“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”
― Emily Dickinson

My husband, Randy, and I spent my birthday weekend in Washington, DC, with a primary focus of photographing the blooming cherry trees.  I did spend a great deal of my time there photographing the cherry blossoms.  If you missed that post and images, you can find it here.

While we were there, I found an unexpected treat to photograph.  Near the hotel where we stayed, there was a street lined with colorful,

festive lanterns.  I knew immediately upon seeing them,  that I would need to return to that location to spend as much time as I could photographing them.

I first chose late afternoon to photograph the lanterns.  I wanted to see how they looked in the glowing afternoon light.

Dancing in the Daylight

It was fun capturing both the lanterns and their reflections in the buildings.

I  had only started photographing when I was approached by a police officer.  He told me that although I could photograph, I would not be able to use my tripod.  I put my tripod aside and continued to capture the beauty before me.

While most of my compositions were free of people, I also wanted to have at least one in which I included the entire space.   When this woman entered the scene wearing clothing that matched the scene, I knew this was the image I wanted that included people.


Street Scene

Once I pulled the image up on my computer, I was disappointed to see the car entering the frame.  I felt that the light blue car took away from the scene.  Using some tools in Photoshop™ I changed the color of the car to what I wanted to incorporate it into the scene.  There is such incredible magic contained within Photoshop™.  If you would like to learn more, please join Les Saucier and me at the end of April for our postprocessing workshop.  You can find more information about the workshop here.

After taking a break, I headed back to see what the lanterns looked like at twilight.  I was concerned about whether or not I would be able to capture them at twilight without using my tripod, but thankfully, I was able to get some images.

Look Up!

One of the highlights of my weekend birthday trip to Washington, DC, was a visit to the National Gallery of Art.  Seeing works of art by those I have studied and those I have not yet been introduced to simply took my breath away!  If you ever have a chance to visit this museum, make sure you seize that opportunity.

My Muse at the Museum

The final picture I will share from this trip was taken on the moving sidewalk at the National Gallery of Art.  The main profile is of my husband, Randy.  I include this as my most important trip image because although Randy would have much preferred to stay home and golf, he drove me to DC, spent two sunrises looking at cherry blossoms, walked with me and stood by me as I photographed lanterns at different times of day so I could get different types of light, and looked at art that he wasn’t particularly interested in experiencing.  He has supported my photography by giving me gear, taking me to places to photograph, encouraging me go many places without him to photograph, and looking at more photographs than anyone really needs to view.  Although he is included in this photograph, he is a part of every photograph I have taken since we met.  I am so thankful for his support of me and my passion for photography!


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Mary Presson Roberts
Mary Presson Roberts

I am a travel and fine art photographer living and working in the Carolinas. My camera has taken me to places I never would have experienced and to people I never would have met. Photography has truly changed my life! Using my blog, I hope to share the joys of both travel and photography.

Comments (3)

  1. Avatar

    These are beautiful, Mary. “Dancing in the Daylight” just took my breath away. Thank you Randy for making it possible!

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, Jennifer!

  2. Avatar

    All great pics, creative & great use of existing light! Love your Blog, Mary! Thx 4 sharing. Your ‘Sherpa’ Randy is a Godsend, great to have support!

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