long exposure

Tree Lights and Trains: Washington, DC Long Exposure.

I love where I live, just outside of Washington, DC.  As a Southern California native, I'm not a big fan of snow or cold, but Christmas in DC is wonderful.  There are amazing displays made from plant materials at the Botanical Gardens, Mount Vernon is beautiful with the Christmas decor, and wandering though decorated Old Town Alexandria has been a highlight of my photography sessions.

This year, my family bought our first house, complete with fireplace and stockings hung by the chimney with care.  I love Christmas.

And although the presents are unwrapped and the "all-holiday" station has returned to normal music, the National Christmas Tree is still on display, surrounded by model trains and a series of smaller trees, one for each state and territory.

Plus, my intern got a tripod for Christmas, and I had a remote I hadn't taken out of the box.

So last night, Jess and I gathered up cameras, remotes, and tripods and headed into DC to photograph the tree amid lots of other visitors.  In a rare event, we didn't photograph any people!

This "ghost train" was captured at a super long exposure - I think 8 seconds.

The state trees line the "America Celebrates" portion of the display.

Sometimes, you see something online and just have to try it.  Taken at a super slow shutter speed, this effect was achieved by zooming out as the shutter released.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get rid of all the shake because the surface of the walkway was rubberized and bouncy - every person walking by bounced our tripods a bit!

I hope your holiday season is wrapping up well!  I'm taking a bit of time off to relax with my family but I'm still responding to emails and booking for 2016!  Time to start thinking spring portraits, senior pictures, and milestone events - birthdays and cake smashes!

While I'm taking my post-Christmas break, be sure to check out my Facebook page for favorites from 2015 and some personal pictures of my family.