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Trip Report Smithsonians Have Two Photography Exhibits

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A photographer friend and I met at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History (woolly mammoth in entry) to see the winning entries of a recent photography contest sponsored by Smithsonian and Epson. If you google 'Smithsonian Photo Contest' all info will be available to you.

The photos are spectacular and look to be at least 3 feet on the shortest sides! The gorgeous colors and detail are enhanced by the presentation. The photos are behind plexiglass and mounted on what looked like dark boxes about 1.5 inches thick and appeared to float on the walls. I'm surprised no one yelled at us for being too close as we tried to figure out the process! It took us an hour to read each label and sit and watch the accompanying film.

From that Smithsonian, we drove to the Smithsonian's Portrait Gallery/ American Art Museum. There we visited "Landscapes In Passing: Photographs by Steve Fitch, Robbert Flick, and Elaine Mayes" on the second floor. We appreciated most the work of Mr. Fitch showing quirky motels and novelty stops in an earlier time in America.

We then visited the winning entries of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. We spent so much time there, that we missed a larger photography exhibit on the first floor, "A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum".

Between galleries, we had small plates at Jaleo, 480 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004, 202-628-7949. We ended up spending $90 for lunch for 2! I had a half and half (ice tea/lemonade) and we both had coffees (espresso and cappucino). I will attempt to reconstruct the tapas we each had later. Food and service were great.

Parking in DC can be a major annoyance. I strongly suggest you use bus or metro to get into town. I parked at a 2-hour meter near our first venue after driving around for about 10 minutes looking for a free 3-hour spot. For the second spot, I just put the car in a commercial garage so I wouldn't have to worry about feeding a meter. It cost $25 for about 3 hours! If you take Metro to the Smithsonian stop, you can easily cab to others not in walking distance and still save money!

On another visit to the National Gallery, I was able to find a spot next to the gallery. Still had to feed the meter but at least it was close. So going early would be great advice as well. Enjoy!

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