Nighttime Washington Stroll

by Keith Stanley (copyright 2000)

    Last night I walked home from the Freer gallery.  This evening was nearly ideal. The temperature was probably in the low to mid 70's, the humidity noticeable but moderate, the sunset was long gone & there were scattered, puffy/diffuse, low clouds reflecting the monument lights. I walked out onto the middle of the mall, away from any nearby, direct light sources, facing the Washington Monument sheathed in artistically done scaffolding and marvelously lit.

    The monument is always marvelously lit at night. Walking toward it, slowly, in the pleasant night air, away from others, undisturbed, I could focus on the light, the source, the intricate detail of the scaffolding . . . I was mesmerized. Approaching such a shrine seems to touch some deep inner mythological sensibility.

    I stopped to take pictures . . . often . . . even though I had no tripod. I'd stand as still as I could, regularizing and stilling my breathing, steadying my hands. I'd lie on the ground, smelling the earth/vegetation, using my elbows and trunk as a makeshift 'tripod.' I tried every relevant camera setting, regular, night scene, and long exposure. Some of the shots came out decently (my first night shots with my new digital camera).

    After the monument, I walked over to the White House and took pictures in its lit-up persona. On some of the shots, I used the fence bars to support and steady my hands. I also got a few pictures of St. Johns (just across Lafayette Park from the White House where a goodly number of Presidents have worshipped).

    As I walked from monument to White House I felt the breeze, steady, fresh, in my face. I held both hands up, walking, feeling the breeze swirl and eddy through my fingers, caressing my hands.

    Lastly, approaching home, I got one last shot (of the National Geographic building alight).

                  St. John's                                       National Geographic Building

For more pictures of Washington, DC, Landmarks, including more nighttime images, see Washington, DC, Landmarks

I welcome any questions or comments.  

To contact me (Keith Stanley), please email me at

Here are some links to others of my pages:

West Coast Washington, DC Hawaii Michigan Winter Hong Kong
Singapore Thailand Bali Digital Art

Travel Home Page