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DC Cliche Photography

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  • #773
    anneb
    Participant

    Hijacked from this weeks topic thread (HDR)

    Of course, that seems to be the problem- finding something worth photographing. Everything in Washington DC has been photographed to death. It took me all day just to think about photographing the falls.

    There are more than a couple of us in the DC area, it looks like. And yeah, it’s hard to find something not overdone.

    One place that’s not totally overshot is the now closed Lorton Prison, and lest you think you can’t legally get there, the southernmost few miles of the Fairfax Cross-County Trail run right THROUGH a bunch of it. (Beware, trail markings are spotty. It’s an excersize in paying attention, the first time along it) And the Laurel Hill Golf Course backs up against part of it, too, as well as a whole bunch of new senior housing. Of course, you have to be willing to get into extremely creepy. But, with Halloween coming up…

    I’m not going to in-line this image, to be nice to the site owner, but here’s one I took of a guard tower over by the Golf Course one Sunday afternoon, late this summer: http://www.ooblick.com/gallery/Local/Golf_4601_sm -even with it being a summer afternoon, to me, it’s creepy enough. Geez.

    Anyone else got any place for Non-cliche shots around here?

    #6953
    Diggin
    Participant

    I pass Lorton Prison often. Thats a great idea.

    Lorton Prison (Roughly)
    38?41’51.50″N
    77?15’11.63″W

    #6954
    Saldo1981
    Participant

    I know what you mean about everything being photographed to death. There are 3 things that have been photographed around me. Ruby Falls, Rock City and the Choo-Choo. Can you guess where I am? There are mountains and some waterfalls around but I’m not all that good at the landscape stuff. Sometimes I drive around with the camera in hand for a few hours at a time looking for that obscure off the wall place that captures the area that hasn’t been over photographed. Another bad thing is one of the members of the car club I’m in was a photographer in this area for a long time as his primary income which means he’s already done the countless hours of driving and searching. There have been a few photos I’ve taken that I was kinda proud of until I showed him them and he said hey I got that shot and of course his always look better.

    #6955
    Diggin
    Participant

    Well anneb it looks like Lorton Prison is a wash. The site is patrolled by armed security and he said the entire campus is off limits to the public. (except for the ball field) Contruction equipment is there and it looks like they’ve stripped everything out of the structures. I did meet a site supervisor who was kind enough to let me inside the fence to take a few pictures but after I entered one of the units he asked me to leave. Oh well… The kids loved it!

    #6956
    KarolA
    Participant

    I spent Sunday afternoon running round Forts Foote and Washington – both off of Indian Head Hwy a bit south of the beltway. Fort Foote is the smaller of the two and mostly ruins. I didn’t spend too much time there, but got some nice fall foliage shots and lovely crumbly ruins. I also took pics of the cannons. Didn’t see many people there at all.

    Similarly, Fort Washington was not crowded. Many opportunities for oh-so-cliche shots, but it’s awfully darned scenic. And, lots of crumbly, paint-peely history and bonus lovely Potomac vistas (including a view of DC and the new Wilson Bridge). Curious what I found? My flickr site is http://www.flickr.com/photos/olorak.

    #6957
    Diggin
    Participant

    even though I’m not too far from it I’ve never been there. Maybe one day soon I’ll check it out because it looks really nice! Thanks for the pics!

    #6958
    anneb
    Participant

    I haven’t been over to Ft. Washington in ages! There’s certainly more there than across the river at Ft. Hunt, which just a few batteryworks still standing. (Neat, but not nearly as neat.) The turning and dying foliage really adds to the shots, I think.

    I didn’t know Fort Foote existed, I just knew about Fort Washington. I’ll have to check it out one day.

    #6959
    anneb
    Participant

    Cliche opportunity: Full moon coming up this weekend, and the current overnight forecasts are for pretty clear. Does anyone ever go down to shoot monuments, etc? Where is good to set up, and not get hauled off by the Park Police?

    #6960
    staplermofo
    Participant

    It would be funny if you took pictures from the cliche photos’ perspectives.

    #6961
    anneb
    Participant

    Well anneb it looks like Lorton Prison is a wash. The site is patrolled by armed security and he said the entire campus is off limits to the public. (except for the ball field) Contruction equipment is there and it looks like they’ve stripped everything out of the structures. I did meet a site supervisor who was kind enough to let me inside the fence to take a few pictures but after I entered one of the units he asked me to leave. Oh well… The kids loved it!

    Diggin,

    There’s a couple of ways to shoot parts of it reasonably easily and legally. First off, check out the link in my first post, for the cross-county trail. This is a good place to take your bike, car parking stinks along there. The southern terminus is at Occoquan regional park, with scads of car parking. If you follow the trail north and uphill out of the park, suddenly, the trail breaks off to the right, goes behind the landfill, and back around the prison. Watch carefully, trail marking signs are teeny. Yeah, you are supposed to stay on the trail, and you can’t get through the double fences, but you’re close enough to the towers and buildings to get some reasonably decent shots, before it comes back out again near the one-lane RR bridge. I believe further on up the trail, you pass near more buildings, as well. I should play with what I took this summer, and get some of them up.

    Another place that has interesting angles is along Silverbrooke Rd., near South County Secondary. The new Laurel Hill senior housing development that is going up comes flush up against some of the older parts of the prison, along with some of the Laurel Hill golf course. I find the new construction next to the crumbling prison jarring as hell; I’m having trouble with getting the cumulative effect inside of one tiny viewfinder, though.

    This is in contrast with other parts, such as the former Youth Detention Center, which is locked off and actually a bit dangerous. The county uses it for training, in part because some of those buildings are about to come down. I had access there recently to shoot a S&R excersize, but had to scamper after to pick up $KID, and wasn’t able to get many shots just for me for fun. The football field behind the fences and guard towers was just super hard to wrap my brain around.

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