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Library of Congress, Capitol Building, Folger Shakespeare Library

Brenda Schillaci

DC tripAfter the early morning chill, the weather cooperated to give us a very nice day in the city of Washington, D.C.  Our group arrived at the Library of Congress for the 8:30 opening.  We were fortunate to have very few others sharing the space that morning.  The sunny day made for lots of natural light in the building, yet some areas were dimmer, enough for us to challenge ourselves finding the right settings for the best photographs.  With so many rooms, variously painted ceilings and archways, stonework, stairways, patterned floors, and the very impressive Main Reading Room, we had many subjects to choose from.

Robbin arranged tours for some of the group at the Capitol Building Visitor’s Center and others at the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Some of us ate lunch at the café in the Capitol Building before moving on to our tours.  Almost everyone had the opportunity to pass through the visitor center public area and see and/or photograph the various statues throughout the space.  I chose to do the Shakespeare tour, so did not see more of the visitor’s center; however, our group flickr.com site has some photos posted by those who did take the tour.

DC TripThe Shakespeare Library was wonderful, containing books and balconies galore in the reading room, plus several wonderful artworks depicting scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.  The reading room has a large stained glass window depicting the seven stages of man, plus a painting so large and heavy, we were told it was framed on site and would be impossible to remove from the building without taking down walls.  There is a large gallery devoted, at the time of our visit, to information on Shakespeare celebrating the 450th anniversary of his birthday.  The theater is small and intimate; I certainly am inspired to go see one of his plays performed there in the future. The outside of the building has friezes based on Shakespeare’s plays, which are considered to be unusual in that the friezes are at ground level, rather than up high on the building as friezes would usually be.

Overall, these are all great places to practice your photography skills and to learn and see some new and interesting things.  Be sure not to miss out on our next exciting trip!