Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Korean War Veterans MemorialWashington, D.C. is my favorite place to travel in the world. I’ve been three times. I’ve seen something new on every visit because it seems there’s always more to see.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located pretty close to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Granted the second is probably more well known, but I find the former to be a more interesting subject. As you approach it, you walk next to the soldiers seen here. Cast of stainless steel, they lend themselves to black and white. The high contrast of the image is admittedly what appeals to my eye the most. This first photo is enlarged, matted, framed, and displayed in my gallery of images spanning the many places I have traveled and seen.

Korean War Veterans MemorialAnother aspect of the Memorial has strains of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial… however, there’s one major difference. Rather than etching the names of those who died in the war, the faces of soldiers are etched in the Mural Wall. Over 2,400 images taken from real photographs were etched in the black granite. The lighting was just right at the time I shot the wall and I was able to capture the etched images as well as the reflection of passersby. Those are not people in the image, but their reflection as they walked by me and the wall. And if you look at the enlarged image, it may appear grainy, but that’s actually the fleck in the granite.

My camera was brand new on this particular vacation (so new, in fact, that I accidently deleted all of the fabulous photographs I shot at night of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials–DOH!). I had no clue what I was doing with it and whether or not the photographs would look as good on the computer and in print as they did on the viewfinder of the camera. As such, I was pretty tickled when I pulled this one up and saw the images and reflections so clearly. These were shot with my Canon 5D and my 28-80mm lens (and no comments from the peanut gallery about fixed focal length… when you’ve had back surgery, you can preach at me about it, ‘kay?)

Korean War Veterans MemorialI included this last photograph… not so much because I think it’s great, but rather to show the contrast of the Memorial in black and white versus color. It looks pretty good in color, but I find it far more striking in black and white. It’s a little more artsy, too, but that’s not generally what captures my attention. High contrast in an image, whether it’s black and white or color, is one of the first things to catch my eye.

And if you’re thinking these dudes look big, they are 7’3″ tall… what they referred to as hero stature. Not knowing many fellows that live at that altitude, I’ll have to take “their” word for it. The men actually extend into the trees behind them, giving the illusion that the soldiers are walking out of a forest.

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