D.C. in the Autumn?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by waynecrider, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I was talking with a friend yesterday about taking a trip to D.C. this Autumn, and I was wondering about places to stay and opportunities for photography. My friend definitely wants to go to the Memorials and I am interested in the Smithsonian and some landscapes in addition. Whats the policy on shooting in and outside the museums and other buildings? Thanks
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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  3. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I rarely have any problems shooting shooting around the Mall and I've usually got my tripod. As long as you're not blocking people, you should be ok. It's hard to find people around the Mall and museums without cameras. The security staff at Federal buildings are generally uninformed, confused, and unacquainted with the law, so you may be hassled in order to fill their empty incident logs. Staying downtown is very expensive, so you might want to look for hotels near metro stops--which will be merely expensive. I think the Hampton Inn on 6th and Mass is good and further out--the Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase, would be worth checking.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I too have not had any problems shooting downtown on the Mall and around the monuments with a tripod. If you want to use a tripod on the grounds of the Capitol, you will need to get a free permit from the visitors' center. I have never done this so I don't know how painfully bureaucratic it is. I was shooting some photos of the doors at the Justice department and got very politely shooed off, but I was permitted to finish my photo first. The Lincoln is the memorial you're most likely to get flak for photographing with a tripod, simply because of the volume of visitors. Come back and shoot it at night, LATE at night, when nobody is there, and the Park Police will be more forgiving.

    As to places to stay, there are a couple of budget lodgings in Arlington/Rosslyn/Ballston that are Metro accessible and don't cost a fortune ($100-125 a night, give or take). Don't expect to find a room in the city for less than that, at least not a room you'd want to stay in or leave your gear in. Any other places to stay that won't tax your budget too much will be fairly far out in the suburbs, near the ends of the Metro lines (look into Virginia, and on the Maryland side the Rockville/Silver Spring areas. There are cheap places to stay out by the ends of the Orange and Blue Lines in Maryland, but the neighborhoods are not great).
     
  5. justcorbly

    justcorbly Member

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    If by "Autumn" you mean "cooler weather" then look at late September and October.

    Staying out of the city and using Metro to go in and out is a reasonable idea. However, the trade off is that the trip can take upwards of an hour, depending on how far out you stay, and that the trains are absolutely packed during rush hour, which starts early in D.C. and ends after dark. Suburban hotels are usually cheaper than downtown properties, but don't expect to find real bargains. It's not like D.C. hotels are hurting for business. Remember, too, except for us tourists, everyone else at the hotels is on an expense account.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Personally, I couldn't care less about the monuments. The postcards that you buy at bookstores illustrate them better than I ever could. There are, however, plenty of places in and around both DC and Baltimore that offer great possibilities for photographs. Some of the ones we DC LF'ers have visited in the past year:

    The National Arboretum Tell them about what you're doing before you set up a tripod, which you can't use by the fish pond or in the Bonsai house, as it would block egress there. As long as you can convince them that you're not a "Commercial" photographer, they'll let you use a tripod.

    Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens The neighborhood is a virtual demilitarized zone, but it's still worth it. No restrictions on tripod use here.

    The National Cathedral No restrictions on tripod use outside, including the Bishop's Garden. I would ask permission before I set up in the nave, but no one will bother you in any of the chapels below.

    In Baltimore:

    Rawlings Conservatory No restrictions

    B&O Railroad Museum If you can't find a compelling image here, take up golf. Scott and I and Diwan Bhathal were up there on Saturday and vowed to return earlier in the day next time with more cameras. And we spent all our time with the trains in the parking lot. Never even went inside. This place is the mother lode.

    Hey Scott, did you know that the Cylburn Arboretum is closed to the public for renovations?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2009
  7. ///alpinepower

    ///alpinepower Member

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    I agree - The Mall is large enough that you should not have problems with a tripod.
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Whether or not the Park Police bother you is largely a function of where on the Mall you are.
     
  9. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Gee, I wrote a reply thanking everyone and for some reason it didn't take? But thanks guys for the great info.