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Black Water

As many of you great people who follow me may have noticed, some of my landscape shots include some body of water that is either black or close to it. This because having black still water is something I look for in my shots if possible. I won’t throw away a shot if it doesn’t mind you, but it is this type scenario that I will spend the most time in the field with. It may sound crazy, but a black pool of water can absolutely mesmerize me on how it can reflect in great detail life above it yet completely conceal anything within it. Such scenes can keep a photographer busy composing a shot as the black water (for me anyway) is not just part of a scene, but almost like a model whose pose must be just right. This was the case in the photograph above. It was taken in Hancock, MD on the C&O canal, directly across from the shot that was used in a previous post. I spent a very long time at this location composing different shots and loved every second of it.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 100, .4 sec @ f/8

Return to Ruin

On occasion I will go back to places that I have visited to shoot before for various reasons. Different time of day or year. Different lenses. Or maybe there was something about the particular subject that was left unsaid from my previous visit. The truth is that the same story can always be told more than once, just from a different perspective. Such is the case of this ruin of an old stone mill the a bit off the beaten path from the C&O canal in Maryland.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 800, 1/100 @ f/8

Flying Buttress

Here is a shot of the Flying Buttresses on the side of the Washington National Cathedral from the previous post.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/100 @ f/8

Cathedral

I was working near D.C. yesterday and happen to have my gear with me. I got off about mid afternoon and drove into the city with the intention of paying my respects to Nelson Mandela at the South African Embassy (a post on that later). After doing so, I thought I would maybe hit a neighborhood for a few shots and go home. The only problem was that the sun was going down and I would not have time to figure out which area I would shoot, much less driving there, parking, and the rest. After thinking about it, I decide to just go home. On the way, I happen to drive past the Washington National Cathedral. At the time (about 3:30 pm) I could see that the sun was setting on the front of the building giving it this beautiful golden glow. This is what photographers refer to as the “Golden Hour”. It’s the time in early morning or late afternoon when the sunlight is a bit softer and you get that yellow or red tone to an image and not the harsh bright light of the mid day sun.

Parking in this area is notoriously bad and I wasn’t willing to pay the ten bucks for parking in the cathedral garage, so I drove around the neighborhood looking for a spot. Time was ticking, and I was afraid that if I got a spot too far away, the sun would be gone by the time I got to the cathedral. Fortunately I snagged a good (albeit tight) space about a half a block from where I wanted to be. When I got to the church I just started clicking away.  I should also mention that at this point I had my 50 my camera and in a perfect world I would have a wide angle zoom instead, but all this means is that I would have to work a bit harder to get the shots I wanted. I furiously worked my way around the building knowing that I was losing daylight, all the while stopping to take in the awe of this gothic masterpiece. All in all I had a lot of fun despite the pressure I put on myself to get my shots right.

On a side note, in 2011 we had an earthquake hear on the east coast that as many of you know damaged some major landmarks here in D.C. The Washington National Cathedral was one that suffered some of that damage. For those of you who would like to learn about that damage and maybe donate if possible, the link for this is HERE. I don’t usually ask for such things on this site, but it would be nice to see this beautiful old church restored to her former glory.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/640 @ f/8

Cities in Dust

I took this photo of an angel that is part of a large fountain in front of Union Station in D.C. The thing that struck me as odd about the fountain was the fact that not only was it bone dry, but it was also filled with trash like old bicycles and just general garbage. The rest was in some serious disrepair. I certainly hope they revive this very old structure as I feel that it is just as important as the interior of the station that they seem to be forever trying to fix.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/450 @ f/8

Looking Up At The Old Exec Part II

Here Is another look at the Old Executive Office Building.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 320, 1/200 @ f/11

Looking Up At The Old Exec

This is a shot of the Old Executive Office Building which is just west of the White House. It is a city block long and almost as wide. It was built between 1871 and 1888. It houses staff from the White House as well as other government employees. Recently it had undergone a facelift of sorts, with detailed cleaning of the stone and repainting of all the wood trim. If you ever come to D.C., this place is worth checking out as it is a beautiful building.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 320, 1/500 @ f/8

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