I love going to Washington DC, but being there with a camera is a bitch. And I don’t mean the rain. Although that is tough too. See the above picture where I got caught in it.
Let me explain.
Other than, maybe, New York City, Washington DC is one of those familiar places you’ve seen a millions times in photographs, movies, and on TV. As I started taking pictures, I noticed how hard it is to shoot something interesting that hasn’t bee done before. That’s a little tougher, but a good challenge. I didn’t want people to look at my pictures and go, “Washington Monument. Nice.”
And can I say, shooting the Washington Monument is a pain. It looks cool sitting there in the mall, but trying to get a compelling image of it is hard. It’s just this stone structure that points straight up. Really, it’s a little boring. And in midday it’s worse. I did see a cool black and white image of it. Someone gave me a nice comment on this shot I took of it.
Our first stop was the White House. I got a shot of it and went, “That’s the White House. Nice.” Even I was bored of my pictures.
I looked around for other views and I noticed the other people who were there. I was fascinated that people from all over the world would come to our Nation’s Capitol to see the house where our leader lives. I can’t imagine me going to France to see the house where The French President lives. Or the king of Prussia. Or the guy who runs Canada.
Although, I would go back to Buckingham Palace, but that is a whole different deal. Queen Liz doesn’t really run the show.
So, the shot I got at the White house of people taking pictures represents the excitement of being there. I don’t know if the woman it the headscarf is an American or not. That is beside the point. I don’t even know her religion, but it shows the excitement that people have to be at the White House. I love that.
I also like the above shot at sunrise. Again, I was looking for another way to capture the place. I loved that I was the only one there, save for the security guard.
Another spot that is a bitch to shoot? The Vietnam Memorial.
This is really a moving place. How do you come to it with a unique perspective? You can’t. With that in mind, I did the usual shots to get acquainted with the place. I shot people and reflections with the names. Seen that.
Then I became taken with this BEAUTIFUL park ranger. She was taking rubbings of names on the wall to give to relatives of the soldiers. I shot a great many photos of her on the ladder getting the names. I was pleased with the results and images.
I also like humor in images. When we got to the WWII memorial, it was midday. The memorial has all this beautiful architecture and these great fountains. The shots I liked most were of the young woman wading into pool in front of the “No Wading” sign and the ducks swimming through the fountain. I also like the shot of the fitness boot camp I got early in the morning in front of the WWII memorial. What a great place to workout!
More humor for me was this mural I found. I don’t know who the woman in the middle is, but I know the rest of them.
In trying to have my own point of view, I decided to try to find offbeat things that haven’t been photographed a million times. As I was looking at my iPhone map on the steps of the Lincoln, I noticed that there was a memorial to Einstein. Perfect! I hadn’t seen it before.
The Einstein statue is so cool. The exterior isn’t smooth. There is a playfulness to it. I don’t know why. I imagine that’s because we seem to have created a myth of playfulness around him. Probably because Walter Mathau played him in that movie.
The goal was to get Al with this world famous formula. I thought the memorial was new or newish. It was put there in 1979.
There is a wonderful quote which I shot, but the image was dull. Here’s the quote: “as long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance, and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.”
I liked that a lot considering I had just stood in the spot where MLK had delivered his I Have a Dream speech.
I also was trying to do street photography. I got more into it in New York, but I was trying to see if I could pull it off. I like this image for what is not there. I don’t know if you can see, but in her cellphone screen is the statue of Lincoln.
Speaking of the Lincoln Memorial, there are several shots of the Lincoln Memorial. For details on those check out my earlier blog entry. That was my morning to be a “real” photographer.
Here is my favorite image from that morning. Yeah, it’s a little blown out at the top, but I still love it.
Below is a full gallery of the images I took. I don’t know how many total I took; several hundred for sure. The editing process has been great to make me consider just which images are worth viewing and reviewing.
Click on any of them to view the full gallery.
Coming soon! My gallery of New York City!