Some urban landscapes

October 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
Last weekend, I went out on the National Mall with the intention of shooting some urban landscapes. I've always liked the National Museum of the American Indian and decided it might make a good subject for an urban landscape.

I ventured to the southwest corner of the building to capture the building in the late afternoon sun. In the following photo, I attempted to capture some of the grandiosity of the building along with this fabulous tree I found outside. I feel I was fortunate to get some great fall color.
I circled around the building a bit to see if I could find any other great vantage points. The most interesting portion of the building is the awe-inspiring entrance. The late afternoon sun cast a shadow over the entrance, but I was able to pull out the detail in post-processing.

National Museum of the American Indian

I also stopped by the Tidal Basin to shoot an urban waterfall at the FDR Memorial. I really like the understated nature of the FDR Memorial. The trees and fountains evoke a feeling of calm and serenity. I tried to evoke some of the same in the following photo by keeping the composition simple and using backlighting. I really like the color and definition in the image.

Urban Waterfall

On another note, as I was running around shooting at the National Museum of the American Indian, I encountered a group of Hawaiians decorating a rock. They saw me carrying around my large camera and tripod and motioned me over. They asked me to take a photo of the rock and asked if they could tell me its story. I happily obliged them.


Kane Po is the name of this 300-year-old lava stone. It is one of four Cardinal Direction Markers around the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. After a 20-year stay at the museum, Kane Po will return to its home in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park near Hilo. Native Hawaiians consider it to be a living relative. The folks I spoke with had just finished decorating the rock. Each strand of rope circling the crown of the rock was delicately braided by hand from leaves. I was impressed by their love and respect for their ancestors and told them I would post a photo of the rock on my website. If you click on the photo above, it should take you to Flickr, where I posted a large version of the photo under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
 

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