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Full Moonrise over the Nation’s Capital from the Skydome

Photograph the Full Moonrise over the Nation's Capital from the Skydome at the DoubleTree Crystal City!

Quick Details

Think you can take better pictures than the ones you see on the postcards? Here is your chance to prove it by capturing a panoramic view of the National Mall and the nation’s capital, first in the soft blue light of twilight and then with a rising full moon, all from the vantage-point of the 15-story high Skydome atop the DoubleTree by Hilton in Arlington, VA! The above daytime photograph shows the view available from this site.

Professional architectural photographer E. David Luria will coach you in the single-exposure and (if your camera can do it) double-exposure techniques of twilight and moonlight photography on this safari, timed to coincide with the sun setting and then the full moon rising. If your camera does multiple-exposures, we will show you how to move the moon from one corner of the sky to place it right over the Washington Monument! How cool is THAT?

This panoramic vantage point also gives you good opportunities to photograph the nearby Pentagon, and to use your telephoto to zoom in on other DC landmarks across the river.

You must bring your camera, all your lenses, wide and long, a STURDY tripod, cable release is also desirable, and a flashlight to see your camera controls in the dark. Although the Skydome windows are angled down and are glare-free, we still recommend the purchase of a reflection-eliminating lens skirt, available at B and H Photo Video at this link:

Here’s what clients say about the Skydome Safari:

Thanks for the Safari last night… Your Safari locations are always spectacular and offer great opportunities. I always learn new things from you and makes me realize that I need to spend more time with my camera!
K. R. Elkridge VA

I once again happily made the 200 mile drive up from Lexington, VA to the DMV area, to participate in the “Full Moonrise over the Nation’s Capital from the Sky Dome” Night-time Photo Safari, led by E. David Luria!!!  In this safari, Mr. Luria gets special permission for the group to get special access to the Skydome located at the top of a hotel, in Arlington Virginia’s Crystal City area. 

 There is a special handout for this safari giving detailed instructive techniques with regards to dusk and night photography, shooting through a window, exposure length to get special effect techniques, etc.  When the door of the elevator, the group takes to go up to the indoor Skydome room, opens, the panoramic view of the National Mall, Pentagon, the Air Force Memorial, planes taking off and landing from Reagan National Airport, and in general the amazing skyline of Washington, DC and its surrounding highways is breathtaking, to say the least.

 Even with cloud cover, we learned so many other night-time photography techniques involving ISO, aperture, lens choice, and f stop settings again dependent upon the type of shot desired.  The illumination of the Capitol, Washington Monument, AF Memorial, and other sites viewed in the skyline, photographing planes taking off and landing, and of course the method for making highways with cars headlights in view, appear as either red or white “magical streaks” within the picture, were amazing to photograph. 

Mr. Luria has a way of adapting any safari to whatever weather or environment presented to him at the time of the safari.  In essence his ability to “step outside of the box” is what makes these photo safaris second to none!!!   Again a 5-Star rating for this safari!!!
Percita E., Lexington, VA


Wonderful first-time experience in Skydome. 
Chun C., South Riding, VA

Photo Credit: Keith Hans