The Virginia Column

After a few minutes of wandering around the World War II Memorial on the National Mall I thought I should get a photo of the section for my home state. When I finally found it (I started searching the Memorial in the wrong direction, and made 4/5 of a full circle) I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Washington Monument fit directly into the center of the pillar. I’ve always been visually drawn to natural framing and I thought this added to the patriotic feel of the shot.

The Virginia section is on the “Atlantic” side of the Memorial, and let me tell you, that’s where I’d want to be as well. Not that there’s any particularly good place to be in a war, but based on my recent viewing of HBO’s The Pacific, I can state with great certainty that I’d have rather been fighting in Belgium than on Peleliu.

Reflecting Pool Duck Pond

While I was processing this photo I kept zooming in on the mother duck and wondering why she looked so much sharper than her young. After comparing this with a few other pics, I figured out the problem: it wasn’t that the ducklings were out of focus, they’re just that fuzzy in real life. This adorable little flock paddled around the Reflecting Pool for a while and then hopped out onto the side. Where they were headed, I have no idea. It didn’t look like these tiny fledglings could fly yet, so did they all waddle their way to the Potomac or was this their permanent residence? If the latter, I’m sure the ubiquitous hordes of tourists keep them well fed.

Capital in Bloom

Astute readers of this blog will notice that the monuments below line up the same way as they do in this picture; both photos were taken around the Netherlands Carillon near Arlington Cemetery, albeit in different seasons. Of course no gift from the Netherlands would be complete without tulips, so the Dutch were kind enough to plant a small field of them around the site when it was constructed in the late ’50s. I can only imagine what Holland looks like this time of year! Technical note: this is the first picture on the blog shot with a polarizing filter, which helped darken the sky and increase its contrast with the buildings.

Prints – A couple people have asked me if I have prints of my photos available. As of today I’ve started hosting a bunch of my work on Imagekind, a site that handles print sales and framing. I’ve used them before to have a photo printed as a Christmas gift and was really pleased with how it turned out, so I can definitely vouch for their quality and service. You can check out the gallery here.

Under the Cherry Blossoms

I was really excited about shooting the cherry blossoms this weekend and packed all my gear for a walk down to the Tidal Basin, including my tripod. This turned out to be a huge mistake, as the crowds were so dense that setting it up would have been sheer madness. I spent the entire seven mile trek with it strapped horizontally at waist height under the top flap of my camera bag, all the while worrying that the legs of it were going to hit some rambunctious little kid in the face. Despite the crowds (worst since the inauguration) and mud, it was actually a really beautiful day and I took hundreds of photos. The HDR process really helped this one; in the original photo, the trees were so dark compared to the background that you could barely tell they were pink at all.