A little Cherry Blossom throwback never hurt anyone, right?
I remember exactly when I captured this image. It was at the end of March and still cold out. I met up with my friend, Larry to try to photograph some of the really early cherry blossom blooms but also ask him tips about Texas. It was right before I left for my road trip to Austin so who better to ask for advice than a Texan, right? He was the best person to ask because he gave me a few places to photograph but mostly told me all about the great Texas barbeque and tacos. OMG, I still think about the tacos.
Back to the Cherry Blossoms- At this time there were a few branches with a few flowers out. It was kind of a struggle just to find these. As I said, we were still really early for peak bloom but it was great to scout out the compositions a little bit.
Luckily at the end of it all, I was able to get back from the trip right in time for the cherry blossoms peak season. To be honest, my friend Sue gave me a window to time to go on this road trip so I sort of planned it all around the flowers. I’m glad it all worked out. As soon as I got back, I hit the ground running. I probably woke up for Cherry Blossoms for 10 days straight. The 2019 season was an amazing year for the blossoms.
My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO
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
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.
I got another roll of film developed! It’s always so exciting to get your rolls of film back, don’t you think? For some reason, I always forget most of the images I photograph so getting to see the images is so fun. Tell me why I had images of snow and cherry blossoms on the same roll! LOL. I don’t always procrastinate on stuff, but I guess capturing images on film is one of those things that I think can wait.
So here are just a few of my favorite images I received. The one above is of the Smithsonian Castle captured from the steps of the Hirshhorn Museum. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how the Washington Monument can be seen from this point of view. I loved all the layering and points.
It’s like spring all over again. Looking up at the cherry blossom at the Tidal Basin.
Classic view of the cherry blossoms with the Washington Monument in the frame.
A selfie in the “Mirror. Mirror” art display in Alexandria’s Waterfront Park in Virginia. This is very cool to see in person and would recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. Luckily, I was there when no one else was so I was able to get this solo self-portrait.
Obviously, these are a little out of order but it’s just so weird seeing this snow image with all the others. I love this view from the View of DC. So obviously I had to go check it out when the city was covered in snow. I think this image turned out pretty well considering it was photographed through a window.
If you’re looking for the best spots to watch and photograph the sun setting in Washington DC, you’ve come to the right place.
The National Mall can get crowded, overwhelming and confusing. I’m here to help you navigate the park so you can get your best shots quickly and efficiently.
I’ve lived in the area my whole life and been photographing the National Mall for over 8 years. I’ve pretty much been to every one of these places at least 20 times. So here’s my complete list of the best to watch the sunset in Washington DC:
But First, Here’s What You Need to Get Ready for Your Sunset Shoot
Because of the number of people that visit the National Mall every day, sunset is a little more difficult to navigate than sunrise. There are far more people, we’re talking busloads of people, so be prepared. That means if this is your first time in Washington DC, I’d highly suggest public transportation either by metro, Lyft or even an electric scooter! All are very convenient ways to get you around the Nation’s Capital.
Also with the number of people, I’d even say try to get to your sunset location earlier than you think you should. Who knows what kind of hang-ups you could possibly run into. If it were a cold winter day, I say you could get by with going 30 minutes early. On a beautiful summer day, I’d go as far as saying an hour before sunset would not be a bad idea.
And my number one most asked question, are tripods allowed? For the most part, yes, but you may run into some complications. If you’re in a densely crowded area like World War II Memorial or Lincoln Memorial, you will probably be asked to take it down immediately by Park Police. They can be a walking hazard and just get in the way of people. But if you’re in a more spread out area like the Washington Monument grounds or even the Tidal Basin, there is a little more elbow room so you could get away with it.
The United States Capitol is unique because it’s technically not a part of the National Mall. The last time I spoke to Capitol police they said tripods are allowed. Since then, other photographer friends have told me that the Capitol police asked them to take down their tripods. So I’m still pretty if-y if they are actually allowed. I tend to just bring my tripod to the Capitol and if I’m asked to put it away, I do so politely.
Now on to The Top 5 Sunset Locations in Washington DC:
The Washington Monument is Always a Good Idea
The Washington Monument is so iconically Washington DC and the tallest structure in the city. So because of that, there is no best time to photograph it. It can be seen from so many different vantage points around the city that the possibilities are endless. However, if you catch it at the right time, it can glow orange. It’s absolutely amazing if you see it.
In order to capture the glow, I’d recommend getting to your sunset location early and face east towards the Monument. I would suggest standing either in front of the World War II memorial or along the grassy area in front of the west side of the monument and maybe 30-40 minutes ahead of sunset will work. I think the closer you are to the monument the better the imagery. But the key is to be patient. The way that the sun reflects off of clouds and on to the monument to glow doesn’t happen every day but if you see it, it will make your travel images very unique.
We’ve been having a lot of stormy weather lately in the Washington DC area. It seems like almost every day I’ve been getting warnings on my phone about rain or thunderstorms. I’m not complaining though because it feels great to break up some of the hot, humid summer days. But with all these rainy days, I’m always thinking about the water levels at the Tidal Basin and how bad the flood walls need to be repaired.
Even though I took this image last summer, it reminds me of what it’s probably been like at the Tidal Basin right now. It’s pretty ridiculous to see how much the Tidal Basin gets flooded, even on a day that doesn’t rain that much. To be honest, this particular day was the worst I’ve ever seen it. The sidewalks are flooded and it has become un-walkable. At some point, I had to walk up the slight hill, up to the sidewalk in order to get around trees and the flooding in order to walk along the Tidal Basin. It’s crazy!