I traveled to our nation’s capitol for a few days last week. It was my first trip to Washington DC and I had a blast. I had the privilege of hanging out with a few of my blogging friends while in town, did a little bit of sightseeing and got some photography time in as well.
Oh, and I ate cupcakes – lots and lots of cupcakes – at the uber famous Georgetown Cupcakes, of course.
These cupcakes were insanely delicious and I enjoyed every single morsel, but what I enjoyed most about my trip to DC was the little bit of sightseeing that I managed to squeeze in.
The Jefferson Memorial at dusk was nothing short of magical.
As the sun began to make its descent, the temperature dropped, the tourists cleared out and a sense of peace and tranquility began to settle in.
Photography Tip: Don’t spend too much time taking traditional photos of monuments and memorials. That’s what postcards are for! Find unique angles, points of interest and focus on capturing the overall mood of your visit.
The columns and Pantheon-like dome were impressive to say the least, but the view of the Tidal Basin from within the memorial itself was absolutely breathtaking.
Dusk was in full effect and the sky was, for lack of a better word, showing off.
Photography Tip: Sun going down? Don’t put your DSLR camera away just yet! Shoot in manual – turn the flash off, open your aperture all the way to allow as much light in as possible, steady your camera with a tripod or place it on a ledge and adjust your ISO and shutter speed until they produce desired results.
My visit to the Jefferson Memorial was a memorable one to say the least. The air was crisp, the sky was breathtakingly beautiful and I felt an incredible sense of peace.
But my visit to Arlington National Cemetery was an entirely different experience.
I’ve frequented the resting places of fallen soldiers many times in the past, but none left such an indelible impression on me as Arlington National Cemetery.
The vista of headstones was an overwhelming sight to behold; each grave a resting place for a beloved mother, father, son, daughter, sister, husband or friend. And beneath each headstone, men and women who selflessly dedicated their lives to our country; many of them falling during battle.
So many dead, so many lives sacrificed…all in the name of freedom.
Photography Tip: Don’t overlook the intricate little details. Those images often have the most profound effect.
Walking among the graves was an incredibly moving experience for me. The entire cemetery was draped in a veil of reverence. Silence and respect permeated the air.
Photography Tip: When touring and photographing multiple sites on the same day, take a quick snapshot of a sign before taking any other photos. It’ll make the daunting task of organizing and sorting through hundreds of photos taken at multiple locations a cinch.
Visitors were lost in personal moments of reflection.
Quick Photography Tip: I love capturing candid shots of strangers out in public, but doing so can be quite tricky. Using a zoom lens, like my Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, allows for privacy while making those perfect shots come together nicely.
And every single one of us stood in awe at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been perpetually guarded by sentinels from the Third US Infantry Regiment since 1937. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week. Three hundred sixty-five days a year. Rain. Snow. Sleet. Hurricane. Nothing will deter a Tomb Guard from fulfilling this most honorable duty.
Tomb Guards are a special breed; disciplined, dedicated, vigilant and ready to defend the Tomb at all times.
Everything about the Tomb Guard’s walk is beautiful. The click of his heels. The precision of each step. The angle in which he swings his arms. The calculated curl of the fingertips on his free hand. His stoic expression.
I was completely mesmerized.
Visiting Arlington National Cemetery was certainly a highlight of my trip to DC.
Time-honored military traditions.
And a humbling experience that will stay with me always.
I enjoyed the little bit of sightseeing that I managed to squeeze in while in DC last week. And thanks to my Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens, photographing my way through the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the US Marine Corps War Memorial was a breeze. This lens is incredibly light weight, versatile and its vibration compensation is like no other. It’s my new go-to lens when I’m on the go and was the perfect companion on my trip to DC. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only lens I’ll ever travel with.