Like any other aspiring photographer, I too get tired of the familiar. I’m talking about those places where we tend to spend too much of our limited photographic time in the hope that on any particular day, that great photo opportunity will simply appear before us. Most of the time, it is a total waste of our time. Same thing, different day. But every now and then, something happens. A spot that we have photographed a thousand times without ever liking any of the photos taken, suddenly rewards us with a moment, a keeper moment, if you know what I mean. Hard drives full of photographic junk immediately evaporate from our consciousness, and for a moment (but what a moment), that simple click becomes the justification for endless hours wasted in pursuit of a reason to get behind a camera again. Perfection? Not by a long shot. Satisfaction? Oh yes. Such was the case with this photograph. A familiar deck in Alexandria that I have photographed seemingly a million times before, but only for what seemed destined to my photographic junk pile. I have photographed the deck from every side and from every angle short of being on a boat in front of it. Nothing. Nada. Photo junk. And then this guy shows up. I watch him walk towards the deck and I just stand there waiting for something, anything, to happen. Pack down, leg up on the bench. Click. Moment over. An imperfect photo for sure, but one that reminded me that being there to take the photo is ninety percent of the way to making great photographs. We just have to keep showing up.
One of the best places in Washington, DC for photographers has to be the renovated Georgetown waterfront. In fact, the entire area is one of my favorite places in the district. From the somewhat-secluded Key Bridge Boathouse to the Georgetown Waterfront Park and onto the Embassy of Sweden, this is prime open space in an otherwise cramped city. Bars, restaurants, and an extended riverfront promenade are the perfect ingredients for people-watching and for snapping pictures. And did I mention the view? With the imposing Kennedy Center to one side and the undulating Key Bridge to the other, it is easy to see why you’ll need to save a few million dollars if you want to live in one of the ritzy condos overlooking this section of the Potomac. In fact, with the exception of the relatively new National Harbor development on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, there is no other place like it along the mighty river. Certainly not along the Virginia side, which from a riverside party perspective can be considered to be literally dead. Zap. Nada. I guess Washington does produce some great things after all.