Tag Archives: WashingtonDC

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

A note to our current political leaders.

During an October 2014 visit to Washington, D.C. we took a night trip to several of the famous monuments. I didn't get a lot of good photos, as my camera wasn't really up to the night-time task. Maybe one day I'll upgrade. After I win the lottery. Anyway, this is Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address as engraved into the stone wall of the memorial edifice.

It is notably both short and eloquent, in a way that I doubt many modern politicians could dream- or dare. The primary subject was not Lincoln's agenda for his second term, nor complaints about Congress doing/not doing its job. Lincoln's address centered on the Civil War and its causes- and the underlying humanity on both sides of the conflict. (Read it for yourself.)

One might say that the current crop of would-be rulers in our Capitol should be forced to memorize not only the words of this address, but to comprehend the import of them, since so many of them claim to both know and fear God. But I suspect that that the majority of them would fail any test of understanding.

#Travel #WashingtonDC #LincolnMemorial #AbrahamLincoln


Gridlock In Washington D.C

During a visit to Washington, D.C. in October 2014 we ate lunch in the cafeteria/restaurant inside the US Capitol. It was very much what one would expect: long lines, mediocre food and uncomfortable table seating.

During our meal it began dumping rain by the bucket-full onto the glass ceiling above. That was when I became fascinated by the lighting grid- all those intersecting lines, the light fixtures, and the wind-tossed trees outside, only barely visible through the torrent descending from the sky.

I'm not sure how much I like this picture, but I thought I'd take a run at making something of it. Maybe with more time and the ability to set up a proper shot this lighting grid cold be made more interesting. But here it is anyway.

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Capitol #Grid


The Capitol

Beneath the scaffolding.

During our Washington D.C. visit in October, we spent a couple of hours in the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the news media and their history. One of the nicest parts for me, though, was a trip outside a few floors up, where from the balcony you have some nice panoramic views of Washington.

The Capitol is being repaired and refurbished- and thus the scaffolding. The cast iron supports in the dome are being gone over "with a fine tooth comb" and repaired or replaced as needed. A hundred-fifty years, and there's a bit of rust and decay.

Production of this photo was done entirely in #LightroomCC and exported as JPEG for the web. Once again, though, it's sort of done in by the Panasonic FZ30 camera's small sensor, so noise cleanup does result in some loss of detail. I'm mostly satisfied, for what it is.

#Travel #WashingtonDC #newseum


George Washington Rode Here

His personal coach at Mount Vernon

One of our days during a week-long trip to Washington D.C. last October was spent primarily visiting Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation home. It was a rainy day, but the place was nevertheless crawling with tourists. There really aren't that many decent photos to be taken with so many people in the way. Your best bet is to take pictures of members of your group in context and just buy a decent photo book at the visitor's center.

I did manage a couple of shots with the built-in flash while peering into the carriage house. This is kind of a panorama. Two photos stitched, but still cropped down to 16×9. Standing in the doorway, you're too close for a single shot, and stepping back gains you nothing. I took two hand-held shots that were merged in #Lightroom6 where I also added a couple of radial filters to even out the lighting from the flash. No third party filters were used.

#MountVernon #GeorgeWashington #WashingtonDC #Travel


Space Shuttle Discovery

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Chantilly, Virginia

Our little group spent a day wandering around this place. This shot has its flaws, most especially camera shake, but at this size it looks decent enough, I guess. I used the method #Topaz gave a bit of publicity last week, using a high pass filter and #TopazDenoise to sharpen a noisy photo, and it also helped to disguise some of the camera shake, if you don't look too closely.

I also clone-stamped a couple of people out of the scene, as their presence didn't advance the story in the photo. Also used were #Lightroom5 and Adobe Camera Raw as a filter in #PhotoshopCC . For all the improvements, I still had to do size reduction to hide the very apparent problems- even if you know about them now for having read this far!

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Smithsonian #SpaceShuttleDiscovery


Send In The Marines!

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Another handheld panorama from my visit to Washington, D.C. back in October. Raw files were sent from #Lightroom to #PhotoshopCC2014 to create the panorama, then a couple of heavily masked levels layers to bring the plane out from its surroundings and even out the lighting a bit. A photo filter layer adjusted the color to match the lighting of the scene, and a bunch O' noise reduction with #TopazDenoise finished off the production.

Not too bad for a tiny sensor and shaky hands.

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Smithsonian



Hand-holding At

The Smithsonian
Air and Space Museum,
Washington Dulles International Airport

I visited Washington, D.C. with some friends back in October. It was a pretty full five days or so, with private guided tours to some locations and other tours booked at the White House and the Capitol.

If you've read many of my posts in the past, it may be understood that my camera is now nearly 10 year old technology. It wouldn't be that big a deal if it was a DSLR, but I'm not into changing lenses, so it isn't.

At the time it was released, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 was about as good as it got for a "bridge camera" – a DSLR-like body, great lens . . . and a tiny point-and-shoot sensor that pretty much maxes out ISO 200 – and that is pretty noisy. But that's the camera I have, until I win the lotto.

One of our stops was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Washington Dulles International Airport. It's a big place that takes all day to tour, and there are still things you might miss out on. Fortunately, there's a McDonalds inside.

This panorama was created from three handheld shots that have proved the value of #Topaz plugins for #Photoshop . I began with some Adobe Camera Raw adjustments to even out the lighting on the plane. Also used were #TopazDenoise , #TopazDetail , and some other adjustment layers, including a copy of the smooth de-noised version that was further given about a 30 px. gaussian blur, then set to hard light blend mode. To top it all off was a levels adjustment layer masked to darken the foreground and background and make the plane stand out.

So, here it is with a lot to nitpick, maybe, but between the camera and my shaky hands, this is all you get! Enjoy!

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Smithsonian