Visiting the WWII Memorial (Again)

It is often stated by photographers from the past and those living that they often visit the same areas to take photographs. They revisit a site to capture the scene at different times (i.e., sunrise, sunset or midday) or different seasons to capture the effects on the landscape. When I started taking photos, I thought it was sufficient to visit an area once, take various pictures, and move on to the next location.

However, my growth has shown me that there is usually a missing element in my images or I find something in the image I want to improve. Photographers continually seek an image capturing the confluence of elements (i.e., shape, color, pattern, composition, and/or light etc.)

The WWII memorial is a perfect example of my desire to improve my images. Approximately a month after I bought my camera, I traveled to the WWII memorial on Memorial day and took various photos. I had no idea how to properly compose an image. I just started snapping. These initial results are reflective of my inexperience. As I reflect, I realize that was a very bad time. I competed with other tourist and photographers to take pictures. It was in the middle of the day where the light was harsh. Therefore, the pictures were not too pleasing.

After some time, I traveled back to the Memorial and took some photos. This time, I paid attention to composition and I made certain my images were relatively free of bystanders. However, there was an additional component missing. I did not realize this until some time later. My images had improved. However, I took them late in the evening. Therefore, the sky was black. There was no color to complement the water and structures at the memorial.

This leads me to my most recent excursion. I went back to the memorial to capture them during twilight. This is the time where the sky is blue. The images I’m showing contrast with the ones on my website. The blue sky provides one more element. This additional piece adds interest to my images and illustrates there is always room for improvement.
P.S. As I reviewed my images, I noticed they were not as sharp as I hoped even though I used a tripod. My optical stabilization setting was on. This often adversely affects the camera and can produce blurry images when it’s on a stable platform. I guess the journey continues…

The Silent Drill Team at the Iwo Jima Memorial

I often visit downtown DC to take photographs of the various memorials. Whenever I visit downtown, I see many students buses and families enjoying the sites. I told Deborah that I want her and the girls to occasionally come with me and enjoy the sites.
I discovered that the Marines Silent Drill team would perform at the Iwo Jima Memorial at 7:30 PM. So, I told my friend David and he decided to attend. Afterwards, he was not going to come because he had his son. Instead, I told him I’d bring my daughter since they knew one another because they attend the same school. With that said, I ended up bringing the entire family.

Nevertheless, we arrived at the site nearly 50 minutes before the supposed start time. However, I got a phone call telling me that the performance actually began at 6:30!
As we arrived, I realized many more people brought their family. Therefore, I parked at a garage nearly a mile from the memorial site. I did not have the $12 on me for the fee. However, the attendant let me park anyway and I provided him with the rest when I returned to get my vehicle.
I run to the site with two folding chairs, a tripod and my camera bag!

The performance was pinpoint accurate. The Marines performed their craft with such precision that the hassle to see the event was worthwhile.
The photos were taken using a slow shutter speed to emphasize the motion of the soldiers.