Lost In A Good Book

Took this photo on the back of the Lincoln Memorial. Not a part that most people wander back to but I saw a lot of locals back there enjoying the view of the river.

Most people that visit the Lincoln Memorial only go into the main area where the statue of Lincoln is. There is a whole museum in the basement of the building. You can also walk all the way around it if you are inclined. You get different views as you walk around. As the light changes the shadows from the columns changes. It makes for different perspective as you move around.

This is a HDR image. I just made it from one image versus three. When I used three images it just caused more issues than it was worth. Used my workflow then brought it into Photoshop then into Aurora 2017. Tweaked HDR settings until happy then called it done.


Lost In A Good Book

5 From DC

This is the final of the series. This was taken in the middle of Virginia Avenue. I got a few strange looks from people walking by and cars as I setup my tripod in the middle of a traffic island.

The Washington Monument is one of the tallest structures in Washington DC so it serves as a landmark if you are navigating. You can also see it from most vantage points that have a clear view. So if you are lost just head towards it until you find your way. Not that DC is hard to navigate as it’s laid out in a fairly easy to understand grid. It’s just the one way streets and random street closures that will mess you up.

Editing wise I went low key again. I did bump the warmth up a wee bit just to give it the sunset feel. Other than that it was my customary workflow.


Washington-Monument-At Sunset

Four From DC

I realized a bit late I should have picked a different title but hindsight is 20/20 and I have been very busy with work.

This is towards the end of my photographic journey in Washington DC and shockingly not on the National Mall. I was walking back to my car which was parked on Virginia Avenue. I have attempted to shoot the United States Institute of Peace building before but no luck. This time the light was hitting it right and I really liked how I got their logo into the frame. I originally shot this at a few angles but this one came out the best.

All the images this week were shot for HDR but this is the only one to actually be edited as a HDR photo. Architecture as a rule tends to work well for HDR which is why I went ahead and did this one in HDR.

Editing was done in Aurora 2017 and I manually played with the sliders and did whatever. Then it was into Photoshop to do some local working with dodging and burning. Once I was happy I hit save and done.


united states institute of peace

Three From DC

This is the third post in the one off image series I am doing this week. This is the Declaration of Independence Memorial. Least according to the map I looked at.

You can see it’s getting darker or I’m making the image lower key. One way or the other it fits the mood. I honestly just liked the sunset and the ducks floating on the water. Honestly the water isn’t that deep. It would be well below the knees of the average person if you were to stand in it. The ducks and geese seem to enjoy it and hang out there. Then again, they have figured out its easy food since they constantly get fed.

Nothing fancy again edit wise. Just straight up Lightroom into Photoshop. Did some local work and called it done.


Declaration of Independence Memorial

Two From DC

This is the second from the DC series I am doing this week. This one is the Lincoln Memorial from the far side of the Reflecting Pool.

I took this image after I had taken the Jefferson Memorial image. There were some stops in between the two images so the sun had shifted. The light was coming in from behind me to the left. That is why the building isn’t fully light but it was all about the light and the warmth. I do confess to cheating with these images and increasing the warmth in them but it was a very warm Presidents Day.

If you look close enough in this image you can see a Ukraine flag in front of the Lincoln Memorial. They were protesting the Russian involvement in the Ukraine. One of the things you get used to if you live in DC is that someone is always protesting something. If you are a local you just hope and pray it doesn’t mess with traffic.

Editing again was straight forward. I went with the narrow aspect ration because it felt much better. Then did a very minor curves adjustment and some local work with dodging and burning. Called it done.


Lincoln Memorial

One From DC

This will be a series this week of one off images. It will show my progression in the afternoon when I was down on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Technically this image is in Virginia by definition but it’s on Federal Land. If you live in the DMV; DC, Maryland and Virginia as we call it. You naturally understand what is state land versus what is federal. Most locals don’t even think about it as we know. For a visitor it may confuse you but the biggest tip off is look at the law enforcement uniforms and it will tell you exactly whose jurisdiction you are in.

This image is the Jefferson Memorial shot from the Washington DC side of the Potomac River. I was just walking along the river taking some shots since I wandered off from the National Mall.

The image felt better cropped into a narrow aspect. Just worked better with the image. Once I had the crop then I added some gradients and then moved it into Photoshop for a curves adjustment. Then it was some dodging and burning and called it done.


Jefferson Memorial

Memorial Shadows

This was shot on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC,.

I had just finished taking some photos off the backside of the Lincoln Memorial and was walking around to go back down to the front. I saw the shadows off the columns with the Washington Memorial in the distance and just had to take the image.

I got lucky in that no one was walking towards me. I was rushed because I had people coming behind me. In fact, there was another photographer doing an engagement shoot and I knew they were heading my way so it was a rush to get several frames.

When I went to edit I did try this in HDR but it just didn’t work. So I went and just did a normal edit. I didn’t want to crush the blacks. I wanted some of the details to remain in the building itself. I also had to watch it because of the blue in the sky so I had to be careful not to color shift that and turn it weird. So just a simple curves adjustment and then lots of burning and called it done.


Memorial Shadows

Sense Of Scale

Shot this on Presidents Day Weekend. I was just wandering the National Mall with my Sony A7R and randomly taking picture. I was heading back to my car to pack up my gear and saw this and took a shot.

This area is called the Constitution Gardens. It’s just a small pond usually loaded with ducks. There are a couple small islands that you can walk out onto. I have never ventured on them because they are usually crowded which isn’t the greatest for doing photography with a tripod. The one thing you do get is a different view of the Washington Monument in the distance which is why I framed it with the willow tree. Least I think it’s a willow tree.

Editing nothing fancy. I haven’t been into the let’s add lots of masks to the image lately. There is a reason but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. So I have been just doing base edits using my normal workflow.

This was all about the camera adjustments, a few gradients and then adding a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. The usual local dodging and burning and called it done.


Sense of Scale

Sunrise Over Washington DC

I didn’t get a chance to sneak out and do some photography when I was on business travel last week. I still managed to open my curtains and see today’s image and I had my Sony RX10 sitting on the table right near me.

This is one of those magical images that just work. Honestly, what was captured in the camera isn’t far from the final result. It really was that vibrant as the Sun was starting to rise over the city. I was zoomed out to 200mm and I just fired off a bunch of shots to make sure I got it since the window was dirty. In the end I got lucky.

I could go into editing and what not but this is basically out of the camera. I white balanced for cloudy and just put a gradient in that used dehaze and clarity for the sky and buildings. Simple curves adjustment and some dodging and burning. I did clean up some noise but I didn’t sharpen the image since I really didn’t have a focal point. Thnk I was 3 minutes total for editing.


Sunrise Over Washington

DC War Memorial

I had no idea what this monument was when I took the picture. It took a quick internet search for me to find out the name. It’s one of the smaller and less visited memorials on the Washington DC Mall.

I took this image of the DC War Memorial when I was down on the Mall a few months back. Just doing some random shooting in the afternoon getting the nice light from the sun setting in the west.

While this isn’t a busy memorial with people visiting it got a lot of foot traffic passing so I wanted to minimize that. I didn’t mind the two people sitting in within as it added a human element. Since this is a HDR image there was always going to be some motion blur with the people. If you blow the image up to full size you will see a lot of motion blur with the people. This is unusual for two people talking. The reason for it was they were speaking in sign language so their arms were constantly in motion.

The image was done in HDR using Aurora 2017. It’s one of those images that works well for HDR because it’s static architecture. I have come to discover that status subjects make the best HDR. This doesn’t mean moving subjects don’t work. You just spend a lot of time dealing with motion artifacts.

Once the HDR conversion was done it was time take the image into Photoshop and finish it up. I added some gradients using Camera Raw filter and then some dodging and burning for local adjustments. I did fight with perspective correction. It got to the point where the image looked level and I said done because I kept going second guessing and just had to hit save.


DC War Memorial