Night Shooting Around Memorial Parks In Washington DC

When I visited around National Mall recently, I regretted for not taking my camera gears with me. Since then, it was always on my to do list to capture the beauty of DC monuments at night. As soon as the weather was nice for night shooting, I went there last Saturday with my Nikon D90, 18-200mm VR II telephoto lens and the tripod. While I was waiting for the lights to be fully illuminated, I scouted around couple places to shoot. My idea was to capture well lit monuments with the dark background. As the evening got darker and darker, the light intensity was increasing slowly over the memorial areas and I noticed few photographers who were coming with their camera gears and setting up for the photo-shoot. At around 10 PM, all the monuments were shining on the bright lights in the backdrop of dark evening. It was such a beautiful and amazing view which can’t be explain in words but you have to be there to experience it. If you are interested in photography and live in the United States or even outside for that matter, I think it’s one of the place to visit.

I met couple of professional photographers there and learned quite a lot from them. I met Andy Walker from North Carolina who was a professional photographer for many years and taught me various techniques of photography and showed me some of his amazing arts including recent rocket launch shot he captured at NASA (Kennedy Space Center) in Florida. I walked around with Andy and took this shot inside the Lincoln Memorial.


Exposure - 4sec     Aperture - f/16    Focal Length - 105mm    ISO - 200

If you are also planning to shoot around the memorial parks in Washington DC, please keep in mind that you are not allowed to use a tripod inside the Lincoln memorial. If you want to take a close-up shot of the Lincoln, you have to bring a telephoto lens with you.

Here is the outside view of the Lincoln Memorial.


Exposure - 8sec     Aperture - f/14    Focal Length - 31mm    ISO - 200

And here is the World War II Memorial with the Washington Monument standing in the background.


Exposure - 10sec     Aperture - f/16   Focal Length - 24mm    ISO - 200

It is an amazing place to be at night and if you like doing night photography, it's one of the best place to visit. If you have been there or planning to go someday, please feel free to share your experience.

If you are looking for the camera settings to take long exposure shot, fireworks for example, you may want to review my blog post on how to shoot fireworks with Nikon D90. Depending on your requirements and lighting environment, Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO and other camera settings may vary but it will give you some insights about camera settings to begin with and you can change them as later you get more experienced photographer.

Happy shooting!