Monumental reflection

Washington Monument mirrored in the Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.

The story: Sticking with the plan

It’s not often that I can say an image turned out just as I planned. This is one of those rare times it did.

I wanted to get an image of the Washington Monument mirrored in the Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial just after sunset while I was in Washington, D.C. on a business trip in June 2006. But I knew a lot of things would need to work out perfectly for me to get the shot. First, I had to be able to finish work in time to get my camera gear and travel to the location. Second, I needed a clear evening to get the deep blue "moments-after-sunset" sky that I wanted for the image. And third, I needed other tourists – especially the children running the perimeter of the Reflecting Pool – to stay away from the camera while the shutter was open for the long exposure.

It worked.

This image was taken about 25 minutes after sunset on a clear summer evening. You can see the fountains of the World War II Memorial to the left and right of the base of the Washington Monument, the circle of flags that surround the monument and the U.S. Capitol dome in the background.

I was using a Canon EOS 20D and Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 lens at 60mm. I set the aperture at f/14 to increase the depth of field, which led to a four second exposure at ISO 200.