How Washington Photo Safari became the perfect gift

By Megan Snider

Choosing gifts is a tough business. Celebrated my March anniversary with my boyfriend, Spencer, I was at a loss for what to get him — but wanted something special to commemorate our first year together.

Both amateur photographers who rarely leave home without our Canon or Pentax equipment, I heard about Washington Photo Safari years ago but had never carved out the time to attend one. March 20 seemed like a great day — and with tickets in hand for both of us, plus my mom, we headed downtown to meet up with instructor E. David Luria at the National Building Museum.

Our session, “F Stops and Shutter Speeds,” included hands-on training from Mr. Luria as well as a bevy of information encouraging you to get confident enough to never shoot on “auto” again. Though our session was geared specifically toward learning about aperture and shutter speed, Mr. Luria provided lots of other great tips on just getting great photos.

Though I’ve been taking photos for years, I just purchased my first DSLR camera in October. Photography has gone from a passing hobby to a serious pastime and, as we’ve all invested in top-of-the-line cameras, a photo session like this one seemed like a worthwhile investment in the equipment I’ve already committed to learning, loving and using.

I appreciated that the safari was a blend of instruction and hands-on shooting time — after all, we’re all there to take better pictures. After spending time outdoors, we migrated into the National Building Museum and listened as Mr. Luria pointed out great spots to try out the new techniques we’d learned. I loved “freezing” the water in the museum’s lovely fountain and trying to capture the change afternoon light. We had a great time, and Mr. Luria was a kind and patient instructor.

Washington, D.C. is such a beautiful city and the opportunities to photograph it are endless. With more than 100 unique itineraries on the schedule, I’d definitely sign on for another session with Washington Photo Safari — and look forward to capturing more “frozen water” in the future!


About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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