Breaking News: The scaffolding for the US Capitol Dome project is now completely up, but the unique illumination that makes it an interesting subject at night (see image below) may be about to disappear. A check on the east front of the building showed an enormous white plastic sheet enveloping about 60% of the dome and scaffolding on that side and a small portion of the north side.
US Capitol Under Repair (View of West Front) (Nikon D800E with 20-70mm f/2.8 lens on tripod; exposure 3 sec. @ f/16, ISO 400)
This week, I made two scouting runs into the city to determine the feasibility of an evening shoot in the coming weeks. Along the way, I checked the status of other sites that may be of interest to local photographers.
The Bad News
Fountains: A number of the major and minor fountains are no longer running, having been shut down for the winter. These include the Bartholdi Fountain, the Court of Neptune at the Library of Congress, the two small fountains on the plaza of the Supreme Court, the Joseph Darlington Memorial Fountain at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and 5th Street NW, and the Mellon Fountain at the Federal Triangle. And, of course, the long neglected but potentially impressive Columbus Fountain at Union Station continues to languish along with the two smaller basins on its flanks.
The Tulip Library: The colorful annuals that were blooming in profusion not many weeks ago are now gone. But in the spring there will be a new display of tulips providing a great foreground for images of the Washington Monument.
National Gallery, East Wing: There is still one crane remaining alongside the building on the Constitution Avenue side. Close crop shots from a number of angles are possible, however.
Renwick Gallery: The renovation, begun earlier this year, is still underway and will probably last through next year. The Gallery is closed and well hidden behind the construction scaffolding.
Old Post Office: Also closed, also lots of scaffolding plus an enormous sign with the new owner’s last name prominently displayed.
The Good News
Fountains: Some are still running, but time is growing short. The World War II Memorial seems to be in full operation and likely will be one of the last to shut down. Others that still have running water include the new Disabled for Life Veterans Memorial (plus the flame was going strong this afternoon), the cascades on the northwest side of the American Indian Museum, the Senate Garage Fountain (although the illumination was turned off a few nights ago), the reflecting pool at the Japanese Internment Memorial (Louisiana Avenue and D Street, NW), and the twin fountains/cascades on the plaza of the US Navy Memorial (Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street, NW).
Kennedy Center: The large temporary tent that had been erected on the south side of the building is now gone. Those wishing to take photographs from the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge pedestrian sidewalk or from vantage points on that side of the Center will no longer have to contend with this.
The 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree is making its way from Minnesota and is scheduled to arrive at 10 AM on November 21st. The lighting ceremony will be on December 2nd. Traditionally, the Capitol Police have suspended the requirement for permits to use a tripod on the Capitol grounds for the entire month of December. Hopefully, that will be repeated this year. Stay tuned….
Preparations for the National Christmas Tree and Pathway to Peace are well underway now on the ellipse, but much remains to be done. The lighting ceremony will be on December 6th.
The National Hanukkah Menorah to celebrate the 8-day Jewish holiday will also be on the ellipse. The lighting ceremony will be at 4 PM on December 16th.
So, get out and get shooting…