Featured Image of the Week – 8/18/2014

“the Washington, DC War Memorial”

For this weeks featured image of the week I chose one of my night time shots from Washington, DC. This is one of the less popular memorials but it’s not far from the MLK, Jr., Lincoln and World War II memorials so it can be a perfect place for some night photography.

I’ve always loved this memorial because it shares the architectural style of the city but with considerably less visitors (which means your odds are really good to catch a clean picture).

During the day the DC memorials are beautiful and definitely worth visiting. But for pictures I prefer to arrive before sunrise or sunset for capturing “golden hour” images. The orange and pink colors of a perfect dawn or dusk sky can be absolutely amazing for pictures of white marble buildings and, in the morning, there’re are considerably fewer visiting tourists.

Another great time to photograph Washington, DC is at night. Long exposure shots can do wonders for minimizing the number of people in a shot and the addition of red or white light trails from passing vehicles can really add a sense of movement to a static shot. I’ve photographed Washington, DC during every hour of the day and shooting at night is almost always going to give you the best odds of getting a really killer shot (sunrise and sunset colors don’t last very long so you really need to be on your game).

One issue I’ve always had when photographing Washington, DC at night is the strange purple/pink color the sky takes on due to the color temperature of the street lights used throughout the city. Luckily there are two easy solutions.

You can always convert your image to black and white and nobody will see the strange color cast in the sky. My solution is to go in to the image in Photoshop and do some serious targeted color corrections. I use targeted corrections because global corrections (changing the white balance of the entire picture) can get the sky right but it really messes up everything else. Using targeted corrections will be considerably more time consuming (than making a black and white conversion) but the results can really have a lot of “pop” when it’s done well.

When shooting at night you’ll want to use a tripod to keep your camera steady during a long exposure and if your camera can be triggered remotely then I’d look into buying a remote shutter release.

If you have a question or comment about my featured image of the week be sure to leave me a comment below or you can send me an email.

You can see this image over on my 500px page here.

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