Washington, DC (Part I)

I hate to admit it, but shortly after watching “The Bucket List,” I did the same clich√© thing that everyone else did and created my very own bucket list. No, really, I actually have a small notebook that I write ideas and things I want to do before I kick the big one. What does that have to do with our nation’s capital, you wonder? Well, I was lucky enough to recently scratch not just one or two, but three items off my list in the course of five days: visit Washington, DC, attend Photoshop World, and meet the great Joe McNally!

It Starts…

Ridin' the Storm Out

Ridin' the Storm Out

Let’s back this story up a little way first and head back to October of last year. For most of 2011, I had planned a trip to Washington, DC to see the sights and, of course, shoot as many photographs as I could. I have¬† never been to the capital city and being the history and government buff that I am, I’ve always wanted to go.

Life got in the way and my plans for traveling in the fall got derailed temporarily. That’s why I felt it was serendipity when the good folks at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) announced that Photoshop World was going to be held in DC in March. I was ecstatic; this was my chance.

While I had plans to attend no matter what, my good fortune continued when, on Cyber Monday, they announced a “buy one, get one” deal for PSW registration. I immediately contacted my good friend and personal mentor, Dave Vernon, and, after a few minutes hesitation, convinced him to come along.

The months quickly flew past and March finally came.

From Motown With Love



There’s nothing more degrading to the nerves than an early morning flight; there’s something so wrong about getting up at 4:30 a.m. to catch a plane, but I was so excited, I barely noticed. Dave and I flew out of Bloomington, Illinois (great airport!), stopped off for a small layover in Detroit (also lovely!), and then on to Washington National.

If you ever have to travel to DC, make sure to fly in to Washington National. While I haven’t flown into Dulles, something tells me that the view isn’t as beautiful as flying in, the plane banking for its final descent, and looking face-to-face with the Washington Monument.

We got all our gear and grabbed the Metro over to Union Station to find our condo. Wait a minute… condo?!? That’s right. We tried out the new website, AirBNB, and I have to say it’s awesome! We stayed in a small apartment across from Union Station right on Capitol Hill for only $120 a night; you can’t beat that at all!

I think Dave was as anxious as I was because we barely got in to the apartment before we dropped our bags, grabbed our cameras and tripods, and headed out.

Where You Boys Headed With Those Tripods?

Ridin' the Rails

Ridin' the Rails

No sooner did we hit the streets than we got stopped by a faithful member of the Washington City Police inquiring about our tripods and where we were headed with them.

We weren’t really sure where we were headed, but the officer let us know that we should avoid U.S. Capitol grounds with the tripods. If we wanted to shoot there, we needed a permit and could get one in the police office, which was… that’s right… the next building.

We headed in and after going through another security check almost as strict as the airport check, we were ushered into a small area with a desk behind a piece of glass. The woman there said, “Takes five days if you want to apply.”

Thanks, but no thanks as we would be back in the Land of Lincoln by then; we’d take our chances. After this little half hour detour, we headed back into the sunshine and toward the monuments.

To Be Continued…

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