The D.C. dilemma

I had a pleasant, long weekend visiting the Washington, D.C. area, on the occasion to pick up my daughter from college. My son and I went down a few days early to say at a friend’s retreat near Antietam. From there it’s just a 30-minute drive to catch the Metro.

It’s always a dilemma for me when I head into D.C. in trying to decide which camera gear to carry.

Since I knew I was going to be walking quite a bit, I didn’t want to be too encumbered with gear. Although my 35mm DSLR outfit (with wide zoom and tele zoom) fits snugly into a comfortable backpack, it’s still pushing 15 pounds.

My pinhole bag is significantly lighter, if I just take my mini-pod.  No big loss because there are many places you can’t set up a tripod on the street (like in front of the White House). But I had made numerous pinhole photos in the past, the process can be a bit time consuming, and I feared it would cut into our tour time.

So I opted for my Canon G9, in addition to snapshots with my daughter and son and other things that struck my fancy, I had the opportunity to pursue some “reconstructions” at various places. I photographed the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the White House and the Museum of Natural History.

I tried to make some at Fords Theater but there were too many school tours going in and out, milling on the sidewalk, crossing the street in front of me, that it just didn’t work. And I think it really needs to be photographed (notice I didn’t say shot) at dusk for the best effect.

Directly across from the theater is the house where Abraham Lincoln passed from this world (now, he is one for the Ages). Unfortunately it was under renovation and had all sorts of scaffolding and workers in front. Next door, well known to any student of history, is Lincoln’s Waffle Shop, where he and Mary polished off a stack of Belgians before heading across the street for the play.

Is nothing sacred in America?