Lost and wandering in Washington, D.C.

My first trip to Washington, D.C., was a little frustrating. In Utah, we have large, beautiful mountains that run North/South, so it’s easy to know which direction I am headed. In Washington, D.C, that was not the case.

During the taxi ride from the airport to my hotel, we passed the Lincoln Memorial. So when I decided to walk from my hotel to the memorial to snap some night shots of the area, I was sure I was headed in the right direction. But after walking for what seemed like forever, and in one large circle, I stopped at a Barnes & Noble to buy a map. Maybe it’s the guy in me, but I didn’t want to ask for directions – I could find it on my own, right?

Wrong. I studied the map, but couldn’t even tell where I was, let alone how to get to my destination. I succumbed to hailing a taxi and getting a direct trip to the Lincoln Memorial.  I spent about two hours taking photos, and even getting in trouble with one security guard for using a tripod (apparently the tripod legs damage the stone floor).

In the end, this was one of the best photos that came out of my first-ever visit to the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln's Hand

And in case you were wondering, I didn’t even attempt to walk back to the hotel. I invested in a taxi ride to save myself from getting lost… again. Once I got back to the hotel and looked more closely at the map, I discovered by mistake. I headed west from the hotel rather than south, which explains why I couldn’t find myself on the map and why I was walking around unfamiliar neighborhoods in D.C., after dark. Not one of my smartest decisions, but I loved all the sights of D.C. I visited during my first trip to the nation’s capital.

~signed, Carltonaut

2 Replies to “Lost and wandering in Washington, D.C.”

  1. That is a sharp shot.

    As for the tripod issue. I heard that since 9/11, shooting around the monuments have resulted in many photographers being run off by security and police for looking too pro by carrying gear like a tripod; hence, they are told to obtain a photography permit from the city to shoot there. Others have said that they’ve never experienced this while others still refuted this altogether. Do you have any info on this?

    1. I don’t have any info on this. I was photographing inside the memorial for more than an hour with various security guards looking at me, but not approaching me. I guess there was a shift change and the new guy back from break had an issue with me. He said the legs of the tripod on the floor damaged it. So I moved to the exterior walkway between the memorial and the reflecting pool and started taking a few more shots and he approaching me again saying I couldn’t use a tripod even here because it damages the stone. It was frustrating, but I had already gotten almost all the shots I wanted by that point. Oh well. I guess it depends on the guard and how they feel that day.

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