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Early Morning Light at the National Cathedral

Capture Gorgeous Light Through Stained Glass Windows

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Early Morning Photo Safari at the Cathedral

Those of us who live in the DC area are truly blessed to have right in our own backyard one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world: Washington National Cathedral.

Begun in 1907 with a cornerstone laid by President Theodore Roosevelt and finished in 1990 with a final stone laid by President George H.W. Bush, its 150,000 tons of Indiana limestone make this the sixth largest cathedral in the world and an excellent example of 11th-century Gothic architecture.

Although it suffered $30 million of damage during the 2011 earthquake, the interior repairs have been finished and the cathedral is still a great place to hone your skills in architectural and church photography. And one of the best times to do it is in the early morning light. This is a great time to do interior shots of the Cathedral, especially in the winter months When the sun is low in the southern and eastern sky, its beams pour through the south-facing stained glass windows of the Nave, projecting a riot of colors from these windows onto the grey stone columns, walls, and floors of the cathedral. The windows of this cathedral are commonly known as “the Jewels of Light.”

After the interior shoot of the windows and long shots down the Main Nave, time permitting, we will photograph the Lower Crypt, we will also go into the adjoining Bishops Garden, from which we can get great shots of the cathedral structure in the morning light, best captured with a polarizing filter.

Washington Photo Safari director and architectural photographer E. David Luria will guide you as you take your pictures and will provide an explanation of the abstract scenes depicted in the stained glass windows. He will assist you in working your camera on its Manual Mode for optimal exposure and also help you improve your color filtration by working with the Kelvin color temperature scale if your camera is equipped with it.

Here is what one safarian had to say about the Early Morning Light safari:

Today was another great learning experience with Washington Photo Safari at the Washington National Cathedral. David’s individualized instruction and practical advice helped me hone my skills as I “chased the colorful light” streaming through the stained glass windows. Warren G., Columbia, MD

Your fee includes a donation to the Cathedral’s earthquake repair funds. Bring your camera, wide angle and telephoto lenses and tripod (optional) for this early morning photographic adventure at Washington National Cathedral! Any camera will do, even smartphones.