Scouting Locations for Photography

The Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

Well, next weekend I’m going to do something a little different with my photography. I’m going to take some people shots — on purpose. Normally they just happen to get in the way when I’m trying to get that wonderful landscape scene, but this time I’m actively going after the people. The last time I did any kind of portraits was back in 1997, when I worked part-time at a ski resort as a photographer. Just try getting an unruly family together when they’re all threatening to slide backwards down the mountain while you fuss with the camera’s exposure dial!

Well, so we drove out to the National Arboretum last Sunday and got there just before lunchtime. It was already crowded. It’s a big place, so people spread out on the grounds, but trying to find parking is not so easy, especially since many of the spaces seem to be reserved for handicap-tagged vehicles. We had to forgo a couple of spots just because there was nowhere to park the car, and I wasn’t prepared for a mile walk, especially since it’s allergy season for me.

In any case, the Capitol Columns was our first stop. The sky was not pretty yesterday, but we weren’t really out for good photos, we were trying to find interesting places to take portraits. The columns can be very crowded, and we found a nice rustic bridge down the hill from them that will allow us to keep the columns in the background yet be far enough away to get stray tourists out of the photos (I hope). There was also a grove of lilac bushes that looked and smelled wonderful, and the Japanese pagoda in the Asian Collections area is a natural for portraits.