Wide angle living - Part 2: Washington D.C. & Virginia

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Taking advantage of a recent work trip, I flew to Washington a few days early to enjoy the weekend with some family in Virginia and then a few hours in the U.S capital.

I had never been to either Washington D.C. or Virginia and was happy I managed to swing a weekend before some work on the Monday to go visit both places. As a "citizen of many places", I am lucky to have family within easy reach in many cities I visit, this being one of them. I was able to go visit my O'Neill family down in Moseley, just outside Richmond, Virginia. 

I brought along my newly acquired Hasselblad Xpan for some panoramic "wide angle living" shots and the Rolleiflex as a nice and small Medium format companion. Of course I had plenty of film, but still ended up needing more. 

Of course, I couldn't resist some airplane and window seat shots, so managed to burn though quite a few rolls on the Xpan before I even arrived!

Most of the shots are taken with the Xpan so if you are reading this on a mobile device turn it sideways now to enjoy that wonderful panoramic perspective.

Talk about a busy airport - I really love the panoramic view of the Xpan, it gets so much into the frame but keeps it nice and thin. It is also a razor sharp lens (45mm), it reminds me of a medium format shot.
Next one to go - I waited just for the right moment to have the line of the runway heading straight down the shot. 
The west coast of Ireland, in fact I think it might be the Aran islands. 
I can't remember where this was, but believe somewhere in Europe. All airplane shots are taken with Ektar 100, a great film for landscape photography!
I had never properly tried shooting the Xpan vertically and figured it was worth a try, it certainly produces a very long shot, but quite hard to compose. The shot below is over Canada. 
As a geographer, I really like looking at cloud formations (laugh all you like) - look how straight the formations are, they are in rows all along the shot below. 
Another vertical shot - right over the Potomac river as you come in to land at Dulles International Airport. 

A weekend in Virginia

I found the place names on the drive down to the Richmond area fascinating. Not only do you drive past a lot of the government type place names you see in the movies (Quantico for example), you go past roadsigns like Fredericksburg and Charlottesville. I really must read a (concise) history book about the United States, obviously with the Civil War being so important in this area of the country.

Below are some quite random shots I took, as I spent more time with a whole selection of dogs (yep my cousins Ned and Aileen have lots of them) and needing to recover from a game of Breakout after a 9 hr flight and 3 hr drive (actually it was a lot of fun).

A forested area around my cousin's back yard. Great wide angle perspective with the Xpan in this shot, also looks kinda eerie!
It's a dog's life - what a great shot! This photo is spectacular on a laptop or desktop monitor. 
Walkway onto Belle Isle in Richmond, VA. Not the best composed shot, but I wanted to show the quirky walkway. The island is really interesting (also small at approx. 50 acres) it has a fascinating history: it was used as a POW camp during the Civil War and has lots of historical plaques with information. 
The James River, also some good rapids for people to enjoy!
Nice shot of the group! 
Even better when cropped - wow this 45mm lens is sharp! 
A man and his dog. 

Washington D.C.

I literally had a few hours on Sunday to go for a tour around the city. I opted for one of the open tour buses and did the whole thing in about 90mins...and talk about being lucky with the weather! 

Many of these shots are quite touristy, but hey I was a tourist! Washington is a great city, definitely worth a trip back to spend some time in the many (many!) museums! 

Lovely panoramic shot of the Jefferson memorial and the Washington Monument in the distance. 
Different perspective. This city is really easy to photograph there are so many great views. I really like the town planning, everything is within a straight line of something else. 
The impressive U.S. Capitol building. I would have loved to visit inside but didn't have the time to plan for it. Still, it is every bit iconic as you think it will be. 
The White House, smaller than you would think. 
I love the light in this shot of the Lincoln Memorial. Shot on my Rolleiflex with Kodak Portra 400 film. 
The view from the World War II memorial looking down towards the Lincoln Memorial. 

A closer perspective shot with my Rolleiflex. 

One of my favourite shots of the trip. The composition really works, with the leading lines all the way down the image and the people walking up past me up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. 
Another favourite shot. Playing with depth of field and grabbed a real winner. Shot on my Rolleiflex with Kodak Portra 400 film. 
It is certainly easy to just point and shoot from eye level, there are so many interesting monuments all around you. But I like looking for new and interesting perspectives of the same scene. 
Here is another example. Everyone was inside with the Lincoln statue (mind you it really is impressive), but right outside and towards the back was this absolutely fantastic light and view. 
The man himself. 
Other side of the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool - trying a different depth of field this time. 
Another view of the WWII memorial, I really had such great light!
The sombre Korean War memorial. 
I actually can't remember which building this was, but I really like the perspective shot on the Hasselblad Xpan!

Overall observations

I definitely need to plan a longer trip back to Washington D.C., there is so much to see and so many great photography opportunities! This whole part of the US is really quite interesting, rich with history and significance to how this country has evolved. 

I am very happy with how the shots came out, of course I had really great light and weather for the most part. Films used include Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 400, and even some locally bought Fuji Superia 400 as I was panicking I would run out of film for the Xpan! You can never have enough film! 

I hope you enjoyed these shots as much as I enjoyed this short trip and family visit / tourist for a few hours opportunity.

There are a few more "Wide Angle Living" posts in the works - see you next time!

Neil