Gerard McIntyre’s Photo Mission to Washington DC — Part 1

Editor’s preface:  Before Gerry made his trip to Washington DC, I asked that if he could get any shots of the famous cherry blossom he should post them here in the blog, but we all know what the winter has been like here in the N.E. USA and so, understandably, there wasn’t a single bit of blossom to be seen.  Having seen his excellent photographs, however, I am more than happy to bend out usual “wildlife and nature” rules to show Gerry’s work here.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have….. Eddie
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I recently was on a mission to get as many stunning architectural photos as possible.  I originally planned to go to New York City but those plans never came together.  As it so happens, I have two brothers and their lovely wives who live in or near Washington, DC.  So I wrote my youngest brother about a month before spring break and asked if I could visit for a few days.  Washington DC is an amazing city full of more museums and historical sites than can hardly be viewed in a month of Sundays let alone in three days.  Yet, I endeavored to get to a few of the more important sites to photograph and capture the essence of the city.  I am going to try to share a few of the special moments in time with you in the following pages.
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I arrived on Sunday evening shortly after six PM and chatted with youngest brother Mathew and his wife, Kerry. They were both full of wonderful ideas and anxious to help me get some of the better shots.  They are both Secret Service Agents and have been in town fourteen years so they know a little bit about the Capital.  Mathew and Kerry convinced me we should go out and about to see some of the city.  They figured an “Awareness Tour” would do me some good.  So, we loaded into their Jeep and headed out on a cool Sunday night.  They both said I need to see the “Mall.”  Not being familiar with the city I thought they were talking about some place to go shopping.  However, that is what they call the center of the city were all the major buildings, National Monuments, and cherry trees are located.
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Jefferson Monument - Copyright Gerard McIntyre 2014. All rights reserved.
Jefferson Monument – Copyright Gerard McIntyre 2014. All rights reserved.
After a quick sightseeing tour, Mathew asked if I would like to see the Jefferson Monument from across the Potomac River.  “Why not”  was all I could muster for a response.  I set up the tripod and camera and shot my first HDR image.
Washington Monument - Copyright Gerard McIntyre, 2014, All rights reserved.
Washington Monument – Copyright Gerard McIntyre, 2014.  All rights reserved.
I had hoped to get Washington DC with the cherry blossoms in bloom but, Ole Man Winter was still nipping at our heels and they just weren’t going to cooperate.  Turning around 180 degrees from the Jefferson Monument is the next piece I had to shoot. The Washington Monument behind the naked cherry trees.  I choose to frame it this way because the monument was still covered with about seven stories of scaffolding.  The last earthquake they had
did some major structural damage and the structural engineers were just finishing up with some serious restorations.
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After that, Mathew said that if I liked the Jefferson Memorial then I would really like the Capital Building in front of the Capital Reflection Pool.  Being an almost 24 hour town, I was amazed to see so many tourists buses dropping off and picking up tourist at 8:30 in the evening.  I really enjoyed the reflection in the pool.
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The Capital at Night - Copyright 2014, Gerard McIntyre. All rights reserved.
The Capital at Night – Copyright 2014, Gerard McIntyre. All rights reserved.
We called it a night after the tour and headed home to get a spot of dinner.  Mathew suggested I go to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the  Immaculate Conception just down the street from their house and Kerry suggested I go back to the mall and get an a panoramic HDR image of the Capital Building.  So, the following morning I endeavored to do both.
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I started at the outside of the Basilica and worked my way inside.  The Security Guard stopped me about halfway through the beautiful church and told me I had to get permission from the office to take pictures.  I was told when I went to the office that I couldn’t take any pictures of people, and none of my interior pictures could be posted on the internet or sold for profit.  Too bad, it is an amazing facility with more artwork than I have ever seen before and wish I could have shared some more of it.
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The Basillica.  Copyright 2014, Gerard McIntyre.  All rights reserved.
The Basillica. Copyright 2014, Gerard McIntyre. All rights reserved.
After I got done with the Basilica I gathered up my camera gear and headed down to my brothers Jeep he lent me.  He said my truck was too big and I would have a hard time finding a parking spot big enough for it.  What I didn’t understand was I’d have a hard time finding any parking spots period.  I headed downtown toward the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and spent 30 minutes trying to find a parking spot.  I finally gave up on a public parking spot and paid $15.00 to get a private parking place.  My goal was to get to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial to see my father’s name on the memorial.  I found it on Block 9 East, line 22.  Gerard Thomas McHugh was born in the Bronx and died in the line of duty as a NY State Trooper on the 27th of May, 1956, five months before I was born.
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National Law Enforcement Officers Academy - Copyright, 2014, Gerard McIntyre.  All rights reserved.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial – Copyright, 2014, Gerard McIntyre. All rights reserved.
After saying my proper respects and taking this image to remember him for all eternity, I headed back downtown on foot because I didn’t want to try to find another parking spot.  I eventually ended up back in front of the Capital Building and I shot a 27-picture HDR image.
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The Capital by Day - Copyright, 2014, Gerard McIntyre.  All rights reserved.
The Capital by Day – Copyright, 2014, Gerard McIntyre. All rights reserved.
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See more of Gerry’s excellent photography and the read the rest of his story in Part Two

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