In March 2008, I traveled to Washington, D.C. with some of my siblings and a friend. My sister-in-law, Adrianna, had never been to this area of the country. It was the second trip for my sister and I, and the third for our brother. When it came to figuring out where we would go and what we would do, we each prioritized a list of I’ll-die-if-I-don’t-get-to-see-it, I’d-really-like-to-see-it, and I’ll-survive-if-we-don’t-make-it-here places. We made it to everyone’s must-dos, most of everyone’s love-tos, and none of the other. Not bad considering there were five of us.
On everyone’s list of must-dos was Mount Vernon… George and Martha’s place. And the picture above is the normal picture that everyone takes when they visit. It’s not a bad picture, it’s just kind of blah. (And yes, I shot that bit of blah.)
Angles can be fun. And waiting for everyone to get out of your photo is always worth it! I’ve stood around patiently waiting on more than one occasion and I usually score a much better picture for it.
For almost a year, this photo hung in my cubicle at work. I was tickled pink the day that John, the guy who sits next to me, asked, “Did you cut that out of a magazine?” Um… no. I took it myself. His eyebrows where halfway to the North Pole.
I’ll admit it, I know my way around Adobe PhotoShop, but there are no effects used on this photo. The sky was pure luck. The hour of the day was not of my doing, it’s just how scheduling worked out. About the only thing I did was clean the lint out of the photo (one of my lenses had a piece of lint in it… it’s been professionally cleaned since and secured a new piece of lint in a new location… joy is mine). And you have to admit the house is picturesque to begin with.
But waiting for everyone to get out of the doorway and shooting from the side just created a look that felt right. Yes, I often take a photo based on what feels right to me. Sure, I tend to operate on the law of thirds, but that’s not because someone told me to, it’s because I’m not the biggest fan of bullseye shots for a lot of things. I also like depth perception in a photograph. That doesn’t make these things more right than something else. It’s called preference.
And I liked this photo so much, it was blown up, matted, and framed for my gallery. And it’s made the cut after I’ve returned from every vacation yet. I imagine it will maintain its position for many years to come.