Saturday, December 31, 2011

[Daily Photo] Mt. Rushmore

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This photo is a closeup view of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. I took this photo from the parking lot with my telephoto lens. Sculptures from left to right are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Mt. Rushmore

Friday, December 30, 2011

[Daily Photo] Heidelberg Castle Ruin

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I took this photo in Heidelberg, Germany. My friends and I were visiting the Heidelberg Castle that day. I love the old ruin of castle because it shows the trace of time and gives me a desolate feeling.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

[Daily Photo] The Yellowstone Fall

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This is one of the falls in Yellowstone. There are many spots to see falls in Yellowstone, and you can drive from one spot to the other. If you like hiking, you can also walk to observation decks that are really close to the falls, just like the one in the second photo (It's a closeup from the first photo). We didn't visit that observation deck in our journey.

The Yellowstone fall


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

[Daily Photo] Wood walkway and staircase

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There is a beautiful wood walkway near our house besides Huron River. If you follow the staircase in this photo, you can go down to the riverside. Note there are some residual snow on the stairs.

Wood walkway and staircase

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[Daily Photo] A Christmas gift shop

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I went window shopping yesterday for post Christmas while waiting for my wife buying dinner. There wasn't much atmosphere for Christmas here in Ann Arbor this year, and this is one of the few shops around downtown with a little jingle bell things...

A Christmas gift shop

Monday, December 26, 2011

[Daily Photo] Christmas at Nickels Arcade

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We went to a shopping mall today, and I looked forward to take pictures of Christmas in the mall. However, after I setting up all my equipment, a guard told me that taking photos was prohibited in this shopping mall. It was so disappointing.

While my wife and I were waiting for our takeout dinner, I used the 10 minutes to take photos in the neighborhood. Then I found this place - Nickels Arcade (in Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Christmas at Nickels Arcade

Sunday, December 25, 2011

[Daily Photo] Sunset at Bandemer Park

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Merry Christmas everyone!! I really wanted to post some photos of Christmas, but I didn't get a chance to shoot one. Tomorrow we will go to a shopping mall; maybe this will be a good opportunity to take some holiday photos.

Today's daily photo was taken at Bandemer Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The park is located between the Huron River and railroad tracks (near North Main Street). I like the small pond and the reeds in the foreground of this photo.

Sunset at Bandemer Park

Saturday, December 24, 2011

[Daily Photo] A yellow-bellied marmot

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I took this photo of a yellow-bellied marmot in Yellowstone. We were leaving Yellowstone that morning and when we drove by Yellowstone Lake, we saw this marmot running across the road sitting on a stone on the lakeshore. I took this photo from our car.

A yellow-bellied marmot

Friday, December 23, 2011

[Daily Photo] Beautiful Houses in Georgetown

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This photo was taken in Georgetown. It is located in northwest Washington DC. This is a gorgeous place with beautiful houses everywhere. I spent an afternoon taking photos here.

Beautiful Houses in Georgetown

Thursday, December 22, 2011

[Daily Photo] Lincoln Memorial

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This is a photo of Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. There is a huge Lincoln statue inside the memorial. I may post the photo of that statue in the future.

Lincoln Memorial

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[Daily Photo] The canoes at Gallup Park

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This photo was taken at Gallup Park, Ann Arbor. This park is a popular area for canoeing. However, the canoeing season is over now (I think maybe because the water is too cold now). The shop to rent a canoe was closed and all the canoes had been gathered at this place.

The canoes

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[Daily Photo] Gallup Park, Michigan

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I took this photo in Gallup Park yesterday. It is a popular recreation area in Ann Arbor. It is along the Huron River. There are scenic walkways and beautiful bridges. You can also canoe in the river (but not in Winter).

Gallup Park, Michigan

Monday, December 19, 2011

[Daily Photo] A jellyfish

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This photo of a jellyfish was taken in Shedd Aquarium, Chicago. I have no idea what's its name or species.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

[Daily Photo] Badlands National Park

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I took this photo in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Amazing view, isn't it? It's a pity that we visited this park in a hurry,  so I didn't have a chance to shoot a sunset view of Badlands, and we had to chose three of the shortest trails to hike. I think next time if I travel alone, I may spend more time here, walking through all trails and searching for more spectacular views.

Badlands National Park

Saturday, December 17, 2011

[Daily Photo] Sunset on Plymouth Road

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This photo was shot on December 13, 5 minutes after Rush hour on Plymouth Road. The difference was that I walked across the street and faced my camera right at the sun. To avoid too strong sunlight, I hid the sun behind tree branches.

Sunset on Plymouth Road

Friday, December 16, 2011

[Daily Photo] Valor - The Arts of War sculpture

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The bronze statue in this photo is Valor, one of the "The Arts of War sculptures" by Leo Friedlander, which is located at the western ends of Arlington Memorial Bridge, Washington DC. This statue is a gift from Italy to America.

The Arts of War sculptures, Valor

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[Daily Photo] Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone

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I took this photo at Mammoth Hot Springs of Yellowstone. This place is incredibly beautiful, not only the colors of the stone, but the varietes of the terrain. The terrain on the upper part of this photo looks like slopes, and the terrain on the lower part looks like terraces(梯田).

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone

The second photo is the enlargement of the first photo. You can see the detail of the terrain.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[Daily Photo] Graffiti under the bridge

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This photo was taken under the bridge of Highway US-23N across Huron River in Ann Arbor. I met a lot of people jogging or walking their pets alongside the river. I like the colors of the metal and the rust stain on the upper part of this photo.

Graffiti under the bridge

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

[Daily Photo] Rush hour on Plymouth Road

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I was taking pictures along Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor. It was rush hour in the evening, and the road was crowded with cars. Everyone seemed in a hurry. The light of sunset added some exotic color into this photo, and the motion blur of the cars showed how busy the traffic was.

Rush hour on Plymouth Road

Monday, December 12, 2011

[Daily Photo] Mt. Rushmore

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This is the famous Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. These four sculptures of heads of United States presidents from left to right are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is an easy place to visit. You don't need to walk far to see this signature view. I took this photo from the parking lot.

Mt. Rushmore

Sunday, December 11, 2011

[Daily Photo] Federal Triangle in Washington DC

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I was in Washington DC, standing in the lawn in front of the Washington Monument. Then I looked back and found these beautiful buildings which had the same style. I just found out from the internet that these buildings formed a triangular area called Federal Triangle. The building on the center of this photo is one of the corners of the triangle.

Federal Triangle in Washington DC

Saturday, December 10, 2011

[Daily Photo] Komodo dragon

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I took this photo of a komodo dragon in Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington DC. Its mouth was so funny. It must be saying "Mmmmmmmmmh".

When I was taking photos at Reptile Discovery Center, a woman asked me how I took this photo, and why all she got were the reflections of the glass window. I checked her photos and camera settings. Then I suggested to her that she should turn off the flash, and adjust the angle between her and the glass to avoid the reflection of the glass. Then, zoom in to get the close-up view.


Friday, December 09, 2011

[Daily Photo] Sunset at Huron riverside

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I was taking photos along Huron River last evening. The Huron River is a long river in southeastern Michigan. It passes through Ann Arbor and luckily I live close to it. The temperature in the evening was about 0 degree Celsius. To keep my hands warm, I brought a heat pack(暖暖包) with me. However, it was not hot enough to warm my hands. And I couldn't always put my hands in my pockets, because I had to hold the camera and the tripod. I look forward to receiving the wireless shutter remote control I bought on eBay, so I can take a photos with my hands in pockets.

Sunset at Huron Riverside

Thursday, December 08, 2011

[Daily Photo] Mallard in the pool

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I took a photo of this mallard(wild duck) in Taipei, Taiwan. I like the light reflected on the water surface and the ripples in this photo. The upper part of the photo is very bright, which makes your eyes want to escape to the darker part of the photo, then you find the mallard.

By the way, I still can see mallards swimming on the river near my house (in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) today. It seems that they are used to the cold weather here.

Mallard in the pool

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

[Daily Photo] Baldacchino sculpture at National World War II Memorial

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This photo was shot in National World War II Memorial, Washington DC. I found this beautiful place on my way from Washington Monument to Lincoln Memorial Hall. The building in this photo is Atlantic Pavilion. There is also a similar building called Pacific Pavilion in this memorial. The sculpture in this photo shows four eagles standing on the posts holding a laurel wreath together.

Baldacchino sculpture at National World War II Memorial

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

[Daily Photo] Cuiheng Pagoda 翠亨閣

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This is Cuiheng Pagoda in "228 Peace Memorial Park", Taipei, Taiwan. It was a pity that the inside of the building was not open to the pubic.

P.S. 圖中對聯全文為「於兩間留正氣; 為萬世開太平。」

Cuiheng Pagoda 翠亨閣

Monday, December 05, 2011

[Daily Photo] American bison

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This photo of American bison was taken in Yellowston. We found hordes of American bisons on our way from the Roosevelt to the Northeast Entrance. They were having dinner at that time. The expression of this male bison was so cute (note his tongue is out).
Recently I learned from TV that the lives of bisons in Yellowstone are very harsh during winter. In winter, Yellowstone is covered with thick snow. The only food sources are in the areas near the hot springs and geysers. However, the grasses and alge in this area are poisonous, so the bisons were slowly poisoned by the food they ate. In addition, the sulfur in the air near the hot spring also poisons the bisons. It was summer when I took this photo. They all look so carefree and leisurely. It's hard to imagine that they will had a hard time in winter.

American bison

Sunday, December 04, 2011

[Daily Photo] Heart Spring in Yellowstone

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This is the Heart Spring in Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone. The spring got its name from the heart-like shape of the crater. There is also Lion Geyser located at the right center of this photo (the small, white hump with steam).

Heart Spring in Yellowstone

Saturday, December 03, 2011

[Daily Photo] Rhein riverside

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My friends and I were on a boat tour on the Rhein River in Germany, from Baharach to Boppard. There are many castles built along the riverside. The castle in this photo is a hotel (You can see the word "HOTEL" on the rock below the castle if you look closely). I hope one day I can stay in a castle hotel like this one.

Rhein riverside

Friday, December 02, 2011

[Daily Photo] Skeleton Man walking Skeleton Dinosaur

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We were on Highway I-90 westbound in Murdo, South Dakota on our way to Yellowstone. I was sitting in the back seat of the car with my camera in my hand, ready to take a picture of something interesting on the roadside. And I saw this strange artwork. I didn't know if it was an advertisement or just someone's artwork. We didn't want to park our car on the roadside to take this picture, so I had to shoot inside the car which was moving at 80+ MPH. I'd like to talk about how to take a photo in this situation. The most important parameter is the shutter speed, if it is too slow, there will be motion blur all over the photo. I suggest using a shutter speed faster than 1/1000 sec. There are two ways to achieve this, using a larger aperture or boosting the ISO. Because I wanted to keep everything in focus, I boosted the ISO to 1000 and kept  the aperture of F9.0. By these settings, I had the shutter speed of 1/3200 sec. I also suggest using the lens with vibration reduction (VR) function to prevent blur caused by hand-holding.

Skeleton Man walking Skeleton Dinosaur

Thursday, December 01, 2011

[Daily Photo] Gimbal sculpture in the Montrose Park

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I took this photo in Montrose Park in Georgetown, Washington DC. I was in Georgetown searching for somewhere to take a picture. Then I was attracted to this gimbal sculpture at the entrance of Montrose Park. This is really a quiet and beautiful place, and you can find birds and squirrels everywhere in this park.

Gimbal sculpture in the park

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[Daily Photo] Beautiful sunset in Michigan

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We had a BIG snow in Ann Arbor, Michigan last night. My first snow experience was in October, but the snow only lasted about 3 hours. The snow yesterday was really big (like a snow storm). Our car was covered by a thick layer of snow this morning. The keyhole of the car was frozen with ice, and it took a lot of effort to get into the car. To celebrate my fist big snow experience, I decided to take some pictures. This photo was taken in Northfield, Michigan. Taking photo in this weather was really difficult, because I had to expose my fingers to cold air to operate the camera (I wore gloves with holes on the fingertips). I hope I can  get used to the cold weather soon.

Beautiful sunset

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

[Daily Photo] St. Bartholomä Church

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This is St. Bartholomä Church in  Germany,  located on the western shore of King's Lake (Königssee in German). We took a ferry across the lake to get here. It was in mid-September. We were supposed to have cool weather, so we left our heavy jackets in the hotel. Nevertheless, it was very cold in this area. The wind was chilly, and we only had cold sandwiches for lunch. Although we were cold and hungry, we really had a good time here.

St. Bartholomä church in Königssee

Monday, November 28, 2011

[Daily Photo] Arlington Cemetery

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I took this photo at Arlington Cemetery across the river from Washington DC. I arrived an hour before they closed, so I didn't have time to visit thoroughly. The cemetery is surprisingly beautiful.  Look at this photo. The tombstones present triangular formations.

Washington Cemetery

Sunday, November 27, 2011

[Daily Photo] The Smithsonian Castle in Washington DC

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This is the Smithsonian Castle, the headquarter of the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex. If you have seen the movie "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (博物館驚魂夜2)", this area is where the story was happened.

The Smithsonian Castle

Saturday, November 26, 2011

[Daily Photo] A beautiful Jellyfish

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I took this photo in the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago. There was a jellyfish exhibition when we visited the aquarium. The actual jellyfish is more beautiful than in my photo. I hope you will have the chance to visit the aquarium.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Add FACEBOOK buttons and comments into Blog

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I've added the FACEBOOK "like" and "share" buttons into my Blog temple. I've tested this two buttons. It worked well. Reference URL:

My wife told me that the original comment box in my Blog is inconvenient to use. (You have to login to Blogger or Enter your name.) Accordingly,I added the FACEBOOK comment box into my Blog temple. The process was complicated. I were still testing the program. If you are also interested in this program, here are the reference URLs: Link1, Link2.

[Daily Photo] A beautiful signboard in Rothenburg

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I was in Germany for a conference many years ago. Three of my colleagues came with me. We had a very good time there. I took this photo in Rothenburg, the most beautiful place of my trip in Germany. Almost every shop had a special signboard hanging on the wall. I think this shop maybe provides some drinks. What  do you think? (Thanks to Jessica, I now know it is a drugstore!!)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Daily Photo] Badlands National Park

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This photo was taken in the Badlands National Park, South Dakota. As you can see, there are badlands everywhere, no plants, no shelters.  We came there in summer. Even though I wore a safari-style hat all day, I got sunburn allover my neck. In this photo, the sky without any clouds looks a bit dull. Talking about composition, I think I should put more ground and less sky in this photo. But my original thought was to show you how hot the day was, so I took a large amount of blue sky into this photo.

Badlands National Park

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

[Daily Photo] Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

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This is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a river-eroded geyser basin. The hot acidic water from the geysers and hot springs made the volcanic rocks vulnarable and brittle; therefore, the erodsion is fast and the rocks are colorful. In this photo, you can see various colors of rocks made by the hot acidic water.

Yellowstone Canyon

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Daily Photo] A cheetah lying in the meadow

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This photo was taken in the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC. In my memory, the zoo was always smelly, messy, and dirty; however, every corner of this zoo was impressively clean and didn't smell.


Monday, November 21, 2011

[Daily Photo] Reflections on the glass curtain wall building, Chicago

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This photo was taken on a boat tour on the Chicago River. The reflections on this glass curtain wall building looked so amazing (like mosaic art). This was my second time to take a boat tour on the Chicago river. It was August, the weather was warm and comfortable for the boat tour. My first experience was in October, I almost froze to death by the chilly wind over the Chicago River.

 Reflections on the building wall

Sunday, November 20, 2011

[Daily Photo] Washington National Cathedral

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When I planned my trip to Washington DC, I searched the web for some "secret places" for photography, and I found this place - Washington National Cathedral.Since there is no direct Metro stop, you have to walk a  half an hour from the Metro station to get there. When I got there, I found out that the cathedral was temporarily closed  due to the damage caused by the earthquake. That was really a pity. Before I got here, I thought I could take beautiful pictures of the inside of the cathedral, but I could only photograph it from the outside. Next time I should check if the place is open before I go there.

Washington National Cathedral

Saturday, November 19, 2011

[Daily Photo] Stone Trench of Laomei Coast, Taiwan (老梅石槽)

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This photo was taken at Laomei Coast, north coast of Taiwan, which is famous for the spectacular Stone Trench (石槽) topography. The Stone Trench lies between the sand beach and the sea, formed by the erosion process. The softer part of the coral stone was eroded away by the waves. The remaining harder part forms the Stone Trench. I went here with my cousin, Mike and some of his classmates from his photography class. When I jumped across the reefs, I  broke one of the legs of my tripod, which took a lot of effort to repair.

Stone Trench of Laomei Coast

Friday, November 18, 2011

[Daily Photo] Black Opal Pool in Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone

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This is the "Black Opal Pool" in "Biscuit Basin" of Yellowstone. The name "Biscuit Basin" comes from the mineral deposits around the fringe of Sapphire Pool. It is a hot spring. (You can judge by the steam above the pool surface.) However, it does not erupt like a geyser (間歇泉).  The two blue pools are where the hot water comes from.

Black Opal Pool in the Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

[Daily Photo] Metro Station in Washington DC

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This photo was taken at the Smithsonian Metro Station in Washington DC. The style of metro stations in the US is very different from those in Taiwan. My first impression of the metro station in DC is was "Why is it so dark everywhere??". Especially on the platform, where lights only come from the edge between the ground and the wall, which made me feel uncomfortable. The metro stations in Taiwan are much brighter. You can see every corner of the station or everyone's face clearly.

Metro station in Washington DC

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[Daily Photo] Tienyuen Temple 天元宮

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The Tienyuen Temple is in Danshui, Taiwan. It is one of the most famous spots in north Taiwan for seeing cherry blossoms. One day my cousin asked me to go to Tienyuen Temple to take pictures with him. In order to take photos of the sunrise, we got up in 4:00 am and drove to Tienyuen temple. This photo was shot in 6:00 am. It was a very cloudy morning, so there was no cool sunrise view as we expected. And that was the end of the cherry blossom season. Beautiful cherry blossoms were almost faded.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

[Daily Photo] Washington Monument

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I was in Washington DC with my wife who had a conference there. This photo is the famous Washington Monument. There are so many amazing things to see in DC, so I could only visit the Washington Monument just one time. Luckily the weather is good. The clouds looks so dramatic. (I guess that is due to the airplanes which fly across the sky about every 5 minutes in the daytime.) Notice the color of the upper part of the monument is different from the lower part. The reason is the construction of the monument was suspended due to war (American Civil War). When the construction resumed, the same color marble was not available.


Monday, November 14, 2011

[Daily Photo] Soldier statue in Korean War Veterans Memorial

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I took this photo in the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC on my way to the Lincoln Memorial. There are about a dozen of soldier statues presenting the scene of a troop marching in the rain (I guess, judging by the raincoat). I wanted to take a picture of the whole troop. However, visitors are everywhere, so I turned my focus on this signaler. He was at the very end of the troop. Nobody was around him.