washington-DC

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If you’re like me and drive on 66 past the Kennedy Center, you must have been wondering what they are building there? I feel like there have been a massive hole and cranes by the Kennedy Center for at least 2 years now, but never knew what it was.

I finally got my answer a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to visit the Reach at the Kennedy Center. I was so excited to hear that it’s an extension of the Kennedy Center that’s all about interaction and inspiring art. To be honest, it’s way cooler than I thought it would be.

Set to open this weekend, we got invited while the building was still getting its final touches. So despite the construction that was going on, I was still awestruck by the beauty. I loved how simple and clean the lines of the building were. It’s very minimalistic but with beautiful details just like the Kennedy Center.

Besides the architecture and beauty of the building, my favorite part was when we stumbled upon a class of dancers practicing ballet. If I remember correctly, these young adults were from New York and were there for a performance. I loved being able to peek at them from a window above. What an inspiring place for art.

Since I couldn’t decide which were my favorite images, I decided to include a couple more. I hope you enjoy and get a chance to visit the Reach this weekend!

My camera settings for the first image is F4 at 1/1250sec and ISO 640 and my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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So I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to post this image. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate but it’s such a cool shot! LOL.

I captured this image the same night I was out with my friend, Zack storm chasing. We actually started off the night at the Lincoln Memorial, figured the storm was moving in a direction that it would look cool at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial and then eventually ended at the Washington Memorial. I didn’t expect the lightning so I didn’t have my tripod so to capture this, I was using the flower beds in the middle of the walk area as my support. But it’s so funny because this was the first shot that both Zack and I took at this location and we both caught the same lightning strike with the same point of view. LOL.

I blame the low hanging clouds. The clouds were hanging so low and heavy that there weren’t that many huge strikes that evening. If there was, they seemed to crawl horizontally across the sky. And since I was using the flower beds as support, I couldn’t fully see my composition so it was a happy surprise to see the leaves on top of the image. I think it frames everything so well.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/13th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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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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Since I’ve been out photographing the sunset and night so much, I found myself craving a morning in Washington DC. There’s something about the early mornings where it’s so quiet and peaceful, you really get to appreciate the city that you live in. Or at least, that’s how I feel.

So one morning I found myself by the US Capitol and in an effort to photograph something different, I spent a lot of time around the Library of Congress. I’ve mentioned many times before how the Library is my favorite interior in the entire city, but the exterior is beautiful all on its own. This particular composition struck me because of all the layers. I love how the staircases divide the image but I also love the little splashes of green. Everything is just lined up so nicely in this image. The best part is that the city is such a healthy city, that it doesn’t take a long time to wait for a runner to run by your shot 🙂

PS I love how if you peek through the windows on top of this image, you can kinda see what it looks like on the inside. LOL Can you tell I was proud of myself when I captured this? HAHA

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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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’m not sure when I started to become a sunset/night photographer but it just sort of started happening naturally. The summer days have been rough to wake up for sunrise but to be honest, the sunsets have been looking way better than sunrise anyways. Sunset around Washington DC has it’s own interesting challenges like parking and dealing with the crowds of people but the more I get out there, the more I’m appreciating the sunset glow more and more.

But this image came by accident. I was out with Zack (again, on a different night) to photograph the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. The sunset wasn’t really what we expected so we waited a bit longer for blue hour to try to capture the monuments at night. Then when I was about to say bye to Zack and walk back to my car, I saw a lightning bolt out of the corner of my eye.

OMG change of plans. I did not end up going back to my car, quickly texted Andrew that I was going to be home later than I expected and both Zack and I started looking at weather apps to see where the storm was headed. We made a game plan to try to capture it by the Tidal Basin and then as the storm moved forward we were going to try to capture it with the Washington Monument. It ended up being a super exciting night of storm chasing but the only problem was that I left my tripod in my car! Argh! Capturing lightning is significantly easier with a tripod and remote.

So I had to improvise. In order to capture this, I was basically just sitting on the ground hoping to get something. I was so lucky. But I also LOVE how the street lights are red. It’s sort of like a warning to not pass in case of lightning.

My camera settings for this image is f4 at 1/15th sec and ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 wide-angle lens.