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What to see in Washington DC

Words+Photography by Alex & Jack L

If you’re a runner, jogger, walker or enthusiast of any physical activity that includes long distances via self propelled modes of transportation where your feet hit the pavement… then DC is a place you just might like. Everywhere you turn it seems people are out for a jog. Maybe it was the weather (we lucked out!!) or maybe, just maybe, it is the jaw dropping views you get of this town at sunrise.

If you’ve never experienced the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument at O-Dark-Thirty hours in the wee early morning – I would highly recommend it.  Washington DC has always been a fascination for us. The history, the politics, the food and oh god…. all those museums!! For a city that has well over 200 different museums, this is definitely a place where you need more than a few days for getting lost in.

For me it was another photo shoot and as many early rises as I could handle with Alex’s nagging about the whole thing.

WHY are we here again?!” She proclaimed.

I quickly explained that I have a client shoot.

“Oh.” She said. “I’ll be at Tyson’s Corner.”

I should note that Tyson’s Corner is a ritzy, semi-new & glamorous shopping district just a short distance from DC. Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, they’re all there for the shopping-inclinded to besiege and traverse.

As Alex headed out for Tyson’s I began my schlep to the National Mall – that’s where the monuments be.

Finding a quiet spot to sit down and relax did not prove too difficult. I grabbed a ginger beer with a bowl of mixed greens only to find myself kicking back and being annamored by the people watching.

Here’s the weird part about this trip. DC was nearly empty! The airport (SFO) from which we flew out to DC, was…. empty. The plane itself… empty. It seemed almost as if we had the entire town all to ourselves (albeit an occasional presidential motorcade or two).

Seeing as there appeared to be no massive tourist crowds anywhere to be found, I embarked on a quest to seek out the ultimate sunrise photo spot in the city.

Walking (or jogging) around the National Mall in DC can be quite motivational. With the monuments being as visually pleasing as they are dominating, it is easy to get seduced by their grand stature. I would highly advise to simply get lost in the area and explore the monuments on foot. With the highlights being the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument of course.

Walking up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial and seeing the view that unfolded in front of me, was all I needed.

I had found my perfect spot.

Wake up early! It’s worth it. especially if you want to get that gorgeous sunrise shot. There will be few people and most are… well, joggers. So you are almost guaranteed no one will stay in your frame of view for long. On this particular day we were blessed with a glorious sunrise and just the right amount of clouds to give the background sky a visual pop. The result… a good shot to go home with & a very happy couple.

— Jack & Alex

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