I know to a lot of you, it may seem like all I do is travel and take pictures of cool places. 2011 has definitely been a whirlwind, but I actually spend a lot of time in my studio, editing and planning for future projects. The truth is I have been so busy the past few weeks that I felt like I needed a small break. This past weekend I decided to get away on a little road trip. I started in NYC again where I had tickets reserved for the 9/11 memorial. This time my tickets were timed perfectly for some dusk shots and I came prepared with my Manfrotto tripod bag. As I walked through security, one of the officers asked if it was a rifle! The slow shutter made the cascading water look like stretched cotton and the lights of the buildings surrounding the memorial made for some fantastic shots.
My main plan was to head to Washington DC and photograph Arlington cemetery and the various other monuments there. I have been to DC before, but not since I was very young. I tried to amuse myself during the 4 hour drive by taking slow shutter shots in the Fort McHenry Tunnel.
Arriving in DC was very cool as I drove right past the Pentagon! I had seen it in movies so many times and also in footage from the attacks on September 11th.
My first stop was Arlington Cemetery. It is a sprawling property with rolling hills and old trees. Thousands of soldiers, presidents and other dignitaries are laid to rest here. The opening scene from Saving Private Ryan is one of the main reasons I wanted to come back here to capture it.
The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is exactly the way I remember it. The Army Honor Guard Tomb Soldiers paced back and forth, guarding the tomb out of respect for the dead. Even the words of the officer in charge were spoken verbatim to the ones I heard more than twenty years ago. I do remember the White House being much larger though. I guess it is just because I was much smaller then!
Outside of the White House were protestors holding signs with various messages. The biggest group was a group from Iran trying to get their organization (MEK) off the terrorist watch list.
From the White House, I walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Treasury and then into the shadow of the Washington monument. Surrounded by 50 flags, representing all 50 states, it was a beautiful thing to photograph. The World War 2 memorial was also very beautiful. I captured some of the amazing detail in the images below.
The Lincoln Memorial was next on my walk of the city. It is a shame that the reflecting pool is under construction. I did not get to use it for any images. It was here that I met a large group of soldiers who were touring the city from one of the nearby Forts. They are new soldiers from all across the USA and had never been to DC before. They were kind enough to let me tag along with them and take their photo. I followed them all the way to the Vietnam Memorial where there are 58,272 names listed on the wall. Approximately 1,200 of these are listed as missing (MIA’s, POW’s, and others).
Leaving DC was almost as amazing as the time in DC itself as the fall colours were the most spectacular as I have ever seen. Leaving through Virginia took me right past Langley, CIA headquarters! Just seeing the sign got me excited to watch the Bourne series again.
Enjoy the images, it was a gorgeous few days to capture them!