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Holiday Lights Contest: A Photography Workshop at Van Ness/UDC

Learn How to Photograph Holiday Lights - the best photo of the evening wins a prize!

Quick Details


At this time of year, the homes, streets, and stores around us are beautifully illuminated in festive lights. You also might be quite proud of the lighting inside and outside your own home. So, how do you capture that lighting in your camera or phone to share with family and friends on social media, one of the few pleasures left to us in this time of COVID-19?

Working in cooperation with the Van Ness Main Street business improvement organization, Washington Photo Safari is pleased to offer a special opportunity to learn how to shoot holiday lights with a camera or phone in a 2-hour workshop taught by professional architectural photographer and WPS Director E. David Luria.

With masking and social distancing, our safari will take place along the Connecticut Avenue corridor in upper northwest DC known as Van Ness/Forest Hills. Businesses from Van Ness Street NW to Nebraska Avenue NW will be decked out with holiday lights during December. Van Ness & Forest Hills Main Street Holiday Lights is part of a broader, citywide DC Holiday Lights effort encouraging residents and visitors to shop small and explore the District this holiday season

Our safari begins in the pretty “blue hour” (just after sunset) on the plaza outside the Van Ness/UDC Metro (Red Line) exit on the western side of Connecticut, near the entrance to the University of the District of Columbia with a brief orientation on nighttime photography techniques by Mr. Luria.

We then make our way slowly up Connecticut Avenue and some adjoining side streets, photographing all the lighting displays along the way, including the many restaurants, apartment buildings, stores, homes and the famous Politics and Prose Bookstore. At each stop Mr. Luria will work with individual photographers to provide guidance in lens usage, composition, white balance, and exposure, working on the manual Mode for photographers who have tripod-mounted cameras. He will also assist smartphone camera users to take full advantage of their nighttime photography features.

Any camera will do for this safari, including late-model smartphones. Tripods are highly recommended, along with a flashlight to see your camera controls at night.

And here is the kicker: Van Ness Main Street has arranged for the person who- in the opinion of the judges – submits the best photograph of the evening to receive a prize from Van Ness Main Street!