Where to shoot photos during the government shutdown

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.  

Destination DC has great guides to all these neighborhoods -- with helpful information on how to get there and what you’ll see.

http://washington.org/dc-neighborhoods

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

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: 

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:

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. 

http://www.freshfarmmarkets.org

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.