National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum

You could spend a day in here and not see all of the spectacular exhibits this museum has to offer!

Quick Details

Renovated and reopened in 2006, the National Portrait Gallery/American Museum of Art is a photographer’s delight, and most of the exhibits are open to photography.

Our safari begins outside the entrance to the museum for some exterior views of the building that was begun in 1836 and was the site of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural ball. Then we move inside to photograph the incredible works of art on display, including the portraits of the Presidents, the spectacular 3rd Floor mezzanine whose architecture itself is a work of art, the gallery of contemporary art and sculpture and the new 28,000 sq.-ft. Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, with its soft light and undulating glass and steel roof designed by world-renowned architect Norman Foster.

You will learn how to photograph works of art in a museum without flash or tripod. Properly done under Mr, Luria’s guidance, your images will be so good that they can be enlarged , matted, printed on canvas, framed, and hung in your home to look as good as the original signed artwork! If you would like to decorate your home with art from the great masters, this safari will teach you how to do that at a MUCH lower cost than bidding at a Sotheby’s auction!

  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Digital Camera OR Late Model Smartphone
      • Digital cameras users: Should have adjustable shutter speeds and Manual settings and ISO ratings of 1600 or 3200 and should be familiar with setting Tungsten/Incandescent White Balance
      •  Smartphone users: Will need to find the exposure compensation adjustment control in their settings menu.
    • Lenses: Normal 18-55 mm lenses are fine for this safari, but 35mm or 50mm F1.8 or f1.4 lenses are even better!
    • Extra charged battery
    • Extra memory cards
    • NO tripods or backpacks permitted
    • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Chevron down Where to Meet
  • Meet outside the National Gallery at 8th and F Street (801 F Street, Northwest Washington, DC 20004), one block from Gallery Place Metro on the Yellow/Green/Red Lines.

  • Chevron down Your Instructor
  • E. David Luria is founder and director of the Washington Photo Safari, which has trained 36,000 amateur photographers – an average of 5 people every day, 365 days a year, since it was founded in 1999. Trained in Paris by a protégé of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mr. Luria is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and the Society of Photographic Educators and has had his images of DC appear in over 100 publications, calendars, and postcards and on 30 magazine covers.