When 8:15am 11. 2.13 Where Washington Monument Local freelance photographer Craig Hudson admits he has a strong affinity for the grand and majestic, which he credits to growing up in San Francisco. “To me, the National Mall is a physical manifestation of our nation’s history on a grand scale, with all of that majesty coming to life in our monuments and wide-open spaces,” he says. Those open spaces, of course, deliver the East Coast’s version of big skies, which provide nature’s quintessential—and ever-changing— backdrops. As a wan morning sun ducked behind long patches of clouds, Hudson walked the Mall with his Nikon D700 and noticed a small army of finches swoop down next to hundreds of others foraging for breakfast. The photographer-bird dance had begun. “I positioned myself between the birds and the Monument and waited, so that when the flock took off—in front of my camera—I would be there,” Hudson explains. His composition paid off… majesty and all. – Michael McCarthy When 3:10pm 11. 16.13 Where national Mall No matter what the genre, music has a way of luring a crowd. Italian pianist Davide Martello knows this well: He’s currently traveling the globe with the goal of playing his converted concert piano in every national capital. He’s a flash mob of one. So, when Lorie Shaull pedaled the Mall toward the Hirshhorn Museum on a crisp Saturday afternoon, she heard Martello’s plaintive notes from two blocks away. “It was such beautiful music that I just had to follow it and find out where it was coming from—and who was playing it,” says Shaull, who packed her Canon EOS Rebel T3i for the afternoon’s bike ride. She found Martello and framed her shot to reveal the Capitol as a backdrop. “It was so impressive to see he’d gotten his grand piano right in the middle of the Mall!” she says. “Having a camera with me is a reminder to pause and observe what’s going on.” – MM
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