Sunset

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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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So the story behind these heads is that they were originally apart of a Williamsburg attraction called President’s Park. It started in the early 2000s and these busts were in an open-air museum type thing for people to pay to see. Unfortunately, people did not want to pay to see it so in 2010, the park closed and the heads were left to be trashed.

A man named Howard Hankins happened to help build the park but also did not want to see the busts go to waste. He bid and won them at an auction and ended up moving them to his property. I don’t think he had any real plans for them, he just didn’t want to see them destroyed. So they’re basically just sitting on his property and this is what they look like after sitting around for 9 years without any maintenance.

It’s pretty cool to see how decayed they are. I mean the details on some of these heads were incredible. I wanted to add an image here to give you a sense of scale and to sort of see how they are laid out. To the right of the image is my friend, Zack taking pictures of one of the presidents. You can see how an average height person comes to almost the shoulder of the presidents.

Most of them are lined up in rows like this. There were 3 long rows, a few shorter rows and even fewer that just stood out. Please don’t ask me to name all of them because I definitely can’t. LOL. But I was surprised to see President Clinton and both of the Bushs’.

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/320th sec and ISO 500 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 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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So this is what it looks like when you have a severe thunderstorm warning around sunset. I always think that this is the best time to take storm related pictures. The clouds are so dramatic but you never know what it’s going to exactly look like until you get out there. Sometimes the sun may peek through the clouds and create so interesting lights and shadows. Other times it is just plain drama. Either way, I love it.

This image was captured about 30 minutes before this one and I really like this point of view because you can see it all. The United States Capitol building, the dramatic clouds, and even the downpour of rain. Luckily, we didn’t get wet at all. Just in case though, we were standing on the grassy part of the Capitol grounds which had shelter right behind us in case it did start downpouring. I think it makes the adventure of taking pictures more exciting but makes for a cold ride home in dripping wet clothes.

This was also right after they turned on all the lights in the Capitol. I love the way it makes it look even spookier.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1000th sec and ISO 2000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle 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.