Lynford Morton of PhotoTour Excursions offers two, two, two events in one. (okay, only the older among us will remember that chewing gum commercial. Or was it mints?) Photo lessons and a tour of the area at the same time.
You meet up either at the Lincoln Memorial for DC monuments or in Annapolis (think Chesapeake Bay, U.S. Naval Academy, boats) or in Adams Morgan, a neighborhood in DC full of ethnic restaurants and funky buildings.
Then you get to hang with locals and visitors who show up for the class and talk photography, where you're from and anything else that comes up during your wanderings. So it's fine to go solo.
The best part of the tour was that Lyn gave personal attention to each of us, looking at our photos and showing us how to use various settings.
This class reminded me that, every so often while I've been on vacation, I've come across signs that say, "Take photo here." Or had tour guides say, "This is a perfect spot for a photo."
Lyn does the same on his photography tours. If you've never been to DC's monuments or to the historic section of Annapolis, he will take you right to the nice spots for photos. I suppose it's "cheating," of sorts. But no one will mind when they see their photos.
Lyn says that Washingtonians hosting guests often will arrange to send them on the photo tours. "Rather than doing the obligatory driving tour with them, they give their guests an afternoon to walk around with their cameras. Everyone seems to appreciate that."
Photography classes like this are held in other places around the world, and by other companies in Washington. It's worth looking for them if you travel solo, want to hang with people for a little while, improve your photography and enjoy tours of unfamiliar areas of a city you're visiting. All at the same time.
(Chocolate tour anyone? I see that groupon.com is offering a deal on a chocolate walking tour today. The tour's not today, but you need to buy the coupon today for redemption when you're ready to indulge.)
Photos: Ellen Perlman.
1. Residential building. 2. Tom Tom Restaurant sign. 3. 18th Street, Adams Morgan, DC. 4 & 5. "Experiments with empanadas." (Yes, that's me reflected in the window at left.)