Fourth of July in Washington DC

posted in Photography on Jul 5, 2012

With weather upwards of 100 degrees and the thought of a Metro trip from hell in the back of our minds, going to the Mall to watch fireworks almost did not make the cut for activities for the 4th of July, 2012. In the end, we mustered the will to go out in the face melting heat and here are my shots from the day.

It turns out that the train ride into town was not bad at all, which was a pleasure. Getting off of the air conditioned train and emerging into the epic heat, however, was not. We arrived in the district around 4pm thinking that all of the good sitting spots would be taken up very early, but given the time and the sun, people that were “camping out” on the lawn were mostly under the trees off to the side. One rather ridiculous addition to the grounds from the standpoint of someone who wants to watch fireworks was a couple dozen large white tents that got in the way of any good photo opportunities towards the Washington Monument. Their placement was just kind of terrible, and that’s too bad.

After sitting in one of the tents for a while listening to a Hawaiian band, we, along with many others, went into the Natural History Museum to get out of the heat for a while. We mostly sat around the food court and rehydrated until the museum closed around 7:30. From there we began the trek to the banks of the FDR Memorial in hopes of getting some good photos of the event.

Crossing into the lawn just in front of the Washington Monument on the way to FDR was quite the ordeal. A security checkpoint was erected, forcing everyone to have their bags checked before entering. That was a minor nuisance, the larger being that we found out it was pretty much impossible to get to the FDR Memorial due to the closure of Kutz Bridge that would take us over to it. I suppose we had the option to go around, but it was easier to just go to the Jefferson Memorial instead. That is what we did, and after another checkpoint to get onto the grounds, just twenty minutes before the event started at 9pm we found a prime spot on the concrete looking out towards the Tidal Basin and DC skyline.

The event itself was pretty great, with explosions that were as large as the Washington Monument (or maybe it was just the perspective). Look forward to next year.

Happy Fourth, everyone!

These images can also be found in this G+ gallery. They are all the same images, but still.