Sunday, March 7, 2010

George Mason Memorial

I decided to follow the geography of the region from my last post (on the FDR Memorial) by doing a sampling from the George Mason Memorial.  My next sampling, which will be on the Jefferson Memorial, will round out this particular region of Washington, D.C.

In case you aren't familiar with the area, the FDR Memorial, George Mason Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial are all clumped next to each other on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin from the National Mall.

Let's talk about George Mason for a minute.  Do you know who George Mason is?  Many people have no idea who he is, but he is a big deal in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area.  There are many streets, schools, programs, and even a university named in his honor.

So, in case you aren't familiar with him, here's a brief bio:
George Mason is considered one of the Founding Fathers. 
He participated in the drafting of the Constitution, but ultimately refused to sign it as he felt it lacked sufficient state and individual rights.  In time, he would go on to be one of the main contributors to what would become the Bill of Rights.

Like the more "unknown" people from history, his memorial gets little foot traffic.  However, it is an interesting memorial and the statue of him is much larger than it appears on film.


Taryn said...

How do you get these shots? Do you lay on the ground? Your style looks like it is a full-body experience! So, interesting.

e cluff said...

Yes, I have gotten down on the ground MANY MANY MANY times. I don't think I have ever shot anything without getting on the ground at least once!

I try not to full on lay on the ground if I can help it. Usually I get down on my knees and will angle the camera around. I often use the ground to stabilize the camera (so, the camera will be on the ground -- being held steady by the ground itself -- and I'll take the shot).

Often times, these pictures are taken when I'm still in work clothes (and most often, skirts), so it can make for some awkward moments, but, I'm also really good at tuning people out so I can take pictures and not be distracted by the public.

We kind of live in a culture where people expect you to take one or two shots and then move on. If I did that, I'd never get anything. So, most of the time when I'm taking pictures, I have my iPod in and only pay attention to the music and what "speaks" to me as I look at whatever it is I'm taking a picture of from various angles or point of views.

Going back to the laying on the ground thing, three stories come to mind:
-Once I was wearing a skirt that went to my knees when I went to Arlington National Cemetery. I got down in the grass to photograph some of the headstones and I was completely attacked by noseeums.
-Once I went to the Lincoln Memorial after work so I could photograph it at night. I literally got totally on the ground (laying down) to get a couple of shots. I would have been more embarrassed about it, but I figured it was dark so most people probably didn't notice.
-About a week ago I was taking a picture of the Washington Monument and I was on my knees so I could get a good angle. A man came up to me and asked me if I was hurt!