Photo Opp: Washington DC Cherry Blossoms in Monochrome


The blooming of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC is a big draw each year to our nations capital. It’s the sign of spring, with pink blossoms decorating much of the city, especially the Tidal Basin where many of the trees are aligned.

The trees were a gift to the US from Japan, and they have proven to be the gift that keeps on giving.

I was fortunate to have been there at peak bloom in 2012, and took many pictures of the event. However, I’m not sharing them all today. Today I’m sharing the one picture I have that completely strips out the color and lends focus simply to the scene. It was beautiful.

Surely in a future photo opp we will examine more cherry blossom photos, that time in technicolor.


Morning Run Along the National Mall in Washington, DC

I have been using an iPhone app called RunKeeper to track my running activity for the past 3+ years.  It is a handy app that uses either the GPS in my phone to track my location and distance on a map as I run.  It also allows me to manually enter my time and distance when I run on a treadmill.  I have used it for walking big cities, running my “normal” route at home and even hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Today I used it to log my run through Washington, DC as I meandered onto the national mall, ran around the Washington Monument over to the Capitol building and back.  The run was very refreshing in spite of the 80 degrees of humid air at 8:45 AM.  My only complaint was having to wait 45-60 seconds at intersections for cars to pass.

One of the cool new features on the app is that I can take photos along the way and they are automatically placed on my run map where they were taken.  Great way to remember the route.  Now I can share some of my more exotic runs with anyone who wants to see them (and even those of you who don’t care!) [Read more…]

Washington, DC for a Week

I will be spending the next week in Washington DC, visiting my fiance and working from her apartment.  I also plan on taking in some of the scenery, warm weather and food that the city has to offer.  After spending time in DC on several occasions in 2010 and 2011, DC has become one of my favorite cities in the US world.

There is more to my affinity to the city than our nations history (although the history and monuments are appreciated).  My favorite part of the city is how accessible everything is and the great food.  Unlike New York and other metropolises, Washington DC has a rule where no buildings can be higher than 110 feet.  This means that there are no skyscrapers in town, which makes it easy to view monuments and history from great distances.

This building restriction makes the city accessible visually, while a great subway system makes it easy to get to just about anywhere in the city without much effort.  Anywhere you would want to visit (including Reagan Airport) is accessible from the metro system.

My favorite use of the metro system is to use it to get to many of the fantastic restaurants in DC.  For lack of a better term, I am a foodie, and DC is the ultimate town for foodies.  It is hard to find a bad place to eat in DC.

I plan on sharing some of my experiences this week on the blog, so stay tuned.  To whet the appetite, here are some photos from my previous travels.


Fourth of July Fireworks over Washington DC

Prior to 2010 I had never been in our nation’s capitol before. It wasn’t for a lack of desire to go see DC, but rather I never had a solid opportunity to go.  That all changed when my girlfriend Amanda moved to Washington DC in January for a 2 year work rotation.  Now I have been to DC twice and it’s fast becoming one of my favorite cities.

There are so many things to see and do that every step on the town feels like walking through history.   In another blog post I’ll try to elaborate more on my experience and share more pictures, but for this particular post I am concentrating on some photographs I took during my most recent trip over the 4th of July.

On the night of the Fourth Amanda and I decided to sneak onto the roof at her work to watch the fireworks.  Her building is about 12 stories high and has an ideal view of the fireworks that are set off over the national mall a few blocks away.  It is a highly coveted spot and each year her workplace auctions off tickets to watch from the rooftop.  We lost the auction, but decided that we were going to attend anyway.  The worst thing that could happen was getting asked to leave.  Fortunately, nobody was there to check tickets, so we walked right up and took our seats.

A few minutes later the fireworks started.  I decided that I wanted to take as many photos as possible and “learn” how to shoot fireworks with my camera.  I have a solid camera with many settings, one of which is a fireworks mode.  I started snapping photos in this mode and noticed that the fireworks didn’t look very good.  So I changed the exposure time and voila! Excellent pictures.

I think they turned out well… hope you do too!