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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Apr 2013 (Sunday) 11:29
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Info on Washington DC, please

 
Headbone
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Apr 28, 2013 11:29 |  #1

My better half and I will in Washington DC from the 11th May 2013 to the 21st May 2013 and would really appreciate any tips on which places to visit which are camera friendly and which areas to avoid (due to crime, camera being "unwelcome", photography not allowed etc) seeing as it will be the first time either of us will be in Washington.

I will be taking my 7D, 24-105 and 10-22mm with on the trip and will really appreciate any and all useful info.

Will be staying at Georgetown Suites on 30th in Georgetown and there are loads of stunning old buildings in the area, but will venture to the usual museum spots and would love to see Arlington.

Thanks in advance for any info.


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w9trb
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Apr 28, 2013 11:57 |  #2

I wandered all over Washington for a week and the only place that made a fuss over my camera was at Mt. Vernon. They didn't allow me to shoot in the main house. The Smithsonian folks let me shoot to my hearts content, same with the Memorials. Didn't hear about limits on photography until I was back in Illinois. I have since read that there is a photo permit that can be had, mainly for pros that want to set up lighting and such, I believe. Washington is a photographer's dream whether you go for the buildings and memorials or people shots.




  
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grfft3r
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Apr 28, 2013 12:18 |  #3

I was gonna go after the Cherry Blossoms a couple of weeks back but fell through. I await to see what locals on here advise on.


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ConCon
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Apr 28, 2013 12:39 as a reply to  @ grfft3r's post |  #4

When I was there a few months ago, the National Portrait Gallery allowed pictures in some galleries but not in others. You could take pictures in galleries that were owned by the Smithsonian but not in galleries that housed temporary/rotating displays. And backpacks were not allowed, but shoulder bags were. I don't think the small National Geographic Museum allowed pictures either.




  
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Just ­ Be
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Apr 28, 2013 13:20 as a reply to  @ ConCon's post |  #5

You will love this trip! The only two places where photography was not allowed was The White House and the inside of the house at Mt. Vernon.

I photographed everything. Smithsonian's and yes there are many will take a lot of time but it's worth hitting as many as you have time for. Air and Space Museum is a must and will take most of the day. Mt. Vernon while interesting took the entire day. Expect 2 hour + lines. But don't let me talk you out of going. We are glad we went.

Arlington National Cemetery and watching the changing of the guards is a must do event. Get a spot up close and shoot. I was so moved by the ceremony that we stayed for a second run through. Walk across the street (1/4 mile) to see the Marine corps memorial. Great photo op.

My favorite shot is a close up of the Lincoln Memorial at night. Even with small crowds at night it's easy to get a handheld shot with an IS lens holding up high to avoid people heads if there are people standing there. I stood at the top step facing the memorial. The daytime shots didn't do much for me.

The Vietnam memorial, Korean memorial and the World War II memorials are all within relative walking distance of each other. These are must do's as well.

The Capital building was my favorite to look at , at night, but didn't photograph well during the high sun. Night time or dusk would be much better. You'll quickly find out that you can't get every shot you want. The Jefferson Memorial, I think is the coolest and most underrated. The MLK memorial is there now. Under construction when we were there. The National Cathedral is very photogenic inside.

I used my 50D and 17-55IS the most. My 10-22 didn't get much use. Prepare for lots and lots and lots of walking. My wife got blisters by the second day. Their transit system is so cool. Probably within walking distance from any place you'll want to go. Get the multi day passes to save money. Take the guided trolly tour as soon as you can. It gives you a great overview of everything. These are the red or orange lines if I remember? There is a stop in front of a restaurant in Georgetown.

Georgetown is a nice area.

Go to Ford's Theater. Another place you'll be thankful you saw. Photography is allowed inside before the show starts. You walk through a museum first on your way into the theater. Hard Rock Cafe is on the corner and a good place to get a lunch before or after.

You will be exhausted at the end of each day with a smile on your face.

And have the time of your life. Enjoy! Writing this makes me want to go again.



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mathogre
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Apr 28, 2013 14:31 as a reply to  @ Just Be's post |  #6

DC is broken into four quadrants: NW (northwest), NE, SW, and SE. Generally speaking, NW is the safest of all. I would advise staying away from most areas in the other three.

Here's a book I'd recommend getting. I bought the sibling volume for New York City, and it was excellent. I just went through the table of contents for the DC book and it is very good. Note that I believe the Washington Monument remains closed due to earthquake damage in August 2011.

http://www.amazon.com …Field-Guide/dp/0470586877 (external link)

Two other places I'd recommend are the Washington National Cathedral in Georgetown (also recovering from earthquake damage) and the Basilica. While I mentioned issues with other quadrants of DC, the Basilica is in NE. On the Metro Red Line, if you go to the Catholic University Metro stop, you'll be right there. A 5 to 10 minute walk from the Metro stop brings you right to the Basilica.

http://www.nationalcat​hedral.org (external link)
http://www.nationalshr​ine.com …b.4719297/k.BF6​5/Home.htm (external link)

I'll echo that generally DC is photo friendly. Cameras are welcome in most places, though tripods aren't often allowed. There are temporary exhibits in the Smithsonian that disallow photography, but most of the security people are fine when you err; respond politely and you'll be treated fine.

Finally, if you look at my Zenfolio album page linked below, you'll see collections covering a few Cathedrals in DC (National (pre-earthquake), St. Matthew, and St. Sophia), the Basilica, the National Zoo, and the Natural History Museum. They may give you a sense of what you might find.

http://grahamglover.ze​nfolio.com/f593136965 (external link)

Have a fun and enjoyable trip to DC!


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w9trb
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Apr 28, 2013 15:05 |  #7

Also, I forgot to mention the Newseum, all about news and news gathering from old days to up-to-the-minute stuff. There is a Spy museum--very interesting. Then the Old Post Office, you can go all the way to the top and get a shot of the Washington monument. Or, take a tour of the Bureau of Engraving, and see money being churned out, from start to finish. You can pop around town safely on the underground Metro. At first, I was a little intimidated, but it proved quite clean and safe.




  
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Headbone
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Apr 29, 2013 03:48 |  #8

Wow!!!

Thanks for the info so far, I am soaking it all in and making changes to our trip plans already. Really appreciate the advice and tips so far.


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tekin112000
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Apr 29, 2013 08:27 |  #9

I recomend the The National Museum of the American Indian. The building and fountains outside as well as all the artifacts inside make it an intersting stop.

There is no public parking but you can walk or Metro. Which is fine because the neighborhood is great for street photography. The Hirshorn Museum has a an outdoor sculpture exhibit.

http://nmai.si.edu/vis​it/washington/ (external link)

This area is safe during daylight hours, and into the early evening but late night might be a bit risky if you are alone with expensive equipment.

If you like street photography you could walk west from your hotel along the hustle and bustle of M street, leave M street and then along the cobble stone side streets towards the Georgetown University campus.

If you like to get up early you could go for sunrise shots along the Potomac river starting at the Thompson boat Center near the Swedish Embassy
http://www.thompsonboa​tcenter.com/ (external link)

Enjoy


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edge100
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Apr 29, 2013 09:09 |  #10

D.C. is a great city; very photogenic, as you can imagine.

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Apr 30, 2013 19:12 |  #11

There are a lot of excellent suggestions in this thread. If you have enough time, you might also visit Baltimore Harbor for a day. Baltimore is about 45 minutes from DC. It has some very nice places to eat, an aquarium with dolphin show, and several other attractions. There are water taxis to visit other nice spots, paddle boats, and during the summer there is usually some artist performing during the day. The USS Constellation is docked there as well as a submarine. There's a lot to see and do. Visit during the day, leave in the evening. I included a couple pics of Baltimore Harbor.

In DC, also visit the Spy museum - its pretty neat. Consider taking a boat tour. It will give you an opportunity to see the city and sights from a slightly different perspective. You can also take a nice dinner cruise. National Harbor is also a nice place to see, with some excellent restaurants and shopping. I live about 15 minutes from National Harbor.

I've lived in DC for about 25 years and have traveled all over the world. So, when it comes to crime, DC is like any other large city. There are places where you do not want to be after dark, but for the most part, DC is a safe place to visit. Mathogre's summation, "DC is broken into four quadrants: NW (northwest), NE, SW, and SE. Generally speaking, NW is the safest of all. I would advise staying away from most areas in the other three" is fairly accurate, but I would say stay on the West side (NW or SW) of town.

Have a wonderful visit. DC is an awesome city.


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ONE30
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Apr 30, 2013 20:22 |  #12

Headbone wrote in post #15875592 (external link)
which areas to avoid (due to crime,

...you should stay away from the Capitol building then, I hear it's filled with crooks inside :D

I setup a tripod at night on the capitol footsteps and one of the guards questioned what I was planning on doing with the photos or why I am taking pictures at night? he said that tripods are not really allowed but he told me to get my shots in and move it along.

Georgetown is a great area, lots of great alleys to photograph with great structures. there is a small walkway over a small canal on Thomas Jefferson which I thought is nice photo op with cobblestone streets!(next to Nike town)




  
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Smitty2k1
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Apr 30, 2013 20:40 as a reply to  @ ONE30's post |  #13

I live just outside DC - don't be scared except for the far east/southeast you have nothing to worry about. Most anywhere is photo friendly - tripods are a different matter.

In addition to the usual museums and monuments check out places like Logan Circle or Dupont Circle. Little cultural centers with some nice unique buildings. If you're into street photography Eastern Market does a cool outdoor market on the weekends. Also, Shenandoah National Park is a fairly short drive from DC as is Great Falls State Park on the Potomac River.

Other things:
- Waterfront/Navy Yard area in the SW
- Scaffolding on the Washington Monument should be all the way at the top by the time you are here. While the monument won't be as beautiful, it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some unique views
- Embassys! They are all over the place and some have VERY cool architecture
- The hill between Columbia Heights and U-St on 13th has a great overlook of the city. The high school that is there is currently under construction and blocks the view, but if you're a bit adventurous it would be rewarding...

EDIT: Check out this thread from the local reddit section lots of great sounding things that I have yet to see!
http://www.reddit.com …avorite_hidden_​gem_of_dc/ (external link)




  
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NebrGuy
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Apr 30, 2013 21:20 |  #14

The last few times I've been to DC the pool leading from the WWII down to Lincoln Memorial was empty. Are they finished repairing them yet? Arlington National Cemetery is the one place that I feel like I have to see every time I am there.


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ConCon
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Apr 30, 2013 23:54 as a reply to  @ NebrGuy's post |  #15

Yes, the reflecting pool is finished, and looks great.




  
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Info on Washington DC, please
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