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Outsmarting Your Smartphone at D.C.’s Monuments

Learn how to use your smartphone's camera in the field before your big trip!

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Got a smartphone?  This safari is for YOU!

1999 was the first year in which a cell phone was paired with a built –in camera.

1999 was ALSO the year in which Washington Photo Safari began operations in the nation’s capital, taking clients around the monuments and showing them how to get better photos with their cameras!

So, to celebrate our joint 25th anniversaries in 2024, Washington Photo Safari has created a special hands-on workshop in the field (not in a classroom) just for smartphone users!

Smartphones have gotten so much better with each new model year! Their pictures are sharp, well-exposed, have very high resolution, and they have built-in algorithms to automatically adjust color, white balance, exposure, excellent depth of field of focus, contrast, and sharpness. They also offer easy-to-use built-in editing functions that brighten. crop, increase color saturation and contrast. The best models now cover most regular camera equivalent focal lengths of 16mm to 200mm. (Beyond 200mm you really need a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens.)

Personally conducted by professional architectural photographer and WPS Director E. David Luria, our new Outsmart Your Smartphone safari is designed specifically for smartphone users to help them get “faces and places” pictures that pop!

So, before you go off on that big trip, learn how to use your phone’s camera in the field, on this unique D.C. travel photography workshop that benefits from Mr. Luria’s extensive knowledge of when, where, and how to shoot all the best photo ops in the D.C. area!

Here are the tips covered in our 90-minute orientation taking place in Lafayette Park:

  • how to hold the phone camera for maximum picture sharpness
  • how to photograph candid and posed shots of people, children, and pets
  • how to photograph buildings, churches, monuments, and famous places
  • how to take pictures inside dark museums, palaces, train stations, galleries
  • how to make your cityscapes, landscapes, and nature photos more interesting
  • how to use your phone to photograph at twilight and at night
  • how to incorporate principles of composition into your smartphone photos (rule of thirds, framing, leading lines, foreground elements, etc.)
  • how to do slow motion, hyperlapse, panorama and other techniques
  • how to use the editing functions in your phone to improve your photos
  • how to use a special smartphone bracket with a shutter button placed under your right forefinger that is connected by Bluetooth to your phone’s shutter, allows you to shoot in either horizontal or vertical format, has a tripod socket, and which also charges your phone while you use it!

After the orientation on travel photography techniques, our shooting itinerary will then take us to adjoining Lafayette Park and to the White House, then by car to the Albert Einstein Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, and the Korean War Memorial – all great subjects for photography. We will end up the morning session at Union Station, where we will discuss interior photography inside large spaces without a flash or tripod.

Any model phone is fine, but the latest models provide more options for better photos When the safari ends, we will have you looking like a pro as you hold your phone correctly, AND you will take MUCH better pictures with your phone!

(E. David Luria is a professional architectural photographer who has lived in the DC area for more than 50 years and claims he “knows where all the best pictures are! “As WPS Founder, he has directed the training of over 41,000 amateur photographers since 1999.)

Here are recent reviews from Trip Advisor: Perfect for All Levels of Photographic Expertise

As a resident of the Washington area and an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I’ve taken over a dozen of David Luria’s photo safaris and learned something new about photography on each one. On each safari, he not only orients the group as a whole, but he also spends one-on-one time with each student, gearing his advice to the level of sophistication of that individual. His knowledge of photographic technique and his unlimited patience make him one of the best photography instructors I’ve encountered. I highly recommend his tours.
–Greg E.

A terrific overview of photo tips and tour of major DC monuments. David Luria is a wonderful instructor, and his tour was quite informative!
–Thom L., Washington, D.C., on Trip Advisor

Great time with David-excellent review of camera and light, etc. basics, then some “practice” both inside and outside. He also advised me about future camera needs and purchases. I highly recommend this tour.
–Milton K., Bethesda, MD on Trip Advisor

The first time I ever picked up a camera was on one of your Washington Photo Safaris, and we visited all the monuments. I learned a lot from you, and it was motivating.
–Guarav M., Germantown, MD. (A WPS safarian who has been on 7 of our safaris since 2010 and has become a very accomplished photo artist!)