Government grinds to a halt, and it seems many of DC’s favorite photo locations have closed along with the shut down.
Just because politicians can’t get along, doesn’t mean our photography has to suffer. Here are some alternatives for you to shoot around DC during the political stalemate.
Rediscover the historic neighborhoods
Outside of official Washington, DC, there is a treasure trove of history and culture. Washington, DC’s historic neighborhoods are filled with photo ops if you enjoy architectural photography, street photos, or just storytelling. You won’t run out of opportunities in any of these neighborhoods.
- Adams Morgan
- Arts District / U Street / Shaw
- Capitol Hill
- Capitol Riverfront
- Columbia Heights / 14th Street
- Downtown/Penn Quarter/Chinatown
- Dupont Circle
- Foggy Bottom
- H Street Corridor
- Logan Circle
- Southwest Waterfront
- Upper Northwest / National Cathedral
- Woodley Park / Cleveland Park
Destination DC has great guides to all these neighborhoods -- with helpful information on how to get there and what you’ll see.
Photograph a heritage walking trail
Sure, the city is rich with history, but hearing the stories might also spark some of your creativity.
Cultural Tourism DC documents 15 heritage trails you can walk at your own pace and leisure. Take your camera, and as you learn, update and interpret the locations with your own photo style and voice.
Explore Cultural Tourism DC's 15 heritage trails
- Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail
- Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail
- Battleground to Community: Brightwood Heritage Trail
- Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail
- A Self-Reliant People: Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail
- Civil War to Civil Rights: Downtown Heritage Trail - Download free audio tour
- Make No Little Plans: Federal Triangle Heritage Trail
- Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./ Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail
- Hub, Home, Heart: Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail
- A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail
- Village in the City: Mount Pleasant Heritage Trail
- Midcity at the Crossroads: Shaw Heritage Trail
- River Farms to Urban Towers: Southwest Heritage Trail
- Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail
- City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail - Download free audio tour
Go Back to School
When I was in college, one of my jobs was taking photos for the university PR and marketing department. It is a fun challenge to capture the buildings, student life, and events in a way that showcases the campus in an appealing way. No reason we can’t all still do that.
Some of our local campuses are quite visually appealing. Try a day at any of these local universities for starters:
- American University;
- Catholic University of America;
- George Washington University;
- Georgetown University; and
- Howard University.
Here is a full list from About.com http://dc.about.com/od/colleges/tp/WashingtonDCColleges.htm
Add in any of the other colleges in the region or even your own alma mater if it is close enough.
Visit a Place of Worship
Many of the churches and cathedrals in the area are also beautiful to behold. Find a place of worship that you admire and show why it appeals to you. Here are three favorites:
- Washington National Cathedral;
- Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; and
- Franciscan Monastery.
Find a Farmers Market
Your local farmers markets offer more than a place to shop local and eat healthy. They also feature vibrant colors and textures. Try them on for abstracts, people, and storytelling.
FreshFarm Markets are some of the more popular in the region.
Find a farmers market in your neighborhood with this interactive map from The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/lifestyle/dc-farmers-markets-interactive-map/
Rediscover Your Own Neighborhood
Create art where you are most familiar. Look at your neighborhood with fresh eyes. What if you were a visitor again? Give yourself an assignment to photograph your neighborhood with a different angle.
Run a Google search on the history of your community. What new angles might you find? Photograph them.
Where are you shooting photos during the shutdown? Share your favorite spots with me in the comments. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Washington reopens soon and returns to the normal levels of rancor. In the mean time, we’ll keep shooting.