A Walk Around Washington DC (part 1)

With Kristin and Layla visiting relatives I had the rare opportunity of exploring DC on my own. After scarfing down a quick breakfast and walking the dog, I hit the road and arrived in the heart of DC at about 10 AM. Fortunately for me the day came with a cold breeze, keeping away many of the tourists that usually clog the mall at this time of year; the metro had ample seating, the mall proper wasn’t very crowded, and I had decent cloud cover for some good photos.

I started off at the Smithsonian Metro stop. I broke straight for the Hirshorn as the light was coming through the top (it’s a circle), which made for some great angular light shots.

Empty concession stand on the National Mall

Empty concession stand on the National Mall See this image in full size

Sculptures in front of the Hirshorn (US Capitol in the distance)

Sculptures in front of the Hirshorn (US Capitol in the distance) See this image in full size

The fountain right in the middle of the ‘O’ wasn’t running at the time I stopped by. I hadn’t seen it like that before, and I was fascinated by the amount of detail normally hidden beneath the flowing water.

Empty fountain. Hirshorn.

Empty fountain. Hirshorn. See this image in full size

Empty fountain detail at Hirshorn

Empty fountain detail at Hirshorn See this image in full size

Although I had some cloud cover, at times the sky was just a haze. In this photo you can see just that - it appears as though the sky blots out all the detail in the building below like a spilled whiteout container.

White out sky from the middle of the Hirshorn

White out sky from the middle of the Hirshorn See this image in full size

I stayed inside the ‘O’ for a while until the light started to play off of the sides in angles more to my liking. I’ve always liked the design of the building anyway, so I had no problem soaking it in for a while. Also, I was somewhat protected from the stiff breeze!

The curve of the right side of the Hirshorn Museum

The curve of the right side of the Hirshorn Museum See this image in full size

Surrounding the ‘O’ are a bunch of outdoor sculptures. They add to the overall ambiance of creativity.

Subcommittee by Tony Cragg (1991)

Subcommittee by Tony Cragg (1991) See this image in full size

This one in particular reminds me of the movie “Beetlejuice” for some reason. Although you can’t see it here, the people in this sculpture don’t have normal human legs, but rather something like egg pods on which to slither around. Creepy.

The Last Conversation by Juan Munoz. Hirshorn.

The Last Conversation by Juan Munoz. Hirshorn. See this image in full size

Random lettering sculpture outside the Hirshorn.

Random lettering sculpture outside the Hirshorn. See this image in full size

A detail I haven’t noticed before in front of the Air and Space Museum are the following pillars. Each signifies an event in air and space history.

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space See this image in full size

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space See this image in full size

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space See this image in full size

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space See this image in full size

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space

Pillar detail in front of Air and Space See this image in full size

As I went further West the haze continued to throw its harsh light onto the Smithsonian Buildings. Fortunately this made for some interesting shadows in some alcoves.

Stark shadows on the sides of one of the Smithsonian buildings

Stark shadows on the sides of one of the Smithsonian buildings See this image in full size

At the western end of the Mall is the US Grant Memorial and several surrounding sculptures. The haze prevented a good picture of the former, but here is one of the latter.

Sculpture directly in front of the Capitol

Sculpture directly in front of the Capitol See this image in full size

The cold breeze was still keeping people away as I approached the Capitol.

US Capitol Building on a hazy morning

US Capitol Building on a hazy morning See this image in full size

The approach to the Capitol from the Northeast

The approach to the Capitol from the Northeast See this image in full size

The Capitol is nearly devoid of tourists on this cold, hazy morning

The Capitol is nearly devoid of tourists on this cold, hazy morning See this image in full size

Turning around and facing due East in front of the Capitol you can get a great overview of DC. I had to swap on my telephoto for this one.

Looking East from the Capitol

Looking East from the Capitol See this image in full size

Walking around the front, a view from the Southeast corner

Walking around the front, a view from the Southeast corner See this image in full size

The pillars of the Eastern side of the Capitol

The pillars of the Eastern side of the Capitol See this image in full size

Stay tuned soon for part two of this series!

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