When you think DC, you don’t typically think “safari.” (Heck, with Tai Shan leaving us yesterday, now even the National Zoo seems far less exotic to explore.) But thanks to local photographer-entrepreneur E. David Luria, locals and visitors alike get the chance to go on a different type of hunt: the pursuit for the perfect photo.
I’ve been lucky enough to tag along on two of David’s tours with Washington Photo Safari. One was on a very sticky day that attracted a lot of map-wielding tourists to must-see spots like the White House, Vietnam Memorial and Lincoln Reflecting Pool. The second, on a morning so cold that a few wayward students kept disappearing inside for long coffee breaks, drew visitors and locals to the lively Adams Morgan zone. I enjoyed both safaris for the spontaneous chats with curious city newcomers as well as longtime residents who gladly shared their shutterbug expertise. I also appreciated David’s kind encouragement, grandfatherly jokes and the way in which he made every member of our slightly ragtag, eclectic photography team feel included.
But my favorite part? The license these tours gave me to screech to a snail’s pace for a few hours, studying the details of my city as if seeing it all for the first time. I pointed my lens at monuments, memorials, doorknobs, tattered murals, cracking sidewalks, shiny car hoods and intricate African weavings, finding beauty in places normally eclipsed by my rushed daily routine.