Timing of an Image

I’ve lived in the D.C. area since 1997.  During that time, I’ve seen plenty of construction occurring throughout the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to you out-of-towners).  When I first traveled across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, this area was undeveloped with trees along the bank of the Potomac.

Shortly afterward, the National Harbor construction began.  Over time, I watched them drudge out the mud and sediment and fashion this natural habitat to its current commercial state.  Whenever I drove across the bridge, I wondered how I could capture the new landscape.  However, I didn’t know where.  There’s a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists, but it’s on the inside of the bridge and cars would obstruct the view.  As I was riding my bike across the bridge one day, I took a path and it brought me to a clearing where I had a beautiful view of the Harbor.  I finally found my spot!  Now, I just needed to come back at the right time to capture the image.

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I read this photography article several years ago about the importance of timing.  I learned about photographing during twilight.  It forever changed my perspective about natural lighting.  It helped me to understand and capture images during a fleeting moment in time.  I liked the way I framed the image, but it doesn’t have much color with the dull gray sky.

I came early to prepare and practice and I ended with the following image.

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Along with this slightly wider angle version of the image as well.

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Once the magic moment passes, the image looks like this.

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The dark sky strips the color out of the image.  The twilight period with the blue sky lasts approximately 15 minutes.  It can be more or less depending on the time of year and weather conditions.  Therefore, it’s important to prepare early to be ready for the opportunity because one doesn’t know how long it’ll last.  A lesson for life within that story.  That’s why I keep shooting.



Journey within Niagara

It’s been nearly a year since my last post.  I didn’t want to write about the same topic after a nearly a year sabbatical.  Yet, my photographic excursions have been either of waterfalls or cherry blossoms.

I’ve taken plenty of images with the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and other types of photos.  This year I challenged myself to incorporate the MLK Memorial into the cherry blossom photos.  This image is the result of that labor and creativity.

Last year my good friend and fellow photog, Abu, and I traveled to Bushkill Falls to photograph the ‘Niagara of Pennsylvania’.  I always find it interesting when a place takes the name of another to represent itself.  When I traveled to Bruges in Belgium, they called it the ‘Venice of the North’, a name actually given to several cities in Europe.  Such a moniker only entices one to visit the city by which those places are named.  So, I made it my business to visit Venice, Italy later that year.  A year after visiting PA’s version of Niagara Falls, I went to Niagara Falls in Canada.

The first weekend in May was a good time to visit.  Throngs of summertime visitors haven’t arrived.  Temperature high’s in the 50’s fail to melt all the snow.   Favorite attractions such as “Maid of the Mist” boat ride that takes passengers to the bottom of the falls are not in operation due to the snow and ice still prevalent.

I visited an attraction called, “Journey Behind the Falls”.  Underground tunnels lead visitors to the edge of the falls.  As you walk through the tunnel, the sound of rushing water get louder.  As you approach the tunnel opening, the sound becomes a thunderous roar.  It is surreal to stand only feet away from such power and force of the falls.

Another tunnel leads viewers to the edge of the falls.  Located near the bottom, viewers get an up close view of the water with the midst spraying the onlookers.  The snow and ice on the ground would take some time to melt.

As beautiful as the falls are during the day, photographing them at night is more rewarding.  A number of spotlights illuminate the falls.  With the midst at night and a slow shutter speed, I captured a dreamy photo of this landmark.

There are two separate falls.  The smaller one viewed from the Canadian side has Niagara Falls, NY in the background.

Capturing the Falls is an amazing experience.  No matter how many times I photographed them, I’d find a new angle or condition that I wanted to capture.  I’m pleased with my results and I look forward to writing about something else other than Cherry Blossoms or Water Falls.  Stay tuned and stay focused.