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In the next few weeks I will be taking a trip down to visit the cherry blossom festival down in Washington DC. It’s been about 8 months since Ive taken an overnight trip anywhere and I am really looking forward to it.
Now I don’t know about you but for me planning is an important part of any trip and I find it very fun and rewarding. Making sure you know what sights are around. Places to eat or places to enjoy a picnic style lunch. Or somewhere to let your kids run around and have a little fun while you photograph.
Google Maps is a good place to start if you have never been to a particular location. You can get a feel for how the area is laid out. Get directions to you must see spots. Even see photos others have taken for an idea of where to shoot and where not to shoot.
Another good place to check out is trip advisor. There you can find hidden local restaurants and the best places in town to get hoagie. There is even a section on things to do.
Besides your typical packing list you would have for any trip you are going to need to prepare a shot list of the different locations you would like to get. Since I am going to be in DC, there are a few that come to mind right off the bat.
Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington memorials. I want to get them both during the day and at night. I would also like to get both reflecting pools. The one at the Capitol building and the other at the Lincoln Memorial.
Since I served in the United States Marine Corps obviously I would like to get the US Marine Corp War Memorial. It is the one that depicts the marines raising the flag on top of Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945.
I should also be able to get a photo of the Lincoln and Washington memorial as well as the Capitol Building all in view while at the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Since we are going to be going for the Cherry Blossom Festival, I want to get shots of all these locations with the trees in view. I mean why go and get photos if the trees won’t be visible in any of the memorials.
Of course we are going to go into the different museums along the National Mall. We took a day trip last year (in the rain) and visited a few of them. By the time we left to drive home we looked like drowned rats. This time we are going to try and hit them all. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes. And keeping are fingers crossed for some nice weather. Wishing for sunshine and clouds cause a bright blue sky is boring in pictures.
Another item on my daughters list that she wants to see is the Martin Luther King Jr memorial. It is located along the tidal basin between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. I’ve heard that there are some good spots along that route for the cherry blossoms too.
Others on her list include the White House and the National zoo. The White house may get the check mark but sadly the National Zoo will have to be another trip. Sure we could grab the metro but I think this trip we will stay clear of the metro.
Even right now as I write this I am getting excited. I know there are too many places on my list to hit in the one and half days we will be there. But boy are we going to try.
I want to leave you off with a simple starter checklist for items, that I will be bringing in my bag. In my bag (check out my post about which bag to get) I will have both my cameras. My canon and Nikon along with my GoPro. I’ll also be carrying the kit lenses with them as well as my new Tamron 16-300mm.
Of course I will need to bring along some cash for the different food stands that are out and about in DC. Who knows they might even be pop up shops as well. It will be a good idea to bring extra batteries and SD cards. And who can forget the phone with a power bank charger.
The last thing for the checklist for this trip will be some water and snacks. While I plan on grabbing a street dog (hot dog from a vendor) I don’t feel like coming home with no arms or legs. Just like any city those vendors aren’t very cheap.
I hope you stop by in a few weeks after my trip. I can only assume I will get some great photos and have a really great and interesting story to tell. Let me know in the comments if you think I should add anything else to my day bag?
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