Sunday, July 27, 2014

Washington DC Monuments

I have been collecting images of Washington DC monuments for three years with the goal of adding to my portfolio.  For me, that type of picture needs impact and storytelling (in addition to other qualities).  Monuments are designed with those ideas in mind, and a simple clear illustration is always a starting point .  I chose to use the image below as a possible introduction to the FDR Memorial.  However the weathered metal statue of President Roosevelt in the “Third Term room” was way too green for my taste. 
 I prefer a B&W treatment in a tighter crop.  The web site link has a nice color detail picture with muted weathering.

Another vignette from FDR’s four terms is “Fire Side Chats”, below. I found it in deep shadows (left) and decided to experiment with strobes and a remote release (right).  
 The shadows produced in this lighting are consistent (I hope) with the President’s attempt to personally reach individual citizens.

Iwo Jima, aka The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, is a single huge stature with heroic proportions.  The monument is completely “out in the open” from any ground based view.   As a result, most of the pictures I have seen tend to be similar, including my silhouette (compare it to the web site link).

 In this case a stark detail may be a good contrast to the total view, below.  If you like fine gritty detail you will love this monument.

My last subject is the US Capitol, an even larger setting.  The first picture has dramatic lighting in the sky, but everything else is just flat and dull. 

 I changed my view and waited a few minutes for the sun to break out of the cloud cover.  In the last image the sun lights up the sky but also the dome, the street lamp globes and General Grant (lower left).  A runner and a bicyclist are moving towards the light, always a happy coincidence.  On the other hand perhaps they are just trying to catch a bus.

No comments: