Sunset

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The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. People from all around the world flock to the National Mall for the chance to see it in person. But who can blame them? It’s even more inspiring in person than it is in photographs. The centerpiece of the Washington DC skyline and the quintessential backdrop for cherry blossoms in the springtime and fireworks when it comes time to celebrate our independence. So if you are planning on visiting the Nation’s Capitol, here’s your guide to everything you need to know about visiting the Washington Monument:

washington monument, washington dc, sunset, evening, summer, american flags, nw, national park, national mall,

The Washington Monument at sunset

How to get there:

The Washington Monument is conveniently located in the heart of the National Mall.  There are several ways to get there but the official address is:

2 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20024

Click here to read more

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If you know me, you know I love a good rooftop. So when I got invited to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s rooftop, I was like “What?? They have a rooftop?”

Obviously I had to accept the invitation and see it for myself. I had no idea what to expect when I went to the museum. If I’m going to be 100% honest, it was actually my first time in that museum. I have been to EVERY other museum on the mall except for this one. I have no idea why I’ve never been, it’s just one of those things unexplainable things in life I guess.

So as soon as I stepped foot on the rooftop, I was amazed. It was perfect timing for a beautiful sunset and I couldn’t believe the view. I mean how cool is it to see the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture so close but at an elevated view? I love all the hard edges along with soft curves in this image. I would have never expected this. To the left was another very cool view of the Washington Monument.

Turns out, the American History museum just opened up the rooftop this past March for events. So if you’re getting married anytime soon, may I suggest this rooftop. It is STUNNING. #eventsatamericanhistory

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/40th second and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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So my favorite view from the Washington Monument was definitely facing west with views of the World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial. It may have been because we were there around sunset and obviously you want to be facing west, but it was the Reflecting Pool that kept on catching my eye. I couldn’t believe how still and peaceful the water looked. It literally looked like glass from above.

But out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an airplane flying by in the sky and you could see it in the reflecting pool. It was the coolest thing ever. Luckily, at that time of the night, there’s pretty much an airplane that flys by ever ten minutes. So I just waited a bit for another one to come and tried my best to capture it in the reflection.

I also love seeing all the traffic around the memorial and into Arlington, Virginia. GAH I love these elevated views. Can’t wait to go up in the Washington Monument again to capture some more!

If you have any questions about getting tickets or what it’s like up there, please feel free to let me know. I’m currently writing a guide that will explain the process.

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 at 1/30th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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After 3 years of repair work, the Washington Monument finally reopened. I was so excited to get back up there, I had only been once before – the last time it reopened. LOL.

So I heard a rumor that it was actually staying open until 9 pm the first week that it was opened. I had to jump on this opportunity as fast as I could because it will be difficult to get sunset views like that ever again. There’s a possibility that it could happen again in November when the sunset is closer to 5 pm (the regular closing time), but to be able to take my time and take images as I please, I wanted to get up there asap.

From now until October 15th, you will have to go in the morning to line up and get tickets at the Monument for the same day. After the 15th, it can be done online. But waking up early in the morning never stood in my way. I arrived around 6:45 am and I was about 20th in line. Luckily, you can request what time you want to go up and so I got it for 6:30 pm.

It was a cloudless day but the sun was still glowing all over the city. Obviously, I spent most of my time in the window facing east. I love this view of the WWII memorial with my long lens. It’s so interesting to see all the people and what they are doing… from above 🙂

My camera settings for this image are F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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A quick break from travel images for this one of the Washington Monument. Although it’s not the main subject of this image, I love the different perspective.

About a week before I left for Oregon, Washington was having some amazing sunsets. This was one of those evenings. I met up with my friend, Zack and we were running around the mall trying to find different perspectives to photograph the Monument and the sunset. We were about to cross the street when I noticed this ice cream truck parked alongside of the road. I thought I could find something where I could use the windows of the truck as a way to frame the Washington Monument or maybe even the front window as a reflection. So I yelled out to Zack, pointed to the ice cream truck and started shooting. He knew exactly what I was thinking. So we each grabbed our shots and was about to cross the street again when I noticed the screen on his camera. I asked him to hold it up one more time and captured this.

So we all that said, I thought this was an appropriate image to say Happy Grand ReOpening to the Washington Monument. Today is the day we’ve been waiting for so long in the DC area. I can’t wait to go back up to the Monument and capture it from the tallest structure in the city. To be honest, I may wait a little bit for the crowds to die down a bit but it’s on my to-do list for sure.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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I forgot to mention on the blog that my girlfriends and I were going to go to Austin, Texas. As you may know, I went for the first time earlier this year to help my friend, Sue move. She’s all moved in and invited my friends and me to come visit her for a fun girls’ weekend in the south. I had a blast!

But since it was a girls’ weekend, I decided to just keep it simple and only bring my camera. That’s it. Meaning, I didn’t bring my drone, tripod, GoPro or anything like that. I just had my camera and two lenses and to be honest, walking through the airport with such little equipment/baggage felt so nice. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled so light.

The first two nights we spent at the Wyndham in downtown Austin and one of the best parts of the room was the outdoor patio. This image was from our first sunset. We were hanging out by the pool when I saw the clouds and color start to come in. So I quickly ran to the elevator to go back to our room and tried to capture it all from an above level perspective. I love this view and thought the buildings were all so different and interesting.

I had a blast in Austin and looking forward to sharing more images from our trip.

My camera settings for this image are F22 at 0.6 sec and ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.