had to go through during this time either. I am so grateful for all of their sacrifices. If not for you, I would not have the beautiful life I have today. I have so much respect and gratitude to you, veterans. Veterans of then and veterans now. Thank you.

At the end of the wall were just a whole bunch of American flags. I loved the repetition and how they were reflecting in the memorial. I think the fog really helped to capture the mood too.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/200th of a second and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Happy Memorial Day! Living in the DC metro area my whole life, I’m used to the fact that there will be motorcycles everywhere for Memorial Day weekend. I’ve always observed them from afar.

But this year I decided I wanted to see what it was all about. Hundreds of thousands of men and women riding in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe.