US capitol

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On a cold, cloudless morning I found myself walking around the US Capitol. I didn’t really have any ideas of what I wanted to capture, I was sort of letting the light guide me. Well, it took me right to the front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It’s not a surprise to see a lot of birds or ducks wading in the pool. It’s also not a surprise to see the water a little choppy. But what really drew me to capturing the scene was the amazing orange glow that was coming from the Washington Monument from the early morning sun and reflecting in the water.

I love it. I love how the early morning colors sort of look like a pastel painting towards the top of the pool. I love how the birds are breaking up the abstractness but also all lined up in a row. But I also love the mystery of that orange line, directly in the middle of the image. Something about it really draws me in.

In other news, tomorrow morning I’ll be hopping on a flight to Las Vegas for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to it since I have so many memories of the city. When I was young, my mom and I would go every year to visit my aunt and her family. I used to love going to Circus Circus and play all the games but the best was escaping the Vegas heat and sliding down water slides with my cousins at Wet n Wild. This weekend will be fun because it’s for a family wedding and it will be such a mini family reunion. Looking forward to seeing my family and hopefully being able to sneak away for a little bit and take some pics 🙂

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/1600 sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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Last week was pretty epic. Not only did we have one of the coldest days of winter that we’ve had this entire season but it was also the super blood wolf moon eclipse moon turn red night too. I made up that long title but you know what I mean. Everything about last Sunday was intense.

I got a lot of messages asking if I photographed it and I’m sad to say I did not. I thought I would give moon rise a go and see how that went. If it wasn’t too bad I may have set my alarm to photograph the actual eclipse, but I just couldn’t. The moonrise was so cold and windy, I can still feel the wind blowing on my back. Coming from the California sun to highs of 15 degrees, my body was not ready for it.

So I spent the early evening with my friend, Birch chasing the moon rise. We used the app, photopills to help guide us where to go and ended up at the US Capitol. Once we saw it, we were both so excited. It was so big and beautiful. If you were out that night, you would have found us up and down Maryland Ave, basically screaming at each other through the wind saying how beautiful it was. LOL. I know cars driving past us most of thought we were crazy. LOL whatevs.

I finally came upon this closer to 3rd street. I love the way the moonlight is playing the street lamps. Even the lights lining the balcony on the US Capitol is very interesting for me to look at. If only that one street lamp on the left was on 🙁

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/160th sec with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Taken at the same time as this image, I was really excited how this one turned out. It’s just the opposite side of the wall of the previous image with the sort of the same idea of a vanishing point. I love how everything lined up with this image. Even this guy’s outfit fits the scene so well with the little details of color in his backpack. I love how it’s all in the same color family with the street signs.

I think with these two images, I just got lucky with people who were passing by at the right time that just happen to match the scene. At times I have waited 5 to 10 minutes with the composition already in my mind for people to walk by who I thought would work for the image. If someone doesn’t come by in that time frame, I usually get impatient and walk away. So going to a place with a lot of people walking around is key but also having patience is a huge factor in taking these street images. This one happened instantly. There wasn’t much waiting at all for either image and I was so happy with the way they turned out.

I captured this image around the holidays and I was telling my friend, Birch that this image would have been perfect if a Santa was ringing his bell as he was walking down this sidewalk. One day we should make that happen. LOL. Anyone have a Santa Claus outfit? If so, we really need to get together soon.

Side note: I heard a really nice Santa costume is $5,000! That’s nuts! I can’t even imagine the dry cleaning cost after the season is over.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2019! WOW. Not to total ignore 2019 but everytime I think 2019, I can’t help but think 2020 is just around the corner and that is just bananas to me. Like can you imagine people saying that they were born in 2020? The number is just crazy to me. P.S. Where are the flying cars at?

Anyways…

Much like my top travel images of 2018, I like to reminisce and look back on my favorite images from Washington DC from the past year. It makes me feel so fortunate to live in the Nation’s Capital. I love being able to hop in my car and within minutes be among some of the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the world. I feel extremely blessed and look forward to another year of capturing more images.

Click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. In no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite images of 2018.

fog, tidal basin, winter, weather, umbrella, stranger, candid, washington dc, national mall, moody, cherry blossom trees, trunk, photowalk,

This day was definietly a highlight of the winter season. I remember we had some crazy foggy mornings but on this particular day, the fog happened in the middle of the day. Oh yea, it was raining too. Luckily, it was on a Sunday and I didn’t have much else going on. So what better way than to walk around the National Mall than with my friend, Birch. I still love how everything lines up in this image, even the little reflection you see in the puddle behind the lady is so interesting to see.

Click here to read more

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Shout out to Oregon for this year’s US Capitol Christmas tree! It’s stunning!

This isn’t my first time capturing the US Capitol Christmas tree but as I was capturing it this year, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it is. Maybe I’m just older and feel like I appreciate the holidays more or something but I really enjoyed just walking around and finding the different angles.

A few weeks ago, I woke up for sunrise and made my way over to the US Capitol. I started off at the usual reflecting pool spot but saw a few other photographers there. For some reason something clicked in my head that I didn’t want to stay there and figured it would be better if I walked around a bit. I made my way all around the front of the Capitol. I was trying to find different angles but for some reason the tree itself was blocked off. I couldn’t get down to the grass where the tree was. The US Capitol police must block it off sometime in the middle of the night because I know I’ve been close to the tree before. Weird…

But I love the way this turned out. Mostly because I like the way the branches are just sticking out. I don’t know, I find it cute and it makes me smile. Hope this image makes you smile and brings you a little holiday cheer today. Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate. Wishing you all the best this holiday season.

I’ll be with family all day today and most looking forward to watching all my nieces and nephews open their christmas presents. It’s the best watching them so happy 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/640th sec at ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Attention! Attention! I have a new sunset spot that I need to share. It’s very similar to the view at this one, but at least this time you’ll be able to go whenever you want and won’t be trespassing on residential property. LOL.

Its at the Observation Deck at the CEB Tower in Arlington, VA. If you haven’t already you gotta go! I honestly don’t know what took me so long because it opened in the summertime and earlier this week was my first time visiting. You can walk 360 degrees all around the 31st floor of this building which gives you very interesting viewpoints of Rosslyn, VA and Washington, DC. It’s absolutely stunning! The one downside is that you’re always shooting through windows.

This image was captured right before sunset through the window. The glow on the memorials is what caught my attention to this scene and I couldn’t help but snap multiple images. My tip is to put your lens right up against the glass to reduce glare. If you have a dark black cloth that you can put over the lens, that’s even better! In order to capture this, I actually used my cell phone as a shield against the little spot that was being reflected. It was enough for the day but in case you’re there on a super sunny day, a cloth would be best.

But I haven’t told you the best part yet! The best part is that you can go up to the second floor of this observatory and go outside! You’re still shooting through glass but it’s even better with the fresh air. There are little spaces in between the glass panes that you can sort of fit your lens through but otherwise, it’s an interesting place to experiment.

My camera setting for this image is F5.6 at 1/100th sec at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.