The Washington National Cathedral is one of the great interior spaces in the city. This week, it will be especially interesting because all of the seating has been removed from the nave. In a special week-long program, the Cathedral is evoking the experience of Gothic cathedrals centuries ago when there was no seating. The program (“Seeing Deeper”) included two morning photo sessions, allowing photographers to sign up for an opportunity to take pictures before normal opening hours. Thanks to the sharp eye of my sister, I was alerted in time to snag one of the limited number of tickets for this morning’s session.
The Photographers at Work
The event was well-organized as the Cathedral staff understood what was desired by everyone in the group: An unobstructed long view of the nave with no other photographers milling about in the scene. We were guided to the east end of the nave where there was sufficient space to set up without obstructing the efforts of others. After about 20 minutes, we were released to wander about the main level and photograph whatever struck our fancy.
View from Southwest Corner of Nave
The other good news is that much of the construction paraphanalia associated with the repair of earthquake damage is gone, such as the netting that had been hanging from the ceiling to protect against falling debris. Some of the scaffolding is still there (see first image above), but the photography opportunities are much improved. Information on the other events associated with the Seeing Deeper program can be found at the Cathedral’s web site.