Saturday, December 14, 2013

MEMORIAL DAY - A PERFECT DAY FOR A PHOTO WALK IN DC

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the newest addition to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the newest addition to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
I know it is not the final Monday in May. This is memorial day with a small "m."

It started as a government snow day and it doesn't take much in the Washington, D.C., area for the government to shutdown due to weather, or even the threat of weather.

On these days the temptation is to stay inside, pour a second cup of coffee and just spend the day relaxing. Of course the other option is to grab a camera and take advantage of the weather and day off to get some unique shots. On this day, and after a text from a friend reminding me I should be out shooting, I decided to head downtown.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the final stop and by this time the sun started to come out and made for some interesting reflections in the still wet stone.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the final stop and by this time the sun started to come out and made for some interesting reflections in the still wet stone.
In the absence of a specific assignment, I like to pick a theme prior to heading out on a shoot. It doesn't mean I have to stick with the theme, but I find that it is helps to focus, otherwise I just walk around aimlessly with my camera and end up disappointed at the end of the day. So the natural theme I self assigned myself was to capture Washington, D.C., under a blanket of snow.

Now remember when I said earlier in this post that it doesn't take much for the government to shut down. Well this was the case and as I exited the metro at Foggy Bottom it was apparent that my theme was already melting away. There was NO snow.

The Lincoln Memorial was a good starting point.
The Lincoln Memorial was a good starting point.
With that idea out I decided to just start walking in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial and see what I could see and before I realized it, I found myself walking from memorial to memorial and it hit me, or more specifically a new theme came to light; memorial day. Not the most original theme of course, but if you are in Washington, D.C., you really are in the perfect place for this kind of photo walk.

Map shows the route I took to capture memorial photos in Washington, D.C.
The route I took from the Lincoln Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
I started at the Lincoln Memorial (A) and made a counter clockwise loop ending at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (E). Along the way I stopped at the Korean War Memorial (B), Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial (C) and the World War II Memorial (D).

Snow was the most apparent at the Korean War Memorial and somehow the most appropriate.
Snow was the most apparent at the Korean War Memorial and somehow the most appropriate.
There were very few people around and while I usually try and include people in my photographs, this day I concentrated more on the memorials themselves. I carried only my Fuji X100S and shot in black and white mode all day.

Even though there was no snow, or very little snow on the ground, everything was wet which made for some great reflections. Also as the day wore on, the sky cleared up and provided some nice light and cloud formations.

Just because the theme for the walk was memorial day, it doesn't mean other things won't catch your eye along the way.
Just because the theme for the walk was memorial day, it doesn't mean other things won't catch your eye along the way.
Give yourself an assignment or pick a theme to get started and get out there and shoot. Don't wait for a rainy day. But if it is raining, or snowing, all the better.
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