Here are my photos taken in Washington D.C. in the spring of 2018. Click any thumbnail to open into a full size slide show.
DC 1/ A few weeks ago, we took a trip to Washington D.C. The first morning we went out to see the monuments. The Lincoln Memorial was first, but when we got there, I turned to see the Washington Monument rising into the fog. I almost waited until after visiting the Lincoln Memorial before taking a picture of this, but if I’ve learned anything over the years of landscape photography, I know that when the sky conditions are right you don’t wait. I pulled my camera out of my backpack, and just when I was about to take a picture cropping out people in the foreground, I see these 4 women checking out the same view I was appreciating. I recomposed to include them in the frame and snapped this photo. Oh, and when we finished with our visit to the Lincoln Memorial, the fog had lifted and this view was gone…
DC 2/ The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite stop in D.C., probably because Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents. He stood for something that he believed in, but was able to be diplomatic when interacting with others who didn’t agree with him.
Many people will take the head-on shot of Lincoln when visiting the Memorial, but there were a lot of other good angles that I enjoyed exploring. I had a few good ones showing a side profile, but I liked this quarter view better because you could see more of his face, while also including the columns that are such a big part of the landmark.
DC 3/ Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech is one of the more notable events that has happened outside the Lincoln Memorial. While Dr. King has his own memorial nearby, he is remembered here with this engraving on the stone floor.
DC 4/ One last shot of the Lincoln Memorial. This one was taken a few days later, on a weekend day when it is much more crowded. Even though the original had a nice blue sky, I decided to process this one in black and white because I liked the extra contrast of the bright monument to its surroundings.
DC 5/ Sometimes a rainy mess of a day can still present you with plenty of good photo opportunities. Here at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the rain just added to the tone of the memorial.
DC 6/ The FDR Memorial was fantastic. It was broken up into multiple sections, each one focusing on a different theme of his presidency. This shot shows the area representing his New Deal.
DC 7/ Another area of the FDR Memorial represented his time as president during WW II. What I found interesting is that this area felt so peaceful while we were there.
DC 8/ The Jefferson Memorial is off the beaten path a bit. However it’s a favorite of many. I actually had to return a second time to grab this shot. The first day we were walking along the Tidal Basin and I saw this photo, but didn’t have my telephoto lens. A few days later I brought my 100-400 out with me and returned to this spot to capture the image above. It was almost overcast, but there were a few spots of blue sky. I waited about 10 minutes for the sky to shed some sunlight onto the monument.
DC 9/ Arlington National Cemetery is a powerful place to visit. The sheer enormity of it can be overwhelming. JFK is buried there, as well as President Taft, among hundreds of thousands of others.
DC 10/ Ford’s Theater. We spent several hours touring the place where Lincoln was shot. It’s interesting to note that the theater is actually a recreation of the original site. The original theater didn’t survive financially after the event that makes it famous, so the building became several other things through the years before the National Park Service decided to use photos to restore it to its original state.
The presidential booth is decorated with a picture of Washington, which I found to be strange. It’s my understanding that the picture of Washington originally marked it as the presidential booth (the White House is about a half mile away), so they kept it the way it was.
DC 11/ Good artists copy; great artists steal. This quote kept coming to mind as I captured this photo of the National Museum of African American History and Culture with the Washington Monument in the background. The hotel we were staying at had a travel magazine with a similar shot on the cover, and I decided I had to try and recreate it on my own. I figured out the best location to photograph it from, then decided the best time to photograph it would be in the morning while the sun was in the right position. I’m happy with the result.
We would have loved to have visited the museum itself, but we couldn’t get tickets. Every day at 6:30am they offer a certain number of tickets on their website. We woke up early to pick up a couple of them, but they were gone within minutes. Next time…
DC 12/ One of my favorite buildings in the DC area is the Supreme Court building. It was just so pristine with marble everywhere, and the masonry was fantastic. We toured inside the next day, but the afternoon I took this photo was after it had already closed to visitors.
DC 13/ Nine chairs for the folks who keep Congress in check. I took this photo from just outside the courtroom looking in. I was happy to get the shot, but it was unfortunate that cameras weren’t allowed inside the courtroom itself. The ceiling was adorned with several statues and decorations around the room, and it would have been great to capture it as well.
DC 14/ The spiral staircase in the Supreme Court building. I’m a sucker for repetition in photos, so when I saw this spiral staircase, I had to grab a shot. The stonework was beautiful.
DC 15/ Right next door to the Supreme Court building is the Capitol. This photo was taken in the Statuary Hall. Just outside the frame are several statues that are commissioned by different states. The statues were great, but with hundreds of people touring the room at the same time, I decided to focus on capturing the ceiling instead.
DC 16/ Inside the main Capitol dome. I was thankful to have my 16-35 while visiting, because there’s just no way to capture the expanse of this room otherwise. There were paintings on the ceiling, as shown here, but there were also paintings on all the walls as well. It almost reminded me of a room of creative works at a museum like the Louvre.
DC 17/ When packing for a trip like this, I almost never bring a long telephoto lens. Most of the time I prefer to travel light and use either a 16-35 or a 24-105. However, I had one shot in my mind before leaving, and that is the shot shown above. I wanted a shot during the blue hour right after sunset, showing the detail of the Capitol dome from a long distance.
I thought about bringing the 70-200, but wasn’t sure 200mm would be long enough. I tossed the 100-400 in my bag instead, and I’m glad I did because I’m out closer to 400mm in this capture. I did save a little bit of weight, packing a monopod instead of a tripod, and relying on image stabilization in the lens and the high ISO capability of the 5D Mark IV.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m thinking about printing it (along with a few other images from the trip).
DC 18/ Usually long exposure captures need to be planned to make sure you have a tripod, the right vantage point, etc. this one wasn’t planned at all. I was out on an evening walk with my wife and came across this overpass. We stopped for only a minute to grab this photo, using the railing as a tripod.
DC 19/ The inside of the Library of Congress was nothing short of spectacular. Even though there were tons of tourists wandering the halls, the place was big enough to capture photos without any distractions. I was fortunate to have the 16-35 with me that day to capture some ultra-wides like the shot above.
DC 20/ We were wandering the halls of the Library of Congress, and we ended up down a hallway that we later found out was staff-only. It was definitely a quieter part of the building, and this would have been a perfect spot to sit and rest for awhile after being immersed in the hustle-and-bustle of the rest of D.C.
DC 21/ The Library of Congress Reading Room. I was just awestruck by this view; the room was fantastic. This photo was taken through glass on an observation deck, but fortunately you’d never know it from seeing the resulting image. This is just about the entire frame of the 30 megapixel image from my 5D Mark IV. I’m planning to make a big print of this one to really be able to appreciate all the detail captured.
DC 22/ The final stop I made on the trip to D.C. was to the National Cathedral the morning before leaving. I had read the architecture was similar to Notre Dame in Paris. Even though the cathedral was built within the last 100 years, it was designed in a gothic style similar to many cathedrals in Europe.
DC 23/ The baptismal font in the National Cathedral. While the venue attempts to host a wide variety of Christian denominations (and doesn’t restrict anyone who asks to use it), the church is actually Episcopal.
DC 24/ While at the National Cathedral, I was fortunate to catch a demonstration of the organ. The organ is pretty amazing in it’s own right, consisting of more than 10,000 pipes. Here’s a shot of the musician’s console.
DC 25/ The basement of the National Cathedral is split up into several chapels such as this one. Each one was decorated differently. Also of note in this photo are the massive pillars on either side of the image. I’m not talking about the smaller pillars about the third of the way in to each side of the photo. Instead notice how these “small” pillars are each part of a larger circular pillar that makes up a corner of the room. The Cathedral is so tall, that by the time the pillars get to the basement level, they are about 40 ft in diameter.
DC 26/ Just before leaving the National Cathedral (and returning home to Michigan), I wandered into this chapel in the basement. The entire chapel was decorated with the most amazing tile mosaics. This one was my favorite.
Thanks for following me on my D.C. adventure!