One amazing statistic would be to consider the number of camera shutter buttons pushed on cameras in the Washington, DC area on an annual basis. There is probably nowhere in the USA where more pictures are snapped in the same square mile area. A camera likely makes the top 5 on any packing list for someone going to DC and it should be with so much to do and so many things to see. Of course there are the historically significant spots, buildings, and treasures but there are also just as many picturesque spots that shouldn’t be missed by those that define themselves as shutterbugs.
For those that want to make the most of their shutter time in the Washington, DC area, here is a short list of places that need to be on your photo op list. Be sure to visit each link for further information on how best to arrive to avoid parking problems and to be prepared for any entry fees that you might encounter.
- The Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Memorial: No one that visits the DC area should go home without pictures of these historical treasures. Far away or close up the opportunities abound for subject centered photos or artistic shots that would be worthy of matting, framing and hanging on the wall. Everyone should consider the tried and true shots of Lincoln sitting boldly and proud in the chair as well as the opposite reflection upon which Lincoln gazes. For some really astounding photo ops consider taking a night tour to these spots and get shots overlooking the city from the top of the Washington Monument or the light reflecting upon Lincoln’s likeness in the deep of the night with fewer visitors around. Of course nothing compares to the spring photo ops of the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by the famous cherry blossoms.
- The War Memorials: Pictures are worth a thousand words and the different war memorials are worth more than their share of shutter snaps. For one photo opportunity that should make your list if the day you visit is overcast or slightly drizzling be sure to snap some incredible shots of the Korean War Memorial in that weather condition. The Vietnam Memorial is of course the one that can offer some of the most touching photo shots that will require no words and will prompt much personal thought. The recently finished World War II Memorial can draw you into the vastness and history and is one of those artistic shot opportunities with much to inspire your photography skills into overdrive.
- After you have had your lens focused on the history in this area it is time to consider some candid study shots of the locals by doing a walk around The National Mall. People are eating their lunches, taking in a picnic, participating in sports with friends, vendors are peddling their tourist treasures and local food favorites, and you can see live musicians sharing their talents. Not only are the people perfect subjects for your photos but birds and fluttering insects among the cherry trees make for perfect photos and can be lost among the other activity drawing away the photographer’s eye.
- The Arlington Cemetery is a must spot for photos that invoke all that is a part of the fight for freedom in this Country. From picturesque spots of the green grass interspersed with the white burial markers against the background of the Potomac to the respectful and not to be missed changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Plan to spend hours here despite what you might think you should budget for your visit, for once you begin walking around you will wish you had brought more than a few memory cards for your camera and had more time to spare.
- The Smithsonian National Zoological Park will offer learning experiences and more than a SD card full of photo ops. With impressive exhibits and hundreds of species of animals there is not another opportunity like it in the area. This is the perfect place for children to try their photographic talents for even those new at their camera skills will leave with some impressive shots.
- Washington, DC is a city full of architectural history and detailed photos centered on the architectural aspects of the buildings can offer up gallery worthy shots by both the professional photographer as well as the amateur photographer.
- For the perfect backdrop for a professionally polished family posed photo don’t miss the Georgetown Waterfront. You’ll have more than enough to inspire and bring out the shutterbug in you as you consider the Potomac flowing and shimmering in the background. As the sun begins to sit nothing can compare to the lights of Arlington, VA twinkling upon the water’s surface for a landscape shot and of course it is quite romantic if that is your photographic intention.
A visit to Washington, DC can offer plenty of history lessons, fantastic memories, as well as millions of photo ops that will have you planning your next visit soon. Of course, check back with our Web site often for opportunities to come out and see one of CAISO’s public performances. We often perform at festivals, neighborhood celebrations, and large public venues and events. We welcome you to our beloved city and area and know you will find your time here to be one you will fondly remember – don’t forget your camera!