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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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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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Home from Vegas and I had the time of my life. Is it me or even if you’re not up all night partying and drinking, it’s still an exhausting place to be. LOL. There’s just so much to do and see that the sensory stimulation is on overdrive 24/7. Whatever the case is, I had a blast over the weekend. Like I said before, I was there for a wedding in the family and so most of my weekend was spent with them but I did manage to slip out for some time on my own and check out some of the sights that I’ve always wanted to go to.

For example, the Neon Museum. Talk about a cool place to visit! The best part was the short art talk provided by the museum as we walked around the grounds, they explained some of the more popular signs that are there. One interesting thing that I never thought about was the fact that Las Vegas is known for these neon signs, but they’re quickly becoming extinct as casinos and hotels are opting for LED signage. So this museum only has the potential to grow so much.

I think the next time I visit, I’ll go at night. Even though it was still cool to see in the daytime, I’m sure the night time experience would be so different. I heard that a lot of the signs actually light up. Unfortunately with all the activities already preplanned, I was only able to go during the day. This image is a selfie I managed to capture through a neon sign. I really like the way that it turned out and totally show off the “behind the scenes” of what it’s really like there.

My camera settings for this image is F14 at 1/80th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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About two weeks ago, I visited Glenstone Museum again. My second time visiting but just as great as the first. This time however, I was really hoping to see Split Rocker in full bloom, which he was and it made me so happy. I circled him about 3 times while smiling before we had to go on with the tour. It’s crazy to see such a huge statute full of flowers. Props to Jeff Koons.

But I think my unexpected favorite was the Richard Serra piece called Sylvester. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much, but as you circle to the inside, you get all these amazing variations of sunlight and shadows. Also the way that the piece divides the sky is very cool too. I bet it’d look amazing during a really puffy, cloudy day or even a nice sunrise/sunset.

And it’s actually much bigger than you think it is but doesn’t take much effort to walk through, if that makes sense? Once you’re totally inside, the acoustics in the center are totally amazing. You can totally feel your voice echo inside you. Kinda surreal. But I can also see how it’d be distracting if you were trying to hold a real conversation.

So walking out, I noticed this form. Again it was the shadows and the lines that really drew me into this scene. The sun flare from the lens was an added bonus that adds a little bit more interest into this piece. I don’t know, abstracts like this isn’t something I usually photograph or post. What do you think of it?

If you ever want to have a unique museum experience, make sure to book a tour at Glenstone. It’s privately owned so you have to have a reservation but it’s completely free. Totally worth it, especially if it’s a really nice day and you can enjoy the outdoor sculptures.

My settings for this image was F/9 at 1/160th of a second at ISO 200.