Washington Photo Safari & A Blogger Dinner!

Hello friends! I’m off to Boston for the weekend to visit my college BFF Kris and my blogger buddy Tina! So excited to see both of them. I’m spending today and tomorrow with Kris and Saturday and Sunday with Tina. I head back to D.C. on Monday morning! It should be a fun weekend :)

In other news, yesterday Matt and I did a fun photography lesson “safari” in downtown D.C.!


We went through a company called Washington Photo Safari — the class was from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and was a Groupon deal that Matt purchased for us awhile ago. It was really awesome — the guide was a great teacher and it was fun to traipse around D.C. taking photos! I finally feel like I know how to actually use my DSLR camera. Crazy, huh?!


We started out in a park by the White House while the leader taught us some camera basics. Basically — the higher the ISO, the brighter your pictures will be, and the higher the F stop (aperture), the broader the range of focus will be in the picture (i.e. if you want a tiny range of focus — like a macro lens will do with flowers, etc. — use a lower F stop). I took a photography class in Chapel Hill awhile ago but found it totally worthless — the guy basically used a PowerPoint the whole time and it wasn’t helpful at all. But this class was wonderful! The teacher taught using printed out photo examples of everything and then by getting us out and trying the tips ourselves — a much better way to learn, in my opinion. I’m excited to finally know which settings to use for what now.


Our first stop to test our new knowledge was a visit to Mr. Einstein!

184 036

He says “holla”


Next, we headed to the Vietnam War Memorial. The statues were so realistic it was amazing.

051 060  189 191

Next, we headed to the Korean War Memorial. I’d never seen this before — it’s very powerful.


Black and white can make statues look even more real:

067 086


Try lying down on the ground to take pictures. Not only do you look hardcore, but you get some really unique shots :)



There was also a pretty fountain that I had fun with to test out my new shutter speed knowledge!


Here’s a photo with normal shutter speed (fast) and a low F stop (smaller depth of focus — see how the water on the right is blurry since it’s farther away?):


And here it is with a slower shutter speed (about 2 seconds) and a higher F stop (broader depth of focus) — I set my camera on a ledge so it wouldn’t move at all (and be blurry). Cool how the water looks silky, huh? I’ve always wondered how photographers did that!


Next, we took a stroll by Mr. Lincoln…

215 093

And ended up in Union Station for the last lesson of the day — how to make moving people in a crowded place disappear using a slow shutter speed! Basically, if you set your camera on something so it stays very still and take a photo with a slow shutter speed (at least 2 seconds — we did up to about 8 seconds), anything that’s moving super fast will end up disappearing from the photo!

Here’s a normal shot:


And here’s one with a slow shutter speed:


SO cool, right?! You can kind of see slightly ghost looking images but it’s pretty amazing.

I loved how this one of the escalator came out — the blurry line of people descending! I also love pictures like this of traffic; so excited to try this out at night.


Awesome class. Thanks again to Washington Photo Safari! Highly recommended if you guys are in the market for some photography classes :) He does night-time classes at the monuments, too, which I think would be really neat.

After Matt and I were done, we had a quick lunch and then wandered down towards the Capitol, enjoying being downtown and having time to explore. Despite living in DC for 6 years before moving to NC, neither of us have gone sightseeing in ages — sad how when you live somewhere you never really take advantage as much as you should!


I love playing around with varying focus :)

144 143


141 140

Apparently I’m obsessed with flowers + the Capitol :)


145 225 226

It’s just so photogenic :)

After our photography fun, Matt headed home and I headed up to Bethesda, MD to get my hair cut! When I was done, I met miss Meganerd for dinner :)


Megan and I became friends down in Florida — she lives in MD now so it was great to see her again and catch up on her new life up here! :)


We went to Cafe Deluxe for dinner. I started with the beet, goat cheese, walnut, and orange arugula salad. Delicious!


For my main course, I had a personal sized pizza — chicken, tomato, and basil. It was good, but it sounded way more delicious and fresh in the menu description than it actually was when it arrived. Oh, well!


Thanks for the fun night, Megan! :)

Catch you guys later from up north!

p.s. Don’t forget to enter the Attune Foods giveaway to win a ticket to the Healthy Living Summit! There have only been a couple entries so far so the odds are in your favor :) Winner is being announced tomorrow!


  1. 1

    Awesome pictures!! Question: regarding the flowers + Capitol shots, what settings did you have to get one blurry and one in focus shots??

    • 2

      I used a low/small f-stop (so that the range of focus was small) and just moved the camera so it focused on either the flowers or the capitol! If you hold the button that takes pictures down halfway you can see what it will focus on and adjust your angle if necessary :)

  2. 3

    How cool! I loved DC when I visited acouple summers ago. The war memorials were very powerful. I never got to see the Korean War one….great pics of everything :)

  3. 4

    Awesome pics. I need to bookmark this post for your tricks.

  4. 5

    You’ve inspired me to want to take photos inside Union Station.

  5. 6

    That looks like such a good way to tour the city! Ulysses has never been to D.C. (isn’t that pathetic having lived in NY for most of his life!?) this would be a perfect way for him to see the city and for me to get something new out of it since I’ve been there so many times. I loved the tips on shutter speed, I’ve always wondered how to do that! I’m definitely trying this out soon.

  6. 7

    Learning about photography is so much fun, isn’t it? I took a really good class too, and I was so thrilled to learn how to use my DSLR! It’s no fun when you don’t know what you’re doing. :) Now I’m always on a quest to learn more! I could take a million pictures of sunsets and nature, and I didn’t even know I liked taking those shots until my class! Sometimes all you need is a good teacher!

  7. 8

    I did the photosafari earlier this summer- it’s so awesome! I learned so much about my camera and the guide was amazing. It’s definitely a unique way to check out the city from a different (camera) angle! :)

  8. 9

    Beautiful Anne. Did you see the WW11 Memorial. My daddy was in the Navy and was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. I’m really lucky to be here. Have fun.

  9. 11

    These pics were awesome :) Loved this post!

  10. 12

    It must have been so much fun going on the photo class!! What a great way to learn more about the area AND about photography. I love what you did with these pics, and thanks for the reminder that it’s okay to lie on the ground to take pictures…haha. ;)

    Great post, as always! Keep having fun on vacation!!

  11. 13

    Ugh, I’ve yet to visit DC!

  12. 14

    Beautiful pics Anne! Where are you staying in Boston? I am from MA!

  13. 15

    Gorgeous, my friend!! Seriously. I think the Capitol should use some of these for a postcard or something, heh.

    I cannot wait to be back there in October for a good looong run around that city :)

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.