Photo-ops - Washington, DC

Discussion in 'Travel' started by sudelb, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I'm planning to spend a few day at Washington DC on a business trip.
    Would you mind to suggest good photo-ops, including also those not
    appearing on the pages of the tourist guides. Thank you in advance.
  2. Georgetown(in the city) is a great place to explore and photograph. I'm from Canada (Toronto) and have never been to a city so designed for visitors; you might even get to see cherry blossoms. Have fun! cb
  3. There is a little fish market on the Anacostia river just south of the mall (called the wharf) where tourists rarely go and it's quite interesting. If you get outside the city, the parks nearby are rarely photographed. For instance Catoctin Falls and the rest of the area around Camp David is beautiful. Try walking along the canal past Georgetown or taking a bike (or canoe if you're adventurous) and going further. Great Falls is quite nice. The new Native American Museum on the Mall is wonderful and different. There are a lot of cool diners and stuf outside in the suburbs (see Carl Root's page for some truly superior examples). Don't miss Ben's Chilli bowl near the U Street stop. National Cathedral is ok. Don't miss a sunset on the Mall, which can be spectacular .... yes, everyone takes pictures of the Lincoln Memorial at sunset but that's because it is so damn wonderful. Of course, Georgetown itself is also nice. Don't bother waiting for the Washington Monument line .... instead go over to the old Post Office Building across the stree and go up that tower. There is no line and the view is almost the same, except that it includes the Washington Monument. There are usually protesters near the White House, of course. Alexandria is an intersting little place that is reachable by subway. Further afield, I love Annapolis and Baltimore both. Hope this helps because you sure made me homesick ....
  4. All the above plus the Jefferson Memorial. And Mt. Vernon. And the Air & Space Museum. And Ford's Theater. And DuPont Circle.
  5. If it is warm, DuPont Circle is a great place for people photography. If you're in to night
    street photography, you must go up to Adams Morgan on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday
    night (bring ISO 3200 and a fast lens!).

    Gravelly Point, along the river in on the Arlington, VA side is at the end of the runway for
    Reagan National Airport. If you like airplanes, this is an outstanding perspective to
    photograph landing jets on the runway as well as take a picture of their underbelly against
    a (hopefully) interesting sky. It almost feels like you can reach up and touch them at this

    Union Station has spectacular interiors - I'm always surprised it is not on more "must see"
    lists. It is a short walk from the Capitol Building and is also on the Metro.

    All of this is assuming that you'll tire of the attraction on and around The Mall. I could
    spend a week down there without running out of things to see. If there is a clear, cool
    night (no fog or haze), you MUST go to The Mall between dusk and about 1:00 AM (when
    they generally turn off some of th lights). Bring a tripod and you'll be rewarding with some
    gorgeous shots of the monuments. The Korean War Memorial is particularly haunting at
    night. In the last decade or so it has even become safe to be down there at night with
    photo equipment!
  6. Another thing you can combine with the previous poster's suggestion about the fish market is one of Washington's least-known memorials -- the Titanic Memorial. It's at the end of the path along the riverfront, past the docks where the ships that go to Mt. Vernon depart, and past the police dock. Probably not worth a trip on it's own (I used to live 2 blocks from it), but a walk from the fish market to the memorial would be a great multi-roll-burner of a photo shoot.

    Contact me if you need mass-transit directions.
  7. There are so many neat places to see things along the C&O Canal - it makes for a great visitors' attraction away from the usual monuments and museums. Close in to Georgetown, where the canal starts, there is Fletchers' Lock, where you can see one of the original lockmaster's homes, and where they have a boathouse that people rent canoes and kayaks to take out on the canal or down to the Potomac River. Farther out, in Glen Echo, Maryland, there is the Glen Echo Park, with their 1900s carousel and vintage amusement park buildings. Across the road is the Clara Barton house, where she founded and ran the American Red Cross after the Civil War. Continuing north along the river, on both the Maryland and Virginia sides, there is Great Falls. Both sides have incredible landscapes to see - you get a better view of the waterfalls from Virginia, but on the Maryland side there are some rather nice rock formations along the riverbank, and the Great Falls Inn site, which is now a museum about the C&O canal. Continue north past Potomac, Maryland and near Frederick, you'll find the Monocacy Viaduct, another part of the C&O Canal. It is a stone bridge built over the Monocacy River to carry canal traffic. A few miles farther on is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, one of the most fought over sites in the entire civil war (changed hands at least a dozen times). Closer in to downtown DC, as mentioned already there is Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, the U Street corridor. Off 10th Street and New Hampshire Avenue, just a block or two from the U Street metro stop is the home of Madam Evante, the first African-American opera star. Her career began a good 30 years before Marian Anderson, and she is considered to be her equal as a singer, but she is virtually unknown in the US due to the pervasive influence of racism in her day. She toured and sang in the great opera halls of Europe.
  8. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Just one word of caution: Don't even THINK about using a tripod anywhere on the Mall (the area that houses the memorials, the Capital, the museums, the White House, etc. Even before 911 I just about had my lungs ripped out by a guard for trying to take an evening shot of the Christmas tree near the Capital.
  9. I love the Adams Morgan/DuPont Circle area for evening people photography. There are always some street musicians in the general area along with some excellent restaurants. I have to second a hike up the C&O Canal. Great Falls is a decent shoot also, I prefer the MD side. I must add Arlington National Cemetery to the list too. The changing of the guard is a sight to see there are also some good options for wide shots of the monuments.

    Douglas mentioned that tripod use on the mall could be restricted. However, having lived in DC for the past 3 years, I must say that I rarely ever have a problem setting up my tripod. Of course I only shoot the mall on very early mornings (3am � sunrise). There is still a lot of security there, but as long as you�re not getting in other people�s way you should be able to use a tripod without a problem.

    Also, another poster mentioned that they turn the lights off at around 1am. I�ve never seen that happen either. As far as I know the monuments are lit from about 30 mins before sunset to an hour or so after sunrise. Again most of my shoots are in the very early morning to avoid crowds and traffic.

    I hope this post isn�t too late to help. Enjoy your trip.

  10. Iwa Jima memorial. You can get the washington monument, the capital, and the lincoln memorials in one shot.

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