sunrise

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When I went to bed the night before, I wasn’t expecting much out of the sunrise. The weather apps said it was going to be cloudy, and so I just thought it was going to be a grey day. Luckily, I was meeting up with friends who came up with the great idea of capturing the sunrise from Freedom Plaza at sunrise. Having that accountability of meeting with people was definitely the motivation to get out of bed.

As I was driving into the city I saw very faint hints of pink and it got me excited. I immediately parked the car, grabbed my tripod and got to this beautiful spot along Pennsylvania Avenue as fast as I could. There wasn’t a lot of traffic going on so I thought for this image I would try to crop the street a bit and focus mainly on the sky. I really like how the street lights are acting as lines towards the US Capitol.

My camera settings for this image are F8 at 1/30th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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This past weekend I am glad I was able to go out and capture the super snow moon at sunrise (moonset) with my friend Zack and a few others. Zack picked a great location at the Tidal Basin so that we can see the moon with the Rosslyn, Virginia skyline. To my surprise, we had a great view of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial as well.

A clear sky made for a great showing of the moon but I love how you can see some of that early morning sunrise glow on the buildings to make them shine a bit. I’m not going to lie though, even with all that sun shining down on us, it was cold. Like, wear 3 pairs of pants cold. But it was worth it because I had a great time with my friends.

Here’s another view of the moon when it was a little bit higher in the sky. I was looking for an interesting foreground so I used my friend, Andy to sort of give a little context as to what it was like seeing it in person.

washington dc, rosslyn virginia, va, arlington, virginia, moonset, snow moon, supermoon, sunrise, tidal basin

The snow moon setting over Rosslyn, VA as seen from Washington DC

My camera settings for the Rosslyn image are F9 at 1.320th sec and ISO 500. The camera settings for Andy’s image are F9 at 1/16th sec and ISO 640. Both captured with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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It looks like a warm summer day, right? No, it was 30 degrees out but a cloudless morning with a bright yellow sun that made the whole city glow for a little while. I was just at the right place at the right time to capture the glow. I love how it almost looks like the street lamps could be giving off the light as well.

On this particular morning, I met up with my friend, Larry who was already standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t worry though, there’s a bike lane in the middle of the street and we were standing somewhere that was very safe from traffic. Plus it was a Saturday morning was there wasn’t even any traffic. LOL.

We were trying to capture the sunrise but the cloudless sky didn’t really make for the dramatic colors he was looking for. So we started to walk around to see if we could capture the sun from a new perspective. As soon as we stepped back onto the sidewalk, I captured this. I just love how everything is lined up so nicely, leading your eye straight to the US Capitol.

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom 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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Man, I take a lot of pictures at the Lincoln Memorial. LOL. It’s hard not to though. Especially with the US Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial currently under construction, it sort of limits the monuments and memorials to go to in the National Mall.

However, this image was taken as I was leaving the memorial parks and headed back to my car. I noticed how great the columns looked and loved even more that there were two people peaking their heads out trying to capture the early morning sky with their own cameras.

I think this day was unusual though. It was still very early in the morning and all of a sudden a busload of tourists came walking in. They usually don’t get there that early so I think that may have been one reason why I left so early. That and the fact that it was 20 degrees out. 20 DEGREES! I was wearing so many layers of clothing that you probably heard me swishing back to my car. But the sky that morning made it all worth it!

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Sunday was a busy photography day for me because not only did I capture the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, but I also went out and photographed the sunrise earlier in the day. I met up with some other photo friends at the Washington Monument. The sunrise itself wasn’t the best, but when the sun finally peaked over the horizon, it made the city glow.

At first, it was the reflection in the reflecting pool that attracted me to this scene. I just love how even from so far away, you can see the columns so clearly. But then looking at the little details of this image is what really makes me so happy. I love seeing all the people standing at the edge of the pool. They look so little compared to the enormous memorial. And while I was framing this image in my camera, I did notice the birds fly by so I’m glad I was able to capture them in the frame. They add a bit more interest to the top of the image that I like. But my favorite part is that if you zoom into this image, you can still see the Lincoln statue so clearly inside the memorial! So cool if you ask me!

My camera settings for this image are F4 at 1/1250th second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.