white house

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Out of all the beautiful buildings in Washington DC, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is one of my favorites. It’s located right next to the White House so it is not difficult to find but I always find myself trying to capture it whenever I’m close by.

This image was taken around 7:30a on a Friday morning. Right around the time people are commuting to work. I met up with my friend, Birch with intentions of capturing stride bys but wanted to get a lower perspective of the scene. So we sat down on the curb across from the building and just waited for people to walk by.

Right in front of the White House, Eisenhower Executive Building and Treasury Department, along Pennsylvania Ave, the section of the road is closed. It’s only for pedestrians so it is a great open space to just people watch. I found this man to be particularly interesting just because hit fit the mold. The busy business man or government official on his phone with so many things to finish up before the work week ended. He had no idea Birch and I were across the street, just observing and talking about different skin care routines. LOL.

I also really like how the only colors in this image are from the trees that are framing the building and this man. I think the little pops of green really help to complete this image.

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 1/80th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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When people think about Washington DC, one of the first things that come to mind is the White House. But for some reason, it’s never a real go to spot for me to go capture images. There are several reasons for this regardless of who’s residing in the house.

  1. The White House is located in a spot where it’s not great at either sunrise or sunset. The only way to get a really nice sky in the background is if you are lucky with one of those days where the color takes over the whole sky. Those days are so hard to predict that it’s just easier to be closer to one of the monuments as opposed to the White House.
  2. The security around the White House keeps getting increasingly stricter. Since I first started out in photography, you could actually get pretty close to the gate and no one would say anything. Now, you have to be a least across the street. With all the tourists all cramped up in one little sidewalk, it’s so difficult to get a great shot.
  3. If you are want to take your White House shot, try to bring the biggest zoom you can. It will be the only way you can get a close up shot without a lot of people in your image. This image was taken with my 70-200mm at 93mm.

This image also happens to be an image I took just for my book, Snap DC and had never been published before. I definietly remember the day I took this because I remember I parked my car, walked all the way to the White House, and then realized I left my camera in the car. OMG how does that even happen? I swear, only me.

So if you’re interested in more Washington DC photo tips like this, check out Snap DC on Amazon. Just remember to bring your camera with you 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom.

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You know how I always say that the Enid A Haupt garden is my favorite place to see Magnolia trees in Washington DC? Well, I know my second favorite place now. It’s Rawlins Park located in Foggy Bottom and pretty close to the White House. It was my first time visiting this park but I drive past it all the time. I never really paid any attention to it until my friend, Zack told me about it. Holy cow, how long have I been missing out on this magical place? I love how the whole park is lined with Magnolia trees.

So on a very grey morning, my friend, Laurie and I went to photograph the park. It’s not very big so we managed to walk around and captured it all within 20 minutes or so. The park has been really blossoming so tons of other photographers in the area have been shooting it too. In order to find a unique perspective, I just stuck to what I knew. Get low and always look behind you. I love the leading lines the park bench create to look down the row of benches and even the arches the the Magnolia trees create. The fun added bonus was that there were these random ducks just walking around. HAHA. This little guy had an injured foot unfortunately. I really wished there was something I could have done to help him.

So Enid A Haupt is my favorite just because they have so many more trees but Rawlins Park is just as beautiful but a little bit smaller. To be honest though, there will probably be less people wondering around at Rawlins Park than Enid A Haupt.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/20th of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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The White House is by far the most difficult landmark to photograph in Washington DC. It’s also the reason why I don’t have many images of it on my site. And in the past couple of years it’s gotten even harder. There have been so many restrictions on where you can walk around or even stand. Its kinda crazy compared to what it used to be.

Thankfully, my friend Christa has the hook up at her job and we were able to go to her work’s rooftop and capture it from there. But even there it was still a little sketchy. She let me know that we may get warnings from the White House just for having our tripods out… on the rooftop… a block away. But in the end, we had no troubles. Thank you Secret Service!

For this image, I used my 70-200mm lens to capture it all. It was the only lens I had on this whole rooftop adventure. I just love the way it compressed all the layers and what’s even more shocking is all the great details you can in the buildings in the very back. That’s Rosslyn, VA in case you were wondering. *shock face emoji* LOL.

What’s even better is that there are 5 american flags in this image. Can you find them all? The last two may be a little more difficult to find but I love seeing little surprises like that.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-20mm zoom lens. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to create a stop motion effect with the American flag in the foreground so that is why my ISO is so high. The sun was setting and the light was already pretty dark. It had to be a real quick shutter.

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One of the coolest things ever happened last week. I got to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Living in the Washington DC area my whole life, I’ve always wanted to do something like this. The White House hosts some pretty cool events throughout the year and I’ve always admired them from the tv screen. Shout out to my friend, Albert for inviting me to the event. We had great seats and enjoyed all the singing, dancing and obviously the Christmas Tree lighting. My favorite part? Seeing Dean Cain in person. OMG I loved him in Lois and Clark when I was younger. Hottie hasn’t changed one bit 😉

The whole event was being recorded for the Hallmark Channel so it was really cool to witness all the behind the scene productions. One thing I learned, they’re really sensitive about people walking in front of the teleprompter. Long story but a quick tip: go to the bathroom before TV filming begins. HAHAHA. But I loved how there was so much emphasis on preserving all the national parks since it was filmed in President’s Park and remembering those who can’t be with us during the holiday season, specifically those serving our country. The Beach Boys were awesome and a group of young boys called, “Boys II Bowties” were the cutest. I had so much fun!

The Hallmark special airs tonight. So if you see me, LET ME KNOW! We had pretty good seats and I did see the camera pointed in my direction a couple of times. I’m wearing a light grey coat with a green sweater underneath LOL. How cool would it be to see me on TV? (next to Dean Cain)

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/30th of a second ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.