washington-DC

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If you’re in the Washington DC area and you have no plans this weekend, definitely go check out the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and they are projecting a life-size version of the Apollo 11 lunar spacecraft. It’s been going on every day since Tuesday at 9:30 pm but if you go on Friday or Saturday at 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, or 11:30 pm, they will have a 17-minute presentation of what it was like when the spacecraft took off.

I hope to be there Friday but trust me when I say this is way cooler in person. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything projected on the Washington Monument like that and it’s just a great time sitting on the national mall and watching it go.

I captured this image on the first night of the projection on Tuesday evening. We sat right by 15th street and I don’t think a lot of people on the street knew what was going on. There were so many pedestrians, scooter riders and car drivers who just stopped in the middle of the road. At one point the police had to even come, turn on their lights to clear everyone out. So I thought I’d take advantage of the foreground and really show what it’s like being there. It sort of reminds me of Stranger Things, right? LOL

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 3.2 sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens

 

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These summer storms have been getting intense. And it seems like they’re happening almost every day, right?

I’m so happy I was able to get out and photograph the skies in between some downpours in order to get this shot. It had been a while since I’ve been to the Tidal Basin so I completely forgot that the Jefferson Memorial is now under scaffolding. Hopefully, it won’t last too long because it’s just to clean the top of the dome, but with Washington DC, who knows.

To quote my friend, Larry “DC means doing construction” LOL.

Like I said, this was photographed in the middle of some downpours. I was there just around sunset when I noticed the rainbow so I immediately had to pull over. All of a sudden, the second rainbow out of the top of the Jefferson Memorial showed up. I was so excited. I was standing on Kutz Bridge in order to capture this and I even heard cars driving past and people going “Ouuu double rainbow”. LOL.

Hopefully, there will be some more storms in the future and I’ll be able to capture some lightning strikes. Those are always so exciting to capture.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/20th sec and ISO 100 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Sunrise has been pretty rough these days. A 4 am wake-up alarm is not my ideal time to be woken up, especially in the summertime but sometimes it’s necessary. Like last week when I finally made my way to the Lincoln Memorial for sunrise after what seemed like forever. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but the early morning glow was what made it all worth it.

I met up with my friend, Birch who I haven’t seen in what feels like even longer than my last Lincoln Memorial photo walk. We mostly caught up with life while chasing the light around the reflecting pool. This image was taken from the Lincoln Memorial looking towards the National Mall. We were kinda standing around with cameras in hand when this guy on the bike just showed up. The perfect silhouette to the Monument.

The scene itself seemed a little off balance with most of the interesting elements on the left-hand side, so I solved it by cutting off the right-hand side with a column from the Lincoln Memorial. I love how it framed all the necessary elements of the image but also created some interesting layers.

BTW, when is the Washington Monument finally going to open? I’m ready to go back!

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/5000 and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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From the top of Altaire’s rooftop in Crystal City, Virginia is one of the best views of the Washington DC memorials I had ever seen. It’s rare to get such an elevated, unobstructed view. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it took my breath away.

This image was taken as the sunset was starting to burn. I totally wasn’t expecting it because I didn’t think the clouds looked like the right “sunset clouds” but it was definitely a welcomed surprise! So I quickly tried to set up my shot while looking at the United States Air Force Memorial. It wasn’t quite working out since I had focused mainly on the memorial and the beautiful red sky wasn’t showing in the image. So I took a few steps back so I could at least get a little bit of the color. I loved the way this turned out. I love how the red in the sky matches the red in the back brake lights of the cars. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would make the exposure just a  little bit longer so the cars in the foreground were a little bit more blurred but I think that’s just me being nitpicky. Other than that, I think this turned out to be very cool.

Gotta love those summer sunsets 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 0.3 sec and ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 100-400mm

 

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I love how the city gets so patriotic during the 4th of July. Anywhere you walk you can see flags everywhere. But the Willard InterContinental on Pennsylvania Avenue always sticks out in my mind as being one of my favorites. I’ve noticed that every year they will hang American flags outside each of the hotel windows and it just looks so cool from afar.

But for some reason or another, I’ve tried so hard to capture these flags but couldn’t get an image I was happy with. I may have first noticed them 3 years ago. I even tried photographing them last year and said: “Oh well, next year”. But this year was going to be the year.

I had an image in my head of what I wanted to capture ahead of time and I knew I was going to take my time around this building to make sure I got it. Although when I arrived some of the flags were twisted around the pole, this is pretty much what I had in my mind. I love how the white building is the perfect contrast to the flags. But it’s all the horizontal lines and repetition that really gets me. If I ever had a big office building, I’d want to do the same thing.

To be 100% honest though, I’ve been so busy with photographing things for other people and projects that it’s been a while since I had gone out to shoot just for myself. I went out for a little photo-therapy and it felt great. I’ve realized it something that I need to make a priority to do at least once a week, even when its one of those super busy weeks where it seems like I don’t have time. I can’t let it slip anymore.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

 

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Happy Independence Day and Happy Birthday America!

And #tbt to my favorite firework image I captured last year. Actually, it’s probably my favorite firework image I’ve ever created just because I’ve never seen anything like it. I love how everything is just so symmetrical. I was lucky to be able to squeeze my way to the front of the reflecting pool to capture this image.

Unfortunately, there may not be a view like this for a while since the firework location has changed this year. So if you’d like to see my tips and tricks on how to capture the fireworks and suggestions as to the best spot to capture them in Washington DC today, check out my guide here.

I’ll be out photographing the show this year, unless we get another one of those evening storms that we’ve been getting so much lately. Fingers crossed the weather works out.

My camera settings for this image is 5.6 at 1/10th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

Hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July 🙂