Anyone from Washington DC?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by pake, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    Hi guys,

    I'm flying to Washington DC on Saturday to attend a conference and I'll be in town for 7 days. So, any of you live there? I'm not used to traveling alone and I'm pretty "shy" to just walk around unplanned so I was thinking if there's anyone who could help me a bit... :rolleyes:

    Obviously I'm taking my OMD + Lumix 14mm with me and I'll be going out to take some pictures every day after the classes but I don't really have ideas where to go. What are the "must see" places in Washington (and how to get there)? The hotel I'm staying in is located at Dupont Circle. And are there any areas I should avoid? :biggrin:

    I'm also interested in buying some electronics since they're cheaper in the US than here. What would be the places to go to look for e.g. 2TB SATA hard drives or m4/3 lenses? I'm currently lusting after the Lumix 100-300mm and IF I'd happen to find it for a decent price, who knows... :wink:
  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    If you like museums, you will be in paradise. Dupont circle is safe. What type of photography do you like? The 100-300 is $499 retail these days.

    There are a few members that I have seen on this forum, from either DC or NoVa. Northern Virginia.
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    Don't worry about what's "must see". Washington = visual overload. I can walk for days there and still not see everything worth seeing. :smile: Would love to take night shots there. Enjoy - I'm sure you will.
  4. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    I am from NoVA but work in Washington DC. I am busy with Help Portrait on Saturday but would be free to meet up and shoot on Sunday. We could have a small mu-43 meetup here in DC, I hope others join as well :).

    As far as what you can visit to shoot, there's LOTS. I have been around here for a while and I doubt I have covered a lot. What type of photography do you enjoy?
  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    As others have said, DC is a tourist's paradise. There's an area known as "the mall" which runs between the capital building and the Lincoln Memorial. It includes a bunch of museums, the Washington Monument, the World War II and Vietnam War memorials, the reflecting pool, and more. The White House is just off the mall. You can easily spend a couple of days in that area, and not see everything worth seeing. And you can figure that most of the other people around you will also be tourists.

    You can't easily tour the White House any more, but you can tour the Capitol Building. The opposite side of the Capitol from the Mall (just walk around the outside) can offer some good photo opportunities, but perhaps not quite as good in winter as when the trees aren't bare. Maybe a good opportunity for B&W, though.

    Oh, and these places are easily reachable on the DC subway system. As is the Washington Zoo, which is a pretty good one, although this time of year most of the animals may prefer being indoors. You can also use the subway to get to Arlington National Cemetery (for war veterans) if that might interest you, and the Pentagon to see the 9-11 memorial.

    Your hotel will probably have a bunch of tourist information brochures, too.

    Oh, and if part of the reason for your "shyness" is worries about language (but based on your written language it shouldn't be), don't worry. Washington is an international city, with visitors from all over the world. You'll find plenty of people willing to help you if you need directions.

    Now then, as to where to buy photo equipment.... You'll find much better prices in New York than DC, but I'm sure it's cheaper here than back home. But most stores don't seem to carry much m43 gear. Penn Camera (840 E Street Northwest, not very far from the mall) will probably have some.

    Embassy Camera (1735 Connecticute Ave. NW) may have m43 gear. I haven't been there in a long time.

    ProPhoto (1902 I St. NW) might be worth checking.

    I'd suggest contacting them now to see if they have what you're interested in. If not, they might be able to get it in before you arrive so you can pick it up.
  6. BSH

    BSH Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    Dupont Circle - take the red line (if memory serves) from there to Smithsonian. Get out and just walk. From Smithsonian station you have your pick of anything - the monuments, the museums, the White House, the Capitol. Just allow a half-day minimum for that amount of walking. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    Depends on the museum. Since I'm in training from 9am-5pm (everyday) I don't have too much spare time so I'm afraid I'll have to skip the museums. I pretty much like to shoot everything. But on travels I like to focus on the usual tourist shots (landscape, buildings, animals etc). I try to respect people's privacy and not shoot candids of strangers.

    Recently I've fallen for night shots. As soon as I have gone through the latest pics I'll post some on this forum as well. I've just been too busy with my travels (week in Dubai, a month in Singapore & Australia) lately...

    The cheapest 100-300mm I've found in Europe is 500€ + postage ( -> over 650$). So yes, I'd be ready to buy the lens for 500$ is I can find one! :biggrin:

    Sounds great! I'm busy till 5pm but after that I'm free.

    Yes, I believe I will go see these. Thanks.

    Language isn't the problem. And I do have a GPS on my phone and I'm sure people will guide me if I get lost... So I should be fine. :biggrin:

    And thanks for the camera store tips. I'll have to look into it later today.
  8. MikeinAlexandria

    MikeinAlexandria Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 10, 2012
    I live in Old Town, Alexandria, a short metro ride from DuPont Circle. The town is a lit up for Christmas and looks great! You should definitely spend one evening here.

    As to purchasing lenses, you can't beat B&H Photo in NYC. If you give them a call, they can ship lenses down to your hotel, saving both NYC's 9% tax and DC's tax. Toss the boxes and fly home with greatly discounted lenses.

    I would be happy to meet a fellow OMD owner in Old Town for a coffee and small photo shoot. Just let me know.
  9. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    I don't live in DC, but it's my favorite destination for repeat visits.

    If you have Saturday or Sunday free, try for the Air & Space, or Natural History. (Frankly, I like ALL of the museums.)

    Evenings - head for the Mall. From the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, all sorts of well-lit buildings.

    From Dupont Circle, take the Metro Red line to Metro Center. Or if you don't mind a nice walk, just head South on 18th or 19th or Connecticut.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    Hmmm... Doesn't look too promising:

    Penn Camera: No Lumix 100-300 mm in stock.

    Embassy Camera: No Lumix 100-300 mm in stock.

    ProPhoto: Their email box is full.

    Adorama: Would send the package to the hotel but I haven't yet received a confirmation from my hotel that it would be OK to order the lens and have it sent there for me.

    B&H: They would send the lens but they require a bank wire transfer (which would take time and will cost extra).

    But I won't give up on the lens yet. It would be great to find it used somewhere but we'll see... I guess I will search next.

    Well, visiting Alexandria sounds good too. It would be on a weekday though since I believe my weekend will be busy. I'll try to plan my trip a bit tomorrow and I'll be in touch. :smile:
  11. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    I live in the district and would be up for a Sunday evening mu4/3 photo walk in DC or its environs.

    If you like touristy things, the mall is definitely the place to go, but I also recommend the Jefferson Monument. it's particularly beautiful, and you can take great cityscapes from across the Potomac. The only downside is you have to work things out with a taxi driver, as there's no metro. :/

    Internet is your best bet for m4/3 gear sadly. I called every store in town looking for an Oly 45 about six months after it came out and no one carried it or planned to carry it.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. apbtlvr

    apbtlvr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 10, 2012
    Real Name:
    I'm in NoVa as well. There are a couple places in the area that have µ43 lenses which might be worth your while.
    Ace Photo:
    Search online for Ace Photo Ashburn , VA to get the website and location info. I'd call first to see what specific lenses they have on hand. The Oly 12mm f/2 & 45mm f1/8 were available recently. This place has a TON of camera gear including an entire area (large) devoted to gear bags and lighting. It's close to Dulles Airport and approx 45min drive from DC. Don't know what your budget is but odds are, you could blow pretty easily here.

    Penn Camera
    Penn Camera is a long established local chain was bought out by Calumet a couple of years ago. Thay have locations in DC, Maryland and VA. The DC store is at 840 E Street NW. I recently picked a Oly 12mm f/2 at the Tyson's (VA) store and they matched B&H's price. They also had a Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 available and would have matched that price as well.

    The National Christmas tree was lit just a couple hours ago and should afford you some lovely seasonal opportunities.

    If you really wanted to hit the VA stores I mentioned, PM me and maybe I can help out on logistics.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. orutherfurd

    orutherfurd New to Mu-43

    Dec 6, 2012
    Up for Saturday or Sunday evening

    I'm in Georgetown (just west of Dupont Circle) and would be up for something around Georgetown, down around The Mall for the monuments, or elsewhere either Saturday or Sunday evening. Georgetown is very picturesque. I'm also partial to the C&O Canal, the Waterfront Park/Key Bridge along the Potomac, & Rock Creek. Most of the outdoors shots here where taken around Georgetown:, though they're not characteristic of it. Probably because I live here, I've never been down to The Mall at night for photography so that would be fun, too.
  14. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    I just noticed that I DON'T have the Sunday evening off after all! The first day of the class is longer than the others and ends at 6.30pm. So I don't think I have the time to go out then.

    I'm pretty sure I will go out to explore the Mall (Monuments etc) on Saturday after I've dragged my luggage to the hotel. I should be at the hotel around 4pm so I'd say I'm ready after 5pm. If anyone wants to join me, send me a PM and I'll give you my contacts etc. :smile: