Washington Photo Safari: Sunday, March 27, 2011


I went on a photo safari today.  It was a fundraiser for the Red Cross to benefit victims in Japan after earthquakes and a tsunami devastated  various regions in the country.  Their goal was to make $2,000.  They raised $5,000.  It felt good to help out.

We woke up around 6:30 this morning so that we could make it to Lafayette Park by 8:30.  I was a little frantic at the metro after discovering that we had just missed the train.  Yes, it is Spring Break for me…and yes, that is snow.

It didn’t help that we got on the train and they said that the trains would be sharing a track over a portion of our route.  I don’t like getting to places late.  I was worried.  Luckily, we got there just in time.  I checked in, got my handy, dandy packet of very useful information, and was ready to begin.

David Luria, founder and director of Washington Photo Safari, spoke to the group of us that had gathered in the park.  This man is very, very knowledgeable, as well as personable.  I listened intently to information that he was giving us while Dean and Keegan ran to a Starbucks.  One of his points was about the placement of people for a group photo.  Hear ye, hear ye….to all of you that want to take that group shot.  A couple of key points.  Number one: do NOT have your group stand directly facing you.  Angle them so that one foot is forward.  You can have them all facing the same direction (although this is not my favorite pose), or split so some have their right foot forward, and the others have their left.  Number two: try to shoot from the waist up.  You want the people to be the focus, with the area as the background.

Our first stop on our tour was the statue of General Andrew Jackson.  This piece was erected in 1853.  It was the first equestrian statue cast in the United States.

At this point Dean had brought me back some coffee, so they automatically became subjects for pictures.

The White House.

And others.

Protester in front of White House.

Blossoms (yay for Spring!)

Keegan wanted to get his picture by the Secret Service police car.  The officer just happened to be getting into the car when we took the shot.  The “bleep, bleep” of the car becoming unlocked scared the bejesus out of Keegan.  I laughed.

Next stop, Executive Office Building and First Division Monument.

And the final part of the tour, the Red Cross Building.  At this building, there was an amazing statue.  This statue was given to the Red Cross from an Armenian sculptor.  It is of a woman protecting her child during an earthquake that destroyed her home in 1988.  It is a very interesting piece.  If you look at it from one angle, you can see a mother doing what she can to keep her child safe.  From another angle, she appears angry.  Her home has been destroyed needlessly, due to cheap construction.  A great piece.

After the tour, we ventured out to Chinatown to have some lunch. It was a long walk (at least for Keegan).  I took some pictures on the way.

Dean and I both bought a Groupon for ZPizza to use some day.  This was the day to try them out.  Oh gosh, they were good.  Gotta love finding great gluten-free pizza for me!  Keegan, of course, was a ham for the pictures.

When we finished lunch, we headed over to the Portrait Gallery.

We wandered around for a bit, eventually making our way to the atrium in the center.  Keegan persuaded me to let me use the camera, and he scampered off taking pictures here and there.  A small group of students from Marymount University saw him and asked if they could film him taking photographs of the flowers for a project that they were doing.  We said sure, and the boy had a great time showing off for the camera.  After they were done, he made sure to take a photograph of them, as well.

He also took this one, and I was quite impressed. 🙂  Just a great composition.

There is an Alexander Calder exhibit at the museum at the moment, but unfortunately there is no photography allowed.  Some amazing wire sculptures on display.  One of my favorite pieces was actually a self-portrait done by Calder when he was 8.  Very, very cool.

We eventually made our way out and headed home.  Had to do some final playing around with the camera on the metro, though.  Some by Keegan.  Some by myself.

Have I mentioned that the boy likes to ham it up for the camera?


By the way, if you are ever in DC, I highly recommend going on a photo safari.  I went on one 4 years ago to photograph the cherry blossoms at dawn. (Gosh, has it been that long?)  I learned an awful lot in a very short period.  This time, the group was much bigger, but again, I still gained a lot of new information.



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