Washington D.C.

A blog about photography

How to prepare for the best city trip you’re going to have in 2018, while being in the one of the most power full cities in the world.

When you’re going on a city trip or just passing through, if you want visit it all in Washington D.C. a good preparation is essential! But how do you do prepare for such big city?! The first thing you need to know is “what do I want to see”.

I can hear you think: “Oh man, it’s just a city trip, relax. I know everything” Just going downtown isn’t cutting it this time!

Some facts about Washington D.C.

-          Washington D.C. is 109 miles­­2 / 177km­­­­2

-          Washington D.C. is in the District of Colombia

-          Washington D.C. is the capital of the USA

-          The city is named after the 1st president of the USA; George Washington

-          The Smithsonian have 19 free museums

-          In those 19 museums, only 1% of all these items is in display.

-          The National Mall is 2 mile/3km long

Taking photographs in Washington D.C.

Viewing all this beauty in Washington D.C. is of course why you initially go here, but of course you want to be able to show it at home! How do you make sure you take a good look at it? And do you also want these photos to be slightly distinctive from the vacation photos that everyone makes?

First of all, use Google maps to plan your day. When using google maps, you can see where all the monuments and memorials are. Don’t forget to use Google street view! This way you can figure out your composition.

Time of day
Okay, so you’re walking around in Washington D.C. and you want those slightly distinctive (or massive) different photographs from everybody else. The biggest difference between those awesome photographs you see hanging in the Smithsonian and your vacation photos, is that those photos are taken during sunrise and sunset. That way you get some awesome colours in the sky like orange, yellow and pink! This way, you get massive different photos than everybody else!


The second most important thing to get awesome photos is: composition! When your composition isn’t appealing, the photo isn’t interesting enough to keep someone attention. And you need that attention! Try to go for some reflection in the water of the WWII memorial or go for a unique angle. But the easiest thing is, is to find something for your foreground. Something that will lead your eyes through the frame.

When you combine a strong composition, with some awesome colours in the sky, you’ll get some unique photos!

Some final tips

-          Get up early. This way you have the place for yourself, with the best light and you can truly enjoy the memorials.

-          Use public transport. You have three options: Cab, Uber, Public transport. Public transport is way cheaper that the other two options and take just 5 minutes more.

-          Get a SmartTrip card for all your travels within Washington D.C.

For more photos and send me a message if you have any questions left.


Going from 2017 to 2018

A blog about photography

My first print that I sold! 

2017. What a year. My photography took some serious steps in the right direction. Got my own website, I currently having a exposition at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Zwijndrecht (Netherlands), sold some prints, got some big time jobs like photographing the CEO! In Total I took 5419 photos this year. 

My following on Instagram grew from just 100 followers to over 800! Big thank you for everyone who is following me! 

We started the year with a short trip to Winterberg in Germany. The weekend was cold, a lot of snow, absolutely no interesting skies. On our second to last day there, we went for a walk through the woods and the mist rolled in. This started to get interesting, right!? 

After some photos, I saw this  picture perfect moment happening before my eyes. Some beautiful tall trees, a path right in the middle, some colour in the trees and on the path. Click! 
But, then this happening right when I was packing my camera. Someone walked past us, said hi and disappeared in the mist. I didn't know quickly I had to get my camera out of my backpack, but it worked out in the end! First photo of the year and the first print I have sold! Awesome of the year!  

In September we had another first! For the first time we had a photo (on the left) which surpassed the 2500 likes bar! My phone went crazy! 

This photo was taken during sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonland National Park. 

It was a bit of challenge to get here. Not because of the trail to get to this spot. That's just a 20 minute walk. The challenging part was to get there in time. To be able to have a spot to photograph you need to be there at least 60 minutes before sunrise. So, the sunrise was at 07:08AM. We arrived there at Mesa Arch at 05:45AM. To get there at 05:45AM, we got in our car by 04:45AM because it is an our drive out of Moab! 

Yes, it's early, but it's al worth it! When you're there, just do it! 

I have used Instagram a lot this year. I tried to post every workday a new photo (www.instagram.com/bettmanphotography). Instagram has a new function that will show you your best liked images on Instagram. 

As you can see you all have liked my photos for a wopping 14035 times! THANK YOU! 


Bucket list photos!

A blog about photography

What's on your photography bucket list? 

No, I'm not talking about gear. I'm talking about that one unique photo you NEED to take! For me, personally, it was photographing the milky way with Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Just think about it, the beautiful lines and colors of Grand Prismatic Spring lined up with the milky way and even some reflections! Sounds awesome right?  

The sun is setting in Yellowstone NP

I was fortunate enough to go to Yellowstone National Park last September (2017). When I knew I was going to Yellowstone, I had to prepare this shot. First thing I checked, was it even possible?! According to Google Earth, it was. Phase one completed. 

Phase two is figuring out how and what I needed to do, being able to photograph the milky way. For me, it was the first time to photograph the milky way. It was nerve racking to think about it.
What if I screw up? What if I miss focus? What if for some magical reason the milky way doesn't show up? Here is where Google Earth, Instagram and 500px played a big rol. On these platforms I could learn what kind of settings I needed to use and at what time the milky way showed up in September. I used 500px to look for some examples for composition, but I was a little confused when I couldn't find anything! Was I really the first one to think about it? There was literately nobody who photographed the milky way, at Grand Prismatic Spring with the milky way reflecting in the water? So, you're telling me I have a photo on my bucket list that nobody has and I have the change to make it work? The pressure is building!   

Fast forward to September 2017. 

Finally A clear sky in Yellowstone NP

I'm walking in Yellowstone NP. It's cold (30F/0C) and what happened when it's cold outside with hot springs? A LOT of mist emerges from the springs and you'll not see anything of the colours of Grand Prismatic Springs or the line... Come on! This sucks right? Well, let's check it out tomorrow! It will be better, right? Nope. Still the same.       

After two unsuccessful nights in Yellowstone, we gave it one more try. After spending some time at Grand Prismatic Springs, we went to Great Fountain Geyser. Just 5 minutes by car so, when we could see if it was possible to photograph Grand Prismatic. During photographing Great Fountain Geyser, the clouds cleared and the night sky was even more beautiful than I could imagine. 

After photographing Great Fountain Geyser for almost an hour and got some sweet milky way shots from this spot, I knew. I had to try it one more time to get the image I was dreaming of. 

And what did you know! There was almost no mist! I was almost running to my spot, I had scouted earlier this day. The conditions where perfect.
No wind, almost no mist, clear skies. The only thing I needed to do was not to screw up.
Get your focus right, get your exposure right and get your composition right. A few 'simple' things, but crucial! 

Anyway, it al worked out in the end. Check the photo below and see for yourself. Let me know what you think of it. 

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone NP

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone NP