Thought I would end this week with a few favorites from last week’s trip to Washington, DC. I will add shooting tips to the challenges I faced in hopes of helping other traveling photographers.
I will start with the reason for our trip to Washington, DC which was to visit with my daughter, Krystal, who was completing a business trip for the Theodore Roosevelt Center and was able to spend some time with us.
Not much photographically challenging here but I could not find out what kind of tree Krystal was in front of. They were all over Washington. I thought I saw the same tree on Nye’s recent post about the Biltmore Estate. A quick email exchange confirmed the trees to be the Japanese Wisteria. Thanks, Nye!
The night I re-shot the Lincoln Memorial from the World War II Memorial, we got there early and I took my favorite photo of the beautiful WWII memorial using a set of five photos to create this HDR image. The real challenge here was waiting for people to move away long enough to take the photos. It took a few tries.
The day we visited the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, I took many photos of the animals on exhibit. None more interesting than this Orangutan who was calmly enjoying the warm Spring day as everyone was watching him.
There is a lot going on here. He was in shade with bright sunshine behind him which required me to switch to spot metering to get a correct exposure on his face. That in turn blew out much of the background.
In a studio this is called a High Key portrait. Even with all its flaws, it is still one of my favorites from the trip. Maybe some heavy duty photo manipulation could save this.
We took a tour of the U. S. Capitol building and the new Capitol Visitor Center is an outstanding historical museum. It details how the building was built over the centuries and the men and women who helped to mold the United States inside it in displays, informational signs, photographs and interactive computer stations. Even if you do not take the tour, I would recommend stopping here for the exhibits. It’s free!
The big challenge here was to photograph the inside of the huge dome in the U. S. Capitol’s rotunda. I put on the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens which I can use on my full frame Nikon D700 dSLR camera as wide as 15mm. I could not stand in the exact center as that is reserved for Congressmen to walk through. I liked how this off center composition came out anyway.
The last building we visited was the Library of Congress. I did not do any research beforehand as it was not on our initial list of places to see. I was pleasantly blown away by the beauty of the Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library.
To capture the grandeur of the Great Hall, I again used the Tokina wide angle lens and took a set of 7 bracketed photos to cover the range of light. No tripods or monopods are allowed in the Library of Congress so I used a bean bag on a marble pedestal to steady the camera as it took photos with shutter speeds ranging from 1/25th of a second to 2.5 seconds.