I stayed in this massive, self enclosed bubble several weeks ago. The convention that I went to in Washington DC was held here at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It is the centerpiece of National Harbor, a mixed use development located just south of DC in Maryland. At 2,000 rooms, it apparently is the largest non-gaming hotel on the East Coast.
Last winter vacation, my family and I just happened to stay a few blocks from here. While curious, I didn’t have time to look inside. With the conference set for the Gaylord, I brought my HDR gear, eager to capture some interesting architecture. My equipment of choice, the compact Olympus E-PM2, the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens plus the Panasonic wide-angle adapter. Throw in a lightweight tripod and I was good to go.
Most interesting were the faux colonial buildings nestled within this giant atrium. It reminded me of some futuristic space station, with the little bits of history attempting to offset the cold and efficient design, prevalent in modern society. It’s goofy architecturally but fun in an amusement park kind of way. Certainly different enough to warrant some photographs.
Back up front, near the registration desks, the decor turns a little marble-y. Not quite as gaudy as Las Vegas faire but a bit opulent for my tastes. The scale works nicely though. The larger the hotel, the more out of proportion the rooms seem to get. The Gaylord works well and manages to carve out “cozy” spaces. Photographically, I captured repeating elements and leading lines, so you gotta like that.
Finally, you can see the full size of the atrium. The convention center is in an adjoining building, by the way. This is just a small portion of this gigantic hotel. I’m happy to report that I did escape this futuristic city during the night. No space suits necessary. I was able to capture some authentic history, on the other side of the Potomac , which I will post soon enough.
Happy New Year!
I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday season. I got back from my big East Coast trip several days ago. I needed a few days to recuperate from my vacation, which sounds strange but I’m sure you know what I mean. After a whirlwind 4 city, 6 state tour with my family, I needed some time to unwind. I’m happy to report that everything went off without a hitch after an initial worry due to a flight delay in Austin. We made our connection in DFW with 10 minutes to spare and a bit of good luck since our next plane to Richmond was delayed a few minutes too.
So where did we go? The photographs on this post reveal the answer — they are from our 4 major destinations. After we landed in Richmond, Virginia it was a quick one hour drive to Williamsburg. We stayed there two nights. Despite living on the East Coast for a while, I never visited that place before. I was quite familiar with the 3 other places. We stayed in Washington DC for 4 nights, Philadelphia for 2 nights and New York City for 4 nights.
First and foremost, this was a family trip so I made sure we did family fun activities but I did manage to take a bunch of photographs, both for my blogs as well as family snapshots. In fact, I got my latest camera, the Olympus E-PM2 with this trip in mind. After 4000+ photographs with the E-PM2, I know the ins and out of this camera quite well. For the most part, it worked well. There were, however, a few things that didn’t work as well as expected. I will do a full E-PM2 review soon.
Over the next few weeks and months, I’m sure I’ll post a bunch of photos from this trip. There is a lot of architecture and urban landscapes, of course, as well as some street photography in New York. If this was a pure photography oriented trip, I could have easily shot for 2 weeks or more at each place. Instead, I squeezed in shots as we travelled between museums, activities and the 4 cities.
Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.