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Washington, D.C. is home to evocative memorials, neoclassic architecture, beautiful parks, and eclectic neighborhoods. Head out on daily shoots to photograph scenes of Eastern Market coming to life in the morning’s first light; the stately
architecture of Dupont Circle or the lively, ethnically
diverse Adams Morgan neighborhood; and the majestic monuments of the National Mall. Go behind the scenes at National Geographic’s headquarters to meet with magazine staff and learn how the photographic process works.
This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR or mirrorless camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.
The following is our planned itinerary; however, our schedule is flexible to allow for spontaneous photographic opportunities.
Itinerary - 4 Days
Day 1 — Thursday: Washington, D.C.
Arrive in Washington, D.C. and settle into our hotel ideally located near National Geographic's headquarters and the lively Dupont Circle area, or stay at accommodations of your choice. Meet for a welcome dinner and an image presentation by your National Geographic photographer.
Optional Accommodations: Beacon Hotel (D)
Day 2 — Friday: National Geographic/Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan
In the morning, gather at National Geographic headquarters for a classroom session with your instructors. Then meet with magazine staff for an illustrated talk on the key elements that make a National Geographic–quality image. In the afternoon, head into the vibrant neighborhoods of D.C. to shoot your first photo assignment. Shoot the stately architecture of Dupont Circle, or focus on the hip, ethnically diverse Adams Morgan neighborhood. Later, return to headquarters for an edit-and-critique session with your instructors — and to receive your next assignment.
Optional Accommodations: Beacon Hotel
Day 3 — Saturday: National Mall
Spend the morning on the National Mall, shooting your next assignment amid the White House, the Washington Monument, and the other iconic memorials that commemorate American history. Capture lively scenes of street performers, children flying kites, or kayaks skimming along the Potomac River. Meet back at National Geographic for an afternoon edit-and-critique session with your instructors. Then gather for a group dinner followed by a presentation of the best work taken during the workshop.
Optional Accommodations: Beacon Hotel (D)
Day 4 — Sunday: Washington, D.C./Home
Rise early to capture scenes of Eastern Market coming to life in the morning's first light. Later, go behind the scenes at National Geographic, and learn how the photographic process works. The workshop concludes at noon after a final question-and-answer session with your instructors.
A National Geographic staff photographer since 1990, Mark Thiessen has published numerous feature stories and covers for National Geographic magazine and other Society publications on subjects ranging from Peruvian mummies to Egyptian archaeologists to Russian smokejumpers. He recently documented film director and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron's dive to the ocean's deepest location at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Mark's photographs for the July 2008 National Geographic cover story “Under Fire: Why the West Is Burning” earned first-place recognition by Pictures of the Year International. Mark also directs the National Geographic photo studio, and was featured in Out There, a series aired on the National Geographic Channel.