Walking in a Winter DC-land (DC Snow Storms).

14 02 2010

During the past week, Washington, DC has been an interesting place. There has been little talk about politics or any other news for that matter. The topic of the week was snow. Back to back blizzards buried the Washington, DC area leaving it crippled. Most people got extended winter “vacations” as a result of being snowed in and impassable roads. Folks lucky enough to return to work on Friday were greeted with snarled traffic.

The storms received a variety of names. Names such as Snomagaddon, Snowpacalypse, Snoverkill, and Snowtorious B.I.G. were among those commonly used by news outlets. It became trendy to use the word snow in any way possible. I will do my best to avoid doing the same in this post.

Yesterday afternoon I made an intentional effort to get out of the house for a few hours. I decided to see where I could get to in Washington, DC. I ended up at the U.S. Capitol Building and was surprised to find the area relatively busy with both tourists and locals enjoying the cold windy day. OK, maybe it was only the locals enjoying the weather. I was able to capture some unique photographs as it is not too often that the DC area receives 2-3 feet of snow.

While at the Capitol,  I overheard two people talking about some kids sledding on the hills in front  of the Capitol. Apparently this is a practice not normally permitted by the U.S. Capitol Police. But this week was different. Senator Dodd (Conn.) was able to “convince” the Capitol Police to relax this rule to allow local children that have been snowed in for the week to get out and enjoy the weather. According to a new article, sledding will only be permitted this weekend. Some kids took advantage of a unique DC sledding experience! Political parties aside, I was relieved that someone was using the Capitol Building for something useful.

While walking around the Capitol Grounds, I also made a “new” discovery. There’s a small brick “building” on the northwest side of the grounds. I had always thought that this building was a defunct public restroom facility. In fact, it is known as the Summer House.  This open-air brick building is a resting place and shelter to visitors.  To go back to my first statement in this paragraph…this was a new discovery to me. The rest of the world already  knew what this building is. From the Summer House, I was able to capture this shot, which is also my first attempt at an HDR image.

It was a nice afternoon to get out and enjoy DC. Many others were doing the same. You may visit my Washington, DC gallery and see other shots from this weekend by clicking on any of the images in this post.


New Gallery – Annapolis, MD

12 01 2010

I have lived in the Washington, DC area for more than five years. Last weekend, I began to finally photograph Annapolis. I walked around the historic sections of the city on a cold windy day that provided some good sky conditions for some of my photographs. The resulting photos make up the beginning of a gallery that I hope to expand over the coming months. Feel free to check out my Annapolis, MD gallery by clicking any of the photos below.

The historic Annapolis skyline taken from City Dock.

I found a cold windy winter day to be a good day to try to photograph the city. There were very few people  around. It was nice not having to trip over others to find a spot to take a photo. As I expand the gallery, I hope to take some more shots around sunrise (ha) or sunset. And hopefully some at night as well.

The Maryland State House in Annapolis, MD.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church located in the historic circle of Annapolis.

While I was walking around Annapolis, I also took some time to visit the campus of the United States Naval Academy. While photos from the Academy can be seen in the gallery (by clicking any of the images above), I also posted some of my favorites in a previous post.

Best of 2009 – Part 2

11 01 2010
Part 2 of 3 of my best shots in 2009…

The Seattle skyline taken from a ferry.

A tugboat on Puget Sound in Seattle with the Olympic Mountains in the background.

An abstract shot taken at home.

A sentinel guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.


United States Naval Academy Chapel

9 01 2010

Last weekend, I explored Annapolis, MD on a cold windy day. I walked through the campus of the United States Naval Academy and visited the chapel. It is a beautiful building and it’s a very powerful experience to visit. There are times that pictures do a better job of speaking than we can so I’m going to let this post be one of those times.

U.S. Naval Academy Chapel

U.S. Naval Academy Chapel - Altar and Dome

U.S. Naval Academy Chapel Dome

U.S. Naval Academy Chapel

The DC Snowstorm

1 01 2010

Two weeks ago, Washington DC got dumped on.  And this dumping had nothing to do with the politics of the left or the politics of the right. It was an equal opportunity event. Washington, DC and the surrounding coast received a December record snowfall leaving at least 18 inches of snow in most areas. The snow definitely slowed down travel.

After the roads cleared, but before the snowcover fully melted, I made it to one of my favorite locations to shoot in DC. I visited the Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum. Because of the hours of the arboretum, it’s difficult to capture the columns with any sunsets or sunrises, but I was able to visit during the late afternoon. I captured two new shots of the columns dressed in their winter snow.

For additional photos of the Capitol Columns, please visit my gallery.

Wait for a Photography Tip

18 10 2009

Last weekend I was at the U.S. Capitol looking to get some decent shots as the sun began to set.  My goal was catch a shot of the Capitol (from the east front) with a lit up sky behind it. It was a cloudy day that was breaking; the kind of day that often produces something dramatic at sunset. I got to the Capitol and found my spots, but was disappointed to find that clouds had gathered blocking the sunset and what I thought would be potential color.

I left the east front somewhat disappointed with the shots I had taken. Nothing post worthy. I headed to the west front to figure out what to do with the rest of the evening. I was sitting along the reflecting pool by the Capitol facing the building. There was a fair number of tourits due to the comfortable weather and long (Columbus Day) weekend. When I turned around, I was greeted by what I was waiting for:

The light of the golden hour lit the sky. The sun had already set below the clouded horizon, but after a few minutes the sun spread its color over the western side of Washington, DC.

So to get to the photography tip, don’t give up on light. Wait for the light. It’s called the golden hour for a reason. Not because it’s always an hour, but because the time that the sky lights up varies from day to day.

The photos above and other new images can also be seen at New Additions. Feel free to view other photos from Washington, DC.