Wednesday, August 31, 2011

World War II Memorial in Washington, DC

It is hard to believe that in just one week I will be waking up in Cambodia. I've already started packing (and unpacking, and repacking, and unpacking). And to prepare for the inevitable jet lag that lies ahead, I've begun waking up earlier and earlier each morning (today was 4 am), and going to bed considerably earlier each night, in hopes that when I arrive in Cambodia, my jet lag will be minimal. (On the day I will leave for CAM I will have "naturally" woken up at midnight my time, which is noon their time.)
Yesterday I had to drive to Washington, DC (4.5 hours away) to expedite the renewal of my passport in person. It was a VERY long day. I had a few hours to kill and decided to go practice my photography at the WWII memorial. I am not naturally a very good photographer, and figured it couldn't hurt for me to practice a little bit before my big trip. Here are a few hits and misses from my one hour photo session.

World War II Memorial

Virginia at World War II memorial

The next three pictures are perfect examples of why sometimes a little practice can go along way.

Attempt #1- bad tourist shot. And I swear the Monument really does look like it is leaning to the left.

Attempt #2- standing in the same place as attempt #1, but trying to zoom and get artsy. My cheap little automatic just isn't allowing the focus to do what my imagination wanted it to do. Really lame picture.

Attempt #3- taken just a few feet away from the other two shots. IMHO, a much better photo. This is an untouched shot. You don't see clear blue skies like that in DC very often.

Washington Monument WWII view
Washington Monument

World War II Memorial and US Flag
World War II Memorial and US Flag
I had to crop this photo to make it closer to what I wanted it to be. I had envisioned it more focused on the flag, with the pillars leading up to it. Again, sadly my camera just isn't as fancy as my vision

World War II Memorial Fountain
World War II Memorial Fountain
I love taking pictures of fountains. I know I have some friends out there with real photography talent. Anyone have any advice for me on how I could have made these photos better?

Seriously, I need advice. Otherwise, there's going to be a whole lot of pictures like this one coming back from Cambodia. And really, I think we can all agree we don't want that, now do we?


  1. Actually, most of those pictures are very nice. Your third attempt at the Wash Monument was a success!
    For landscape and attraction type photos I think you have a good eye... I never get too excited about taking those myself.
    But I imagine the rule of thirds will help you with scenics in Cambodia. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the picture (accommodating of course for the altered dimensions / rectangular vs square) with the grid in mind... you'll want to frame something of interest in 2/3rds of the image... (balanced on one of the lines) and some negative space in the surrounding area.
    for example - maybe a there's a row of small, shanty-type homes juxtaposed in the shadow of one huge tree. I imagine positioning the tree on one of the lines... and the row of shanty houses stringing out in the distance in the remainder of the photo.
    The same is true for people. ... a close up of child with a giant smile up front... and a sea of smaller, smiling faces behind them.

    That brings me to perspective... in landscape and scenics that's important... as you demonstrate your trial and error of the monument.
    Also, with architectural elements (buildings... cool signs... giant balls of twine... ) if you want to show a person in the scene of such structures... don't have the person go stand next to the structure... and you go across the street to get the big structure in the frame. Instead... have the person stand between you and structure/ subject. This way you can SEE the person... their expression... etc... and still get the entirety of structure in the frame... and it's a more interesting picture.
    Unless of course you are trying to show that the ball of twine is twice the size of your friend... then by all means have them stand next to it for comparison sake.
    And it's okay to have fun and shoot the person in the foreground acting like they are balancing the giant ball of twine (or wash monument) in the palm of their hand!

    have fun! Take lots of pictures! Bring an extra memory card! Download daily!! (so you don't lose them)

  2. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Sisty Ugler Here:
    That sky was so blue. Your Washington Monument picture with the fountain was perfecto!


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