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For this new installment of Streets of the World, I’m taking you to Washington DC and your guide for this special segment is Lynford Morton.
Lynford Morton is a Washington, DC-based photographer and photography coach. He helps emerging and enthusiast photographers take great pictures though his business PhotoTour DC. He blogs and podcasts about photography at Shutterbug Life and founded Shutterbug Excursions, one of the fastest growing photography Meetups in Washington, DC. You can find his 100 Strangers project and photos he shoots for fun at Lyn’s Pics.
Areas of interest we discussed during the episode, and more:
Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) — You can start your photo shoot in this airport. It has high ceilings and big windows for lots of natural light. Expect to see mostly business travelers bustling about during the day. This is the only airport on a Metro stop.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) — You might notice the exterior from several movies. A shuttle can take you into the city or to a Metro stop.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) — Maryland’s MARC Train Service takes you to DC’s Union Station.
Union Station in DC is home to Amtrak and multiple commuter rail services. The station has beautiful architecture inside and out. http://www.unionstationdc.com
Metrorail & Metrobus
The Metro system is the nation’s second-largest heavy rail system with 5 rail lines. The trains are clean and efficient. Photographers will enjoy the repeating patterns in the ceilings of each station. Train commuters are always interesting subjects. http://www.wmata.com
Capital Bikeshare DC
The District’s bike sharing program makes bicycles available to anyone over the age of 16. Simply take a bike from one of the convenient stations in DC and Arlington, and return it to a nearby docking station. Try and resist the repeating pattern of red bikes at the stations. People dropping off and picking up bikes can be an interesting project. https://www.capitalbikeshare.com
Georgetown — An upscale neighborhood in the Northwest, Washington, DC. The main intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, NW, contains high-end shops, bars, restaurants. Wander any of the side streets for cobblestone walkways and interesting architecture. Expect to see everyone from upscale shoppers to college students.
Dupont Circle — The official circle is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, and 19th Street NW. Inside the circle and surrounding neighborhood, expect an eclectic mix of people — families walking dogs, couples of all kinds, guys playing pick up games of chess, a brass band jamming on a corner, or locals immersed in a newspaper or a good book.
U Street Corridor — History and culture merge with trendy bars and restaurants in this historic neighborhood. Most of the action happens on U Street, NW between 9th and 16th Streets.
Adams Morgan — Lots of colors and textures in this trendy neighborhood, known for its international flavor. Make sure to shoot the main strip on from 18th & Columbia Streets, NW, and wander south.
Capitol Hill — In the neighborhood adjacent to the Nation’s Capitol Building you can find Hill staffers, families and tourists alike. Walk up 8th Street, SE, from Pennsylvania Ave to the Marine Corps Baracks for a cool Main Street USA feel. On weekends, Eastern Market is practically a sensory overload.
Chinatown/Gallery Place — Just stand still at the intersection of H and 7th Streets, NW, and someone interesting is bound to walk by you. Underneath the backdrop of the giant Chinatown Arch, you can see workers rushing into and out the train station, the Verizon Center crowd, which ranges depending on who is performing, and quirky stories unfolding at each corner.
H Street, NE — This newly trendy corridor hops on H Street from about 3rd Street to 14th Street.
Annapolis Harbor, MD — About 30 – 45 minutes outside the city, you can spend a leisurely afternoon photographing the City Dock. Don’t be surprised to see U.S. Naval Academy sailor recruits in crisp white uniforms. Naturally, shoppers and families bring their dogs and leisurely attitudes. Street performers down at the dock are not an uncommon site.
Old Town Alexandria, VA — Start at the corner of King and Washington Streets and head down the cobblestone sidewalks to the Harbor. Find some inspiration in the Torpedo Factory, where lots of local photographers and artists maintain studios and galleries.
The National Mall — Official Washington, DC
American Indian Museum — You’ll want to photograph the unique exterior and texture of one of the newest museums on the Mall.
Reflecting Pool — This iconic view of Washington never fails in day or night. You should always be able to find interesting stories unfolding around you — proposals, weddings, family reunions, and even historic events.
Einstein Monument — This is one of the lesser known monuments, but you will still see a steady stream of tourists stopping for selfies with Albert.
The Lincoln Memorial — One of the most photographed locations in the city — and for good reason. If you can’t find a good photograph around here, you aren’t trying.
Smithsonian Castle — The exterior literally looks like a castle and the adjacent Haupt Gardens are usually a good location for people watching.
The Wall – Vietnam Veterans Memorial — One of the more touching and moving locations on the Mall. Returning soldiers are usually very emotional but eager to tell their stories to someone who will listen respectfully.
World War II Memorial — at night. That’s right, this location is boring during the day but lights up at night. Look for lights, leading lines and silhouette opportunities.
The U.S Capitol
The west side at night – reflecting pool. This is a beautiful view at dusk. It is being repaired currently but should return to its splendor in 2016.
The Tidal Basin — Home of the historic Cherry Blossoms. The basin is bordered by the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and Martin Luther King Memorial. There are no shortage of photo ops at any of them.
Area Attractions with seeing if you have time
Smithsonian’s National Zoo – http://nationalzoo.si.edu
National Harbor – http://www.nationalharbor.com
Washington National Cathedral – http://www.cathedral.org
Union Station – http://www.unionstationdc.com
National Air & Space Museum – Udvar-Hazy Center – http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center/
Air Force Memorial – http://www.airforcememorial.org/home
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) – http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm
Library of Congress – Jefferson Building – http://www.loc.gov/visit/tours/guided-tours/thomas-jefferson-building/
Meridian Hill Park (Malcolm X Park) home of the Drum Circle – http://www.nps.gov/mehi/index.htm
Eastern Market – http://www.easternmarket-dc.org
Farmers Markets – http://www.freshfarmmarkets.org
Maine Avenue Fish Market – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_Avenue_Fish_Market
National Cherry Blossom Festival – http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org
Catholic University of America – http://www.cua.edu
Georgetown University – http://www.georgetown.edu
Howard University – http://www2.howard.edu
Join Lynford Morton’s community of photographers
Shutterbug Excursions Meetup
Check in with the Shutterbug Excursions Meetup group if you want to go shooting with locals. We are a friendly group of photographers who hold frequent photo walks and street photography shoots on most weekends throughout the year. See what we have scheduled at http://www.meetup.com/shutterbugexcrusions.
Shutterbug Excursions Facebook Group
If you plan to shoot when no Meetup is scheduled, post a message to the Facebook group. Many of our members are up for an impromptu photo shoot http://www.facebook.com/groups/shutterbugexcursions.
And to keep in touch with Valerie, find all links via her website. Stop by and say hi!