Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in Washington DC–The White House and National Christmas Tree

National Christams Tree at Night
Christmas is no longer sneaking up on us.  It is flying straight at us with the laser like precision of a Tom Brady pass.  With just a few days left, I am hustling to finish processing my Christmas themed photography.  In order to dedicate more time to processing, I will be brief.

Utah State Tree
The first photograph in this post (the National Christmas Tree and the White House at night) was a terribly difficult shot to get.  As I mentioned in the post “Christmas in Washington DC-US Capitol at Night” the conditions were not great; very cold and 15+ knot winds.  Windy conditions are always a challenge when shooting long exposures.  In this case it was exaggerated further because this shot was taken at a 400mm focal length (Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L which, BTW I am selling…send me a note if you are interested).  To get this unobstructed shot, I had to set up at the base of the Washington Monument, and use every bit of the 400mm focal length.

Twinkle Twinkle
If you are unclear why use of the 400mm introduces a new level of difficulty , I will explain.  At such a long focal length, it takes only a small amount of camera movement to shift what you see through the lens.  At 400mm, If I move the camera just a few degrees, the White House would no longer be in the frame.  With a 17mm wide angle lens, I could move the camera nearly 80 degrees and still have the White House in the frame.  In summary, at 400mm, just a tiny bit of camera shake (wind, flapping cable or camera strap, shutter movement, or even breathing) would make the photograph unusable.

Whitehouse from Lafayette Park
I still have a few more groups of photos to post before Christmas.  Visit again soon, and enjoy the rest of the photographs.

National Christmas Tree

Whitehouse Gate
Have fun, and go make some great photography.

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