Camera Settings: f18, 5", ISO 100 Tripod
To plan this image I used the very handy Photo Ephemeris program. Not only does it provide accurate sunrise and sunset times, but it actually illustrates the precise direction of the sun in relation to your location. For example, I knew the sun would be setting behind Lincoln which meant there was a better chance for a colorful sky at dusk rather than dawn. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is half the battle. In this case, the other challenge was staying warm. DC was brutally frigid this weekend recalling the James Taylor lyrics "Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around" from the classic song Fire and Rain.
All of this however was forgotten the moment I gazed towards the warm glow of the Lincoln Memorial. There the statue of President peers out over the National Mall, a shining beacon of light during a dark period for our country. Earlier that day, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was tragically shot, and the flags in the distance were lowered to half-mast. I sincerely wish her a full recovery, and hope that despite the horrendous nature of this act, it will somehow lead to the advancement of peace. It was Lincoln who said, "Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time."