Sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

This is the first time I went back to DC after I got my first DSLR, Nikon D3100, about two months ago. In order to wander around freely with my camera all day, I was being such an asshole that I didn’t tell anyone I was in town. One of my mission was to shoot (from) Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial at sunrise. Some dreamy ideal shots that I fantasized about were: warm and orange early sunlight shining on Lincoln’s face; the sun, Washington Monument and the Capitol dome; and pretty sunrise sky with orange and purple clouds and their reflection on the Vietnam War Memorial.

Of course, I failed.

這是我六月底買了相機以來第一次去DC,人很差地沒有跟很多人約,每天起床就帶著相機出門亂走。這次的任務之一是日出的林肯紀念堂和越戰紀念碑,我幻想的景是:橘色的朝陽打在林肯的臉上、太陽和華盛頓紀念碑和國會圓頂、還有橘色紫色雲的日出天空映在越戰紀念碑上。

當然人生沒有這麼順遂的事,我失敗了。

Lincoln Memorial at 7:20 a.m. in late August.

My first attempt was on August 29. On the previous night, weather forecast said it would be foggy from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. I was only in town for two and a half days, so I thought I would get up early anyway. Maybe being foggy from 5 to 10 means that the fog may be pretty heavy and I might get a cool picture of the Monument in the fog, right? I certainly was not that lucky. I got up at 4:45 a.m. and took a bus to foggy bottom. As I walked closer and closer to the Lincoln Memorial, I realized my stupid timing.

March on Washington. The day before was the 50th anniversary of March on Washington. All the setting was still up and the Lincoln Memorial was not open.

Heavy fog did not come down to make any pretty scene. The sky was gray the whole time. At 7 in the morning in DC on a weekday, I honestly didn’t know anywhere I could go besides the zoo. So I lingered for a while at the lake near the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial and hung out with ducks that would not pose for me near the reflection of the Washington Monument in a puddle.

星期三晚上到DC,鬧鐘設在早上4:40,前一天半夜氣象報告說從早上五點到十點會有霧,在DC時間也不多,決定還是早起去看看,天氣不好就當作場勘,霧如果很重的話,說不定可以拍到雲霧繚繞的華盛頓紀念碑 。這天是8月29,早上起床坐公車到foggy bottom,走進林肯紀念堂眼看不對才想到,我真會挑時間,前一天是March on Washington五十週年,看台和椅子都還沒拆,林肯紀念堂被封起來……

當然我沒有運氣好到只去一次就遇到漂亮的霧,這天早上整個天空非常醜地又灰又暗,有日出跟沒日出沒兩樣,早上七點坐在林肯紀念堂前面的階梯吃granola bar,這個時間大概只有動物園是開的…最後在湖邊浪費生命拍鴨鴨,鴨鴨也不想要配合一點幫我站在有華盛頓紀念念碑倒影的水灘。

Saturday was my last day in town. I thought I would give it another shot. My friend Elisa was surprisingly motivated enough to get up early and go with me. That made my day. The sky was not beautiful and the sunrise was bland. All my good shots had her silhouette that made the scene interesting.

That morning the sunlight was not strong enough to light up front row pillars of the Lincoln Memorial and thus I didn’t get pictures of those pillars in good contrast or layer. Also, lesson learned: in late August, the sun is way toward the north.

星期六決定再試一次,elisa很熱血地跟我一起早起,還好這孩子熱血地一起來看日出,這天日出沒有漂亮的天空或雲,陽光不夠亮所以沒有打亮柱子讓他們有層次感,最後選出來的照片都是靠elisa的剪影。還有人生學到新的一課,八月底的太陽不會和國會在一起,它其實很偏北邊。

Lincoln Memorial sunrise

I guess we will try this again later this year. Maybe in December when Christmas trees are up.

只好下次去DC再接再厲。

Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool

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One thought on “Sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial

  1. Pingback: Ben and the Flags at the Old Post Office Pavilion | Near and Far

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