washington monument

All photos available for print and licensing >

It’s pretty well known by now that I’m an early bird. Even if I don’t go out to take sunrise pictures, I still like to get an early jump on the day. I hate being late to meetings and I hate feeling like I’m rushed. I’m a very go with the flow type person and would rather not worry about looking at the clock all the time.

But to be honest if I’m not out taking pictures early in the morning and it’s one of those lazy days where I don’t have much going on, I’m usually just taking my time eating breakfast with a face mask on. The last thing on my mind is exercising. LOL. But props to everyone who do wake up early in the morning to work out. It’s very unusual to be at the National Mall and not see a runner or someone on a bike. Even in below freezing weather you’ll see people! Good for them.

I honestly think that’s one of the best parts about Washington. I love seeing how active people are. It’s inspiring. Plus they can make for great subjects when no one else are around 🙂

I was standing on top of the Lincoln Memorial steps when I captured this. I just happened to run into my friend, Andy while out taking pics and we had stopped at the top of the steps to catch up. I saw the bicyclist coming from a pretty good distance so I lined up my composition and just waited for him to ride by. I was surprised to have captured the runner as well. I didn’t see her at all. Glad she was there for that little extra pop of color.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

So after all the color burned off, I was walking back to my car when I noticed that the Martin Luther King Jr memorial was looking especially glow-y. I kind of have this habit of not putting my camera away right away but it’s for moments like this. I thought I was done shooting for the morning but realized that the sun had risen enough that it was casting it’s early morning light on the memorial making it an orange-yellow color. I love when that happens. I tried several different angles but loved this one when I walked to the side to find the Washington Monument and the Martin Luther King Jr memorial lineup with each other. I intentionally photographed this making it look like the two memorials were touching.

In other news, it’s only Tuesday and I’m already looking forward to the weekend. Andrew and I will be visiting New York for a quick birthday getaway. His birthday, not mine. It seems like we take trips to New York several times a year but this year has been so crazy that this is going to be my first time all year. I love that city and really looking forward to just walking around, taking pics and eating delicious food. If you have any NYC recommendations, let me know! We always try to do different things each trip so any tips would be extremely helpful.

Andrew did say that we can go to B&H though. I can’t wait. For some reason I’ve never been but I always had the impression that they aren’t open on the weekends. Since we usually just go for the weekends I never even bothered. Turns out they’re just not opened on Saturdays, so guess what we’re doing Sunday 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/125th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

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.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Speaking of fog, Saturday was really foggy. There were times that you could not even see the Washington Monument it was so foggy. But at sunrise, the fog brought this beautiful glow to the city and it was amazing.

On this particular day, I parked on Ohio Dr. so coming from that side of the National Mall, I had my first glimpse of the US Capitol at the Reflecting Pool. I love how the dome is partially covered by the mist and lights. This was the very first shot I took and probably my favorite from the entire morning. I didn’t have my tripod with me so I sort of balanced my camera along the side of the reflecting pool and for this shot it worked well. Others, not so much. Another reason why this is my favorite shot. LOL.

So I have been getting questions about foggy mornings. Just like a colorful sunrise, they’re hard to predict. This particular morning I knew it was going to be foggy because the night before had been incredibly foggy and the weather apps said it was going to last all night. However, there have been times that I have been out and knew there was going to be fog without the weather apps saying so. I’ve realized that when I listen to the radio or a weather forecast and the meteorologist says, “warm front” then there’s a good chance for fog. It’s the combination of the warm air mixing with the cold that brings the foggy mornings and I love it. Foggy mornings like this is what makes photography so much fun. You just never know what you’re going to get.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.6 sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II with my 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

A recent find, one of the best views of the Washington DC skyline is in Anacostia! Thanks again to my friend, Austin who came up with the idea of photowalking around the Anacostia neighborhood. I would have never thought to visit Anacostia, but now I won’t even hesitate to go back. The neighborhood has so much history and character, but it is also changing too. Judging by all the construction happening, it could be the next cool hangout spot. So if you’re planning on going, definietly check out Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church to see the best view of the city. It’s outstanding!

From the parking lot, you have an amazing view of the US Capitol, other buildings and then this unrivaled view of the Washington Monument. I think it’s so cool to have been able to capture it with Nationals Park in the foreground. Such a different perspective of the city that I’m totally not used to. I bet the July 4th fireworks would be an amazing show to watch from here.

So after the photowalk was officially over, I offered my friend, Larry a ride back to his car. I live close to a metro that he usually parks at so I asked him if he needed a ride but we had to make a few stops first. The first stop was to the church to capture this image. Luckily, Larry was kind enough to let me use his 100-400mm lens. Like I’ve said before, the compression on these ultra zoom lenses are amazing. I’m always so impressed by them and this would not have come out the same if it weren’t for it. Second stop was to District Donut for their seasonal donuts 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and Larry’s 100-400mm lens