Sunset and Twilight from the Kennedy Center Terrace Rooftop!

Washington DC at twilight is one of the prettiest cities in the country and one of the best places to see it is right from the middle of the city, with the 360- degree views from the rooftop Terrace of the Kennedy Center!

Quick Details

Washington, DC at twilight is one of the prettiest cities in the country and one of the best places to see it is right from the middle of the city, with the 360- degree views from the rooftop Terrace of the Kennedy Center!

Thanks to the staff of the Kennedy Center, we have been granted special permission to hold a unique photo Safari at this spectacular location, using tripods to shoot in the low light of civil twilight.

We will begin our safari at the Terrace rooftop seating area with a brief orientation on Twilight and Night Time photography. We will then go around to the eastern part of the terrace and shoot the view of the city during its golden hour, with the sun setting in the west behind the Kennedy Center and illuminating the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument and the new structures that are part of the new REACH extension of the Kennedy Center.

Using our tripods and neutral density filters, we will slow down the shutters and make all the moving cars on the roads and bridges DISAPPEAR, making it seem as though there is no traffic in the evening rush hour! How cool is THAT?

We will then move around to the western side of the Terrace and shoot the sunset itself, a lovely golden and orange hue as it sets behind the skyscrapers in Arlington across the Potomac River.

We will then sit for a few minutes, reviewing our images at the tables on the Terrace while we wait for the blue hour of Civil Twilight to appear.

Then we will have the opportunity to shoot Washington, DC from all four angles of the rooftop Terrace, first coming from the south aide of the terrace looking towards Washington Harbor, Georgetown and the Watergate complex, from the east side looking towards the city itself, from the southeast corner looking towards the illuminated Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, from the south side of the Terrace looking towards the Roosevelt and Arlington Memorial Bridges, with the car headlights and taillights streaming lights across our images, and finally from the western part of the Terrace, looking across the Potomac River at the Arlington Skyline with its illuminated skyscrapers.

With slow shutter speeds, shooting on Manual, we can get all the car headlights and tail lights to draw colorful white and red lines across our pictures.

Here are some samples of the images you will get on this safari.

Professional architectural photographer and Washington Photo Safari director E. David Luria will provide guidance on shooting these images in the manual mode and setting the correct white balance to get beautiful images of the city at sunset, in the golden hour, in the blue hour of Civil Twilight, and at night.

We have chosen to do this on a Monday evening, when there are no shows at the Kennedy Center, so the place is nice and quiet and not so crowded.

Bring your camera, all your lenses, short, medium and wide, a tripod, a circular polarizing filter, a neutral density filter, and a flashlight to see your camera controls at night. No camera? No problem. Bring your smartphone, it will do a fine job.

This is a spectacular Safari! You don’t want to miss it! We only have room for 8 people, so register early!

  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Camera
    • Lenses
    • Extra memory cards
    • Extra charged battery
    • Tripod
    • Accessories such as filters, remote release
    • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Chevron down Where to Meet
  • Meet in States Hall of Rooftop Terrace of Kennedy Center at 2700 F St NW

  • 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.