• Rubell Museum DC: Visiting Washington DC’s Latest Museum

    “D.C.’s Whitney Museum” is how ClockOutDC describes the city’s newest museum- the Rubell Museum. Located inside the 1906 old Randall School building in Southwest D.C., the Rubell Museum is the only full-fledged art gallery in the neighborhood. The museum is sure to quickly become a popular spot to Instagram in DC.

    Opened on Saturday, October 29th, the Rubell Museum’s inaugural exhibit is inspired by singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye, an alumnus of Randall Junior High. “What’s Going On” includes 37 artists who focus their work on social and political issues. More than art, each piece raises a voice toward making the world a better place.

    Spread out throughout four floors, signs guide visitors through each masterpiece. From clay jars with surprises inside to a room filled with gold-painted objects, the Rubell Museum is worth the time.

    Open Wednesday through Sunday, it’s free for D.C. residents, veterans, EBT card holders, and people with ADA disabilities. Entrance is between $10-$15 for everyone else.

  • 7 Best Places to Catch Sunrise in Frederick, MD

    If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love visiting Frederick, Maryland.

    Just an hour outside of DC, Frederick, Maryland is a historic city offering great eats, shopping, and beautiful views. Located where Catoctin Mountain meets the Piedmont region, Frederick has long been a crossroads, predating even European influence. Native American tribes are said to have followed the Monocacy River south to the Potomac River and eventually out to the Chesapeake Bay. In 1745, Daniel Dulaney laid out “Frederick Town”, and shortly after All Saints Church, an Episcopal Church located in the center of town, was founded. As Frederick grew, it became a center for religious pluralism, best exemplified by Church Street, and the towns skyline, which consists of numerous church spires. The towns’ clustered spires were immortalized in the poem ‘Barbara Fritchie’ by John Greenleaf Whittier, which tells the story of Barbara Fritchie, a woman in the town of Frederick who waved the Union flag at occupying Confederate soldiers. The second stanza reads line “The clustered spires of Frederick stand/ Green-walled by the hills of Maryland”. With history and scenic beauty abound, there’s so much to explore in Frederick, MD.

    But enough about history… let’s talk about the 7 best places to catch sunrise in Frederick, Maryland.

    1. Baker Park

    Located in the heart of Downtown Frederick, Baker Park offers 58 acres of greenspace complete with a creek, running/ biking paths and some of the best views of the city. You can park along W 2nd Ave and walk to the bridge on College Ave to catch beautiful sunrise shots over the park and the Joseph D. Baker Tower and Carillon.

    Baker Park on Google Maps

    2. Culler Lake and Carroll Creek Covered Bridge

    Just north of Baker Park is Culler Lake and the Carroll Creek Covered Bridge. Parking along W 2nd St or Carroll Pkwy offer easy access to these iconic landmarks.

    Culler Lake and Carroll Creek Covered Bridge on Google Maps

    3. Church Street

    Walking up and down Church St is truly special as you walk next to some of the oldest churches in all of Maryland. For architecture photography this spot is hard to beat.

    Church Street on Google Maps

    4. S. Market Street

    Park along S. Market St to catch scenic views of Carroll Creek and the mural of jazz great and Frederick native Lester Bowie. Just past the mural is United Steam Fire Engine Company 3. Established in 1845, this firehouse has a historic fireman windmill that makes for a great detail shot.

    S. Market Street on Google Maps

    5. Carroll Creek Linear Park

    Built as part of a floodplain following a devastating flood in 1976, this seemingly quiet creek has 4 massive pipes running under it, each about the size of a bus. The aqueduct begins in Baker Park, and the pipes all travel under Carroll Creek Linear Park to divert water away from the town should the creek flood. Spanning more than a mile, the creek offers walking paths, restaurants and beautiful sunrise views. From November till March be sure to catch the boats as part of the Sailing Through the Winter Solstice charity event.

    Carroll Creek Linear Park on Google Maps

    6. Frederick Bike Racks in ASL

    Located next to the Frederick Transit Center along East St is the Frederick Bike Racks in ASL. The project was created as part of the “Pitchcraft” competition, run by the Downtown Frederick Partnership. The competition allows people to pitch their ideas for what can better connect the people and places in the community of Frederick. The inaugural winners, Chanel Bonheyo and Tiffany Farias, pitched the bike rack idea in 2019, and won. Today, this creative idea offers one of the coolest sunrise spots in the city.

    Frederick Bike Racks in ASL on Google Maps

    7. Clustered Spires Cemetery

    After first seeing a shot of the Clustered Spires of Frederick against the backdrop of the mountains in the Ec’clectibles shop on W. Patrick Street, I knew I had to figure out how to get this photo. It took a lot of trial and error, but Clustered Spires Cemetery on Linden Ave, just outside Downtown Frederick offers the best views of the famed Clustered Spires. You’ll need a long lens (at least 200 mm, but 300-500mm is better), but the reward for trucking a glorified telescope out here is one of the coolest views of the city you can get.

    Clustered Spires Cemetery on Google Maps

    Thanks for reading my list of the best places to watch sunrise in Frederick, MD. Now set your alarm (Frederick MD Sunrise Times) and take some stunning photos of Frederick.

    New to Photography?
    Read: Sunrise Photography Settings

    If you have any questions let me know in the comments below!

  • Washington DC Cherry Blossoms: Instagrammers Guide

    Peak bloom is officially announced! This year’s prediction puts peak bloom between March 22nd and 25th, 2023. Weather can, of course, adjust this so you may see blooms earlier and later but the experts over at BloomWatch will have daily updates so follow them on socials and keep up-to-date. Also check in on the Bloom Cam any time of day.

    The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled for March 18th through April 16th.

    Some of our favorite Cherry Blossom events to photograph are below:

    Cherry Blossom Festival Events (2022)

    Kite Festival, March 26, 10am–4:30pm at the Washington Monument.

    This event is very popular and gets BUSY but while you’re dodging kite launches you can get some great photos.

    Kite Festival

    Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, April 9, 10am–12pm, Constitution Ave between 7th and 17th Streets.

    There is so much to enjoy here, including floats, balloons, performers and marching bands.

    Cherry Blossom Parade by @vpickering

    Petalpalooza, April 16, 1pm–9pm, Navy Yard

    A day of celebrations for all-ages brings art, music, and play to multiple outdoor stages, interactive art installations, a beer garden, crafts and more. The evening is capped by dazzling fireworks you won’t want to miss.

    Petalpalooza by @vpickering

    Petal Porches, March 20–April 17, city-wide

    The super fun Petal Porches is coming back for its second year. DC residents are invited to unleash their creativity and celebrate their springtime spirit by decorating their home. Register to participate, drive around and visit the porches and vote for your favorite in the People’s Petal Porch for each Ward. And this year, IGDC will form the judge’s panel for the Prime Petal Porch category by touring and judging the finalists from all DC Wards, Maryland and Virginia!

    Here are some of our favorite locations to photograph the blooms:

    Tidal Basin

    Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin by @MeaganEstep

    The clear winner here is the Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms, which is surrounded by cherry trees gifted from the Mayor of Tokyo to Washington, DC as a gesture of friendship 110 years ago. The best time to capture the blossoms here is at sunrise; you will beat the crowds and can get beautiful light.

    Want to help preserve the Cherry Blossoms? Make a Donation to the National Mall

    Kenwood, MD

    Over 1,200 cherry trees flank the streets in this neighborhood. It is BUSY and street parking is limited so plan to do a fair amount of walking. If you visit, keep in mind this is a neighborhood and be respectful of people’s yards and property.

    Congressional Cemetery

    In the middle of the cemetery, surrounding the chapel near the front gate, is a beautiful canopy of cherry trees. While this is an historical and active burial ground, the cemetery is a popular spot for the community and even has a dog walking membership program.In full bloom you can get great photos with the occasional canine model.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. & FDR Memorial

    Both memorials are found along the Tidal Basin so don’t miss the chance to wander into each memorial as you walk around the Basin. The trees surrounding both memorials offer great framing for the monuments inside.

    Thanks for reading our Instagrammers guide to the DC Cherry Blossoms. If you have any questions about the blossoms let us know in the comments below!

  • 30+ Things to Do in Washington DC This Holiday Season

    The DMV is full of magic in December and we look forward to seeing how you capture the holidays every year. This year, we decided to create a guide of all the sights that will make any photographer happy.

    From stunning Christmas lights to events for kids we’ve covered all types of events in the DC area to fill your holiday todo list.

    Here is IGDC’s list of the best things to do in DC for the Holidays:

    1. Enchant DC

    Enchant DC by @renato_silvis__photography

    Want to surround yourself in lights? How about inside a baseball stadium? Then Enchant DC will have your eyes twinkling and your lens overloading on bokeh. There’s a light maze, ice skating, Santa and more. Adult tickets from $35 and kids under 2 are admitted free. Enchant DC is located inside Nationals Park at the Yards.

    2. Union Station

    Wreaths at Union Station by @emzilee

    Union Station offers so many holiday delights. Outside are the iconic wreaths but inside you can visit the Norwegian Christmas Tree, a 22+ year tradition with the Norwegian Embassy. And of course there’s a holiday train display!

    3. Capital Christmas Tree

    Capitol Christmas Tree by @golightly

    Each year, “The People’s Tree” is chosen from a different national forest and places in front of the US Capitol. Once selected, residents from the respective state then create decorations celebrating our national forests and the great outdoors. The Capitol tree has become a beloved tradition for DC residents.

    4. National Menorah

    National Menorah by @vpickering

    Located on the Ellipse, steps away from the National Christmas Tree, the National Menorah stands 30 feet tall and enjoys stunning backdrops like the Washington Monument and the White House.

    5. Willard Hotel

    Willard Hotel by @dswartz

    The historic Willard Hotel features dozens of Christmas trees with decor that matches the already-opulent interior and you may be lucky to catch local chorus from around the city singing in the lobby!

    6. Canada Embassy

    Photo by @korofina

    Christmas Tree display inside rotunda at Canadian Embassy fits in well with the rotunda as a backdrop which perfectly frames it and gives it a timeless classical look. The added lights on the pillars are also a nice touch.

    7. Georgetown Waterfront

    Photo by @derrick.creative

    Holiday wreaths on every lamp post and lights along rooftops makes the Georgetown Waterfront Park an enchanting walk along the promenade.

    8. ZooLights at the National Zoo

    One of the classic family-friendly DC traditions for the holiday’s is ZooLights at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. There is plenty to enjoy at ZooLights including LED lights, dozens of animal lanterns, live music, and much more.

    9. Filomena

    Photo by @foodfitnessflights

    Honoring a long family tradition of holiday decorating, Filomena’s is filled each with a spectacular tree and fun, silly and whimsical decorations inside and out. The over-the-top display is a visual delight.

    10. Botanic Gardens

    Photo by @horticultureguy

    A highlight of the season is seeing the holiday display at the US Botanic Gardens. The US Botanic Garden features a large outdoor displays with model trains. All displays are made from plant parts and feature farming scenes from around the world. Window displays in the main building will have some of the DC landmarks that visitors typically expect to see but that are likely too fragile for the outdoor life this year.

    11. City Center

    Photo by @edgardavisp

    Whether you’re at City Center to shop, or just see the holiday lights, there is plenty of spirit along the promenade including ice sculptures, string lights, and not one but two 25-foot tall reindeer. And the stores festive windows take it to a whole new level.

    12. Light Yards at the Yards Park

    Photo by @loriepsteinphotography

    Along the Anacostia River comes an annual light instillation for the whole family. This year, from December 1 through January 1, 2022, several 22-feet tall trees will light the sky from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night. Enjoy the lights and browse into the 20+ local restaurants and shops near Yards Park.

    13. Light Up The Wharf

    Photo by @us3r

    Camp Wharf (aka the fire pit) eating s’mores, caroling, or watching the District’s Holiday Boat Parade with more than 60 decorated and glittering boats, the DC Wharf is a wonderful place to spend the day or night!

    14. Tudor House

    Photo by @tudor_place

    Every year, this 1815 Federal-style mansion with a connection to Martha Washington decorates for the holidays. On December 7th, they are hosting a Lantern Light Tour from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to see this year’s decorations and learn about the mansion’s past Christmas traditions. Tickets are between $15-$25.

    15. NGA Ice Rink

    Photo by @jennrightmeow

    One of the more charming ice rinks in the city is surrounded by artwork and neoclassical architecture. The National Gallery of Art’s rink is the perfect spot for a first date or to have that first skating lesson. Open daily and a 2-hour session runs between $6 and $7 plus a $3 skate rental if you don’t bring your own.

    16. DC Georgetown Ice Rink

    Photo by @dccitygirl

    Skate every day at DC’s largest outdoor skating rink at The Washington Harbour–open for skating every day, including the holidays. Tickets run between $9 and $10 plus a $7 skate rental if you don’t bring your own.

    17. Canal Park Ice Rink

    Photo by @dcfray

    Every year, Navy Yard’s Canal Park’s splash park transforms into an ice rink from the end of November through February 2022. Skate rentals and admission range between $13 and $14. After skating, grab pizza and ice cream from nearby Wiseguy Pizza and Altani Gelato.

    18. Maxwell Park Christmas Bar

    Photo by @beingdave

    Looking for a cozy bar decked to the halls in holiday decor? Maxwell’s has tapped the brilliant installation artist Adriana Salame Aspiazu to transform their space and it is a visual delight.

    19. National Christmas Tree

    Photo by @netforceone

    A tradition since 1923, the U.S. President lights the National Christmas Tree on The Ellipse. This year’s tree is an 18.5-foot Fraser fir from North Carolina and it’s surrounded by smaller trees honoring each U.S. state and territory.

    20. Seneca State Park Winter Lights Festival

    Photo by @themocoshow

    Long before the pandemic hit, the Winter Lights Festival at Seneca State Park has been social distancing. Visitors stay in their cars, driving 3,5 miles passing 450 illuminated displays and lit-up trees. Tickets are $15-$30 and they are open daily from November 26th through December 31st. (They are closed Christmas Day.)

    21. Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights

    Photo by @familytripguides

    For the 23rd year, Brookside Gardens’ 50 acres are transformed into a holiday light extravaganza with over one million LED lights decorating the gardens. Admission is free and it’s open daily from November 19th through January 2nd, 2022. Note that the gardens are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    22. Holidays at the Harbor

    Photo by @nationalharbor

    Just south of Washington, D.C. is Holidays at the Harbor at the National Harbor. From holiday storytime on Saturdays at 2 p.m. to free hot chocolate at select stores on weekends, there’s much to do! Every night from sunset to 9 p.m. there’s a light show on a 54-feet Christmas tree. At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday through December 18th, a holiday firework show is set off. They even have a holiday pop-up bar and classic holiday movie nights!

    23. Reston Town Center

    Photo by @restontowncenter

    The ice rink underneath the grand pavilion certainly takes center stage for a picturesque holiday experience but the Reston Town Center shimmers in thousands of strands of lights at every turn. There’s a weekend horse-drawn carriage and a mini-train ride, too. You will have SNOW MUCH FUN dining, shopping and playing in this dynamic urban destination.

    24. Meadowlark Walk of Lights

    Photo by @familytripguides

    This 95-acre garden in Vienna, Virginia hosts a holiday half mile Winter Walk every night now through January 2nd. Tickets are between $5 and $18 and it’s one of the few places open on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

    25. Mount Vernon’s Christmas Illuminations

    Photo by @mount_vernon

    For historic buildings and properties, holiday decor must be historically accurate and can be limiting in our modern day of visual overload. What better way to push the limits than with a grand firework display? George Washington’s Mount Vernon gets it right and we love to see the mansion framed in light bursts. The event only runs for one weekend in December–the 17th and 18th this year–and tickets are available at www.mountvernon.org

    26. LuminoCity

    Photo by @luminocityfestival

    Once Roer’s Zoofari closes in Vienna, Virginia, it transforms into a holiday light show depicting animals from around the world, including a dinosaur exhibit. Tickets are $32 per adult and $22 per kid age 3-12. On-site parking costs $5. It’s open most Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in December and it’s open every day of Christmas Week. Go early to enjoy the zoo too!

    27. Christmas Card Lane in Del Ray

    Photo by @austinkgraff

    Dubbed “Christmas Card Lane,” Del Ray’s East Luray Avenue decorates for the holidays by painting large cards for their lawns. It started when a woman wanted to replicate the tradition from her hometown in Michigan. For a fun outdoor family activity, grab frozen custard from The Dairy Godmother and walk along East Luray Avenue.

    28. Pentagon Row Ice Rink

    Photo by @pentagonrow

    Pentagon Row’s 6,840 square foot ice rink is the largest in Northern Virginia. Open daily, admission and rentals range between $15 and $16. Online reservations are required. Surrounding the ice rink are fire pits making for cozy breaks from the ice.

    29. Old Ebbitt Grill

    Photo by @tinaka202

    The Old Ebbitt Grill is Washington’s oldest saloon and dates back to 1856. Every year we look forward to the giant Nutcrackers that flank the entrance to this beloved establishment and the coziness inside makes it a holiday tradition for both visitors and residents.

    30. Old Town Alexandria

    Photo by @cbridner

    Across the river in Old Town Alexandria, VA, all the trees are decorated along King Street and the historic homes hang the best wreaths. The George Washington Masonic Temple lit up in red and green offers the perfect backdrop!

    31. Downtown Holiday Market

    Photo by @austinkgraff

    Live music, mulled wine and goods from over 70 local businesses, the 18th annual holiday market is open daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. now through December 23rd, 2022.

    Thank you to everyone who shared holiday cheer with #igdc!
    We appreciate your help to create this valuable guide

    We hope you enjoyed our list of places to see in things to do in DC in December.

    If you have any recommendations or places that we missed, hit us up in the comments below.

    Written by @golightly, @dccitygirl, and @austinkgraff

  • Behind the Scenes of the IGDC Scavenger Hunt w/ Austin Graff

    Thanks to the popularity of our summer scavenger hunt, we wanted to introduce you to the good human behind all that hard work. Community members know Austin Graff as the man who is everywhere at all times. His curiosity and love for the DMV is inspiring and we are grateful to have benefited from these traits with the scavenger hunt. Austin knows so much about this area and we wanted to explore more about his planning and drive. Enjoy a little BTS for the hunt below.

    What inspired the idea?

    The scavenger hunt was born from three ideas. First, the IGDC team (Holly, Laurie and I) wanted to organize events throughout 2021 to celebrate IGDC’s 10-year anniversary. IGDC is a community of local photographers. We wanted to organize a fun event celebrating local photographers through daily features and giving out prizes to our members. Enter the IGDC 10-Year Anniversary Scavenger Hunt. Secondly, as vaccinations went up, cases went down and the city reopened, we wanted to launch an event that encouraged people to get outside and have fun. Photographers are often explorers. A scavenger hunt encourages exploration. Thirdly, we wanted to support local businesses, those hit hardest by the pandemic. Giving prizes from local businesses introduces our community to restaurants and shops across Washington, D.C.

    How did you plan it out?

    Originally, we wanted to do a virtual scavenger hunt hidden throughout the #igdc Instagram feed. As the city started to reopen, we pivoted to an outdoor scavenger hunt. Every day for eight days straight, we’d hide prizes at the locations in our daily features. Once we realized it was risky to hide gift cards at one location, we created an IGDC IOU card. Once found, the winner sent us a photo of them with the card. We’d announce the winning prizes on our Instagram Story. That meant, one of us from the IGDC team woke up early to hide the cards before the crowds formed.

    Were there specific locations that were important for you to include?

    Being a community made of people from all parts of Washington, D.C. and the region, it was important to represent every D.C. quadrant. Being the most populous quadrant, we didn’t want to just focus on Northwest. We hid a card in Southwest Waterfront, East of the River’s Anacostia Park and several in Northeast. We included parks, memorials and off-the-beaten-path spots. Selfishly, I was happy to include my favorite memorial- the Titanic Memorial along the Washington Channel.

    Did you think you’d hide one so well no one would find it?

    Having participated in past scavenger hunts, I was empathetic (probably too much) to people who spent hours searching. The cards got progressively harder, but we made sure we’d drop clues on our IG Story. The longest it took someone was four hours!

    Photos by Adelynn Graff

  • Processes and Permission Slips


    Processes and Permission Slips

    In collaboration with Phillips Collection’s month-long community project, Community in Focus: Responding to the Year 2020, we asked photographers Birch Thomas and Angela Pan to share a dozen pieces of advice about creating meaningful photos.  The workshop took place on November 22nd and you can watch it in its entirety here.

    In this workshop, you’ll hear stories behind their photos from the front lines of documenting both everyday life and historic moments of 2020. Learn specific methods for using your camera as a tool to observe the changing world around you, create moments of presence, process emotion, and give yourself permission to try new things behind the lens.

    Visualize & Prepare

    Before you even pick up your camera envision the type of photographs you want to take. Be aware of your mindset. Hype yourself up for a great photo session. Photo by Birch

    Remain Present

    Eliminate distractions to heighten all of your senses. Start to observe your environment and notice the changes in your surroundings as you walk around. Photo by Angela 

    Follow Your Intuition

    Let your instincts lead the way. Photo by Birch

    Choose Your Background

    Find a location that speaks to you and frame the scene. Sometimes you choose your background first and wait for a subject to enter the frame. Photo by Angela

    Anticipate the Decisive Moment

    Position yourself to capture the split second that tells a story. Observe life through the viewfinder and let the moment unfold in front of you. Photo by Birch


    Wide vs Details. Establish the scene with wide shots or develop intimacy with close-ups. Photos by Angela 

    Ask Yourself, What Caught My Eye?

    Find a way to let the viewer feel what you felt at that moment. This is what caught my eye… 


    This is the photo I created to combine the two things that caught my eye. Photos by Birch

    The Emotional Connection

    Capture the energy you observe in others. How does the photo make you feel? Photo by Angela

    Human Moments

    Co-create mutual connections to capture memorable portraits. The type of energy you give is the energy you receive. Photo by Birch


    We all feel it. Push through. You will thank yourself later. Photo by Angela

    Familiar Subject, Fresh Perspective.

    Move your body to find new perspectives. Get low or try a different angle with your camera. Photo by Birch

    When All Else Fails, Follow The Light.

    Photo by Angela

    Thanks again to Birch and Angela for putting together the workshop and creating these tips. We hope you use these tips and give yourself permission to try something new.

    If you have any questions about this workshop or photography in general, feel free to contact Angela at [email protected] or Birch at [email protected]. Birch has also created a wonderful guide on 20 Places to Go to Take Pictures in Washington, DC on Instagram.

  • Best 17 Gardens in DC: The Instagrammers Guide

    Get the most out of spring in DC with this list of the best gardens in Washington DC.

    For being a relatively small city, Washington DC is full of unique and beautiful gardens. You just gotta get out there and explore them. This guide will help you find some of the best blooms around the district, so pack your camera and put on your walking shoes because these are some of the best places to spend an afternoon in the city.

    Here are the best gardens in DC:

    U.S. Botanic Garden

    DC Botanic Garden

    By far one of the most unique gardens in DC is the U.S. Botanic Garden. The orchid exhibit is not to be missed but our favorite is the conservatory room. Spoiler alert: Mrs. Peacock did, in fact, kill Professor Plum with the lead pipe here – Just Joking. But definitely take the time to explore this part of the Botanic Garden. It can get a little hot and steamy in here, but the vegetation is overwhelmingly beautiful. Plus it’s located on the east side of the National Mall making it easy to visit.

    U.S. Botanic Garden on Google Maps

    National Arboretum

    Capitol columns at the Arboretum

    Fun fact, the current U.S. Capitol dome is way bigger than originally planned. The larger dome of the Capitol was not able to be supported by the columns that had already been built so they had to scrap the columns altogether. The National Arboretum has benefited from the error and now you can see the original Capitol columns right in the middle of the 412 acres of land. It makes for a very cool place to check out any time of the year.

    National Arboretum on Google Maps

    Meridian Hill Park

    Meridian Hill Park is one of DC’s most central parks. Located just a few blocks from U street it’s a common area to enjoy some greenery. Built in the early 1900’s this 12-acre parks hosts a slew of events and a large fountain on the southside.

    Meridian Hill Park on Google Maps

    Congressional Cemetery

    One popular row of cherry blossom trees in Congressional Cemetery is often Instagrammed. When you visit the front gate will appear closed but all you have to do is flip a switch to get in during the day. You’ll notice plenty of people walking their dogs since it’s a great place to walk your dog without a leash. Periodically they will only be open to dog walking members which you can check the status of on their website.

    Congressional Cemetery on Google Maps

    Constitution Gardens

    If you ever needed a quiet place to just sit and watch some ducks swim past, check out Constitution Gardens. It is located very close to the WWII memorial at the National Mall however it seems to be tucked away so much that it’s rarely ever busy. A great place to just sit and relax with a stunning view of the Washington Monument.

    Constitution Gardens on Google Maps

    Enid A. Haupt Garden (Smithsonian Gardens)

    Outside of the Moongate Garden inside the Enid A Haupt Garden by @abpanphoto

    If you think the DC Cherry Blossoms are beautiful, you are definitely going to fall in love with the Magnolias at the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. It is as if you’re walking around in a pink cloud of dreams. The Magnolias typically blew a couple of weeks before the Cherry Blossom peak bloom.

    Enid A. Haupt Garden on Google Maps

    Theodore Roosevelt Island

    Theodore Roosevelt Island is full of walking trails and a large statue of Roosevelt himself. Located on the Potomac River you can access the island via a footbridge from the parking lot.

    Roosevelt Island on Google Maps

    Anacostia Park

    Anacostia Park by @austinkgraff

    With basketball and tennis courts, there is plenty to do at Anacostia Park which is located over the river in Southeast DC. Whether it’s picnicking or just relaxing the huge 1,200-acre green space has plenty to explore, including a roller-skate pavilion.

    Anacostia Park on Google Maps

    Rock Creek Park

    Stone bridge in Rock Creek Park by @abpanphoto

    If you’ve only heard of Rock Creek Park from the TV and movies, you may get a shady impression of the park. In reality, it’s over 3 miles of beautiful trees, streams, and nature bordering the state of Maryland. At any given time you will find dogs on walks, birds chirping and people enjoying many of the outdoor recreation facilities. Rock Creek Park is a popular destination during fall in DC.

    Rock Creek Park on Google Maps

    White House Gardens

    Public gardens North of the White House by @austinkgraff

    On the North and South sides of the White House are gardens for the public to visit. During the spring visitors can get White House garden tours that let them see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and south lawn which are only accessible through a tour.

    White House Gardens on Google Maps

    Hillwood Museum & Gardens

    Hillwood Estate is full of things to explore including a museum and multiple gardens. The main gardens include a Japanese garden, cutting garden, greenhouse, and even a putting green.

    When entering Hillwood you’ll be asked for a suggested donation of $16 which can be paid with a credit card.

    Hillwood Estate on Google Maps

    Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

    Lotus Flower at Kenilworth Park by @abpanphoto

    If you ever find yourself east of the river, check out Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Our favorite is the aquatic gardens in the summertime. The lotus flowers are beautiful and can actually grow up to 6-8 feet.

    Kenilworth Gardens on Google Maps

    Washington National Cathedral Gardens

    The gardens at the National Cathedral are thriving in the spring and are a blast to explore. Plus the National Cathedral in the background of your photos adds a great subject.

    National Cathedral Gardens on Google Maps

    Dumbarton Oaks

    When people think Georgetown, they usually think trendy stores and coffee shops with college kids running amok, but when it comes down to it, it’s a beautiful place to be. And Dumbarton Oaks just adds so much more to the beauty. Standing at the highest point in Georgetown, walking around this property will make you forget you’re even in a city.

    Dumbarton Oaks on Google Maps

    Brookside Gardens

    Located just outside of DC in Maryland is Brookside Gardens. With unique trees, Japanese tea house, and butterfly exhibit Brookside gardens is a hidden gem of the area. Brookside gardens is also popular in the spring for their tulips on display.

    During the spring the gardens are full of lush flower beds to explore.

    Brookside Gardens on Google Maps

    Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

    A little less than 20 miles outside of DC, Meadowlark Botanical Garden in Vienna, Virginia is a great place to spend a beautiful afternoon. With 95 acres of land, there’s plenty to see and admire. My favorite time to visit is in the springtime when the cherry blossom trees are blooming. It’s far less crowded than what you will experience in the city but you also pay for the admission ($6). One of the highlights of the entire garden is the lake in the center of the park. It’s great to sit in the little gazebo that extends into the water and watch the Koi fish swim around.

    Meadowlark Gardens on Google Maps

    The Yards Park

    If you’re looking to cool down on a hot day or just enjoy the waterfront the Yards Park is a perfect choice. Yards Park in Navy Yard features a tiny waterfall, public area to play in the water, and a unique bridge that makes for a fun spot to enjoy the sunset.

    They also have a great ice cream shop, bars, and restaurants. Since it’s located right next to Nats park we’d recommend stopping by the Yards if you’re heading to a game.

    The Yards Park on Google Maps

    If there are any parks or gardens we missed let us know in the comments below!

  • McKee-Beshers Sunflower Field Instameet

    On Saturday, IGDC made the annual trek to see the sunflower fields at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area. We’ve been visiting the fields since 2012 and it is always inspiring no matter what condition things are in. This year, the fields have taken quite a beating in the recent rainstorms and it showed. The flowers were a bit droopy and the rows were quiet overgrown with weeds which made it difficult to get into the middle of the field this year. The sunflowers were taller than normal, likely due to the wet summer we’ve had and so our ladders really came in handy. No matter the challenges this year, photographers still captured some terrific images and we all had fun exploring together. Some of our favorites are included below.

    We are often asked why the sunflowers are there and it’s to regulate wildlife. The primary reason is to provide a food source for mourning doves and other wildlife but they also provide nectar and pollen for many species of bees. A favorite sight is to see Indigo Buntings darting around the yellow fields. It’s important to note that regulations prohibit the cutting, destruction or removal of any plants from these areas so we take every precaution not to disturb the fields. We never want to our actions to have negative consequences and hope if you’re reading this, you also respect the fields. McKee-Beshers has become increasingly popular and we don’t want bad behavior to force Montgomery County to restrict access to the fields.

    To visit, we always recommend tall boots and/or water-tight footwear (sandals aren’t wise). The fields can be muddy and you might encounter snakes and snapping turtles so protect your legs and feet. It’s also always hot and steamy in the fields so prepare to sweat for your photos. You should also take sunscreen since there is very little shade and bug spray is crucial. Bees are everywhere but they leave you alone and should not be killed. Wildlife you might encounter: snakes, all varieties of bugs, deer, turkeys, ducks, turtles, songbirds.

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    A @birch in the sunflower fields 🌼🐝

    A post shared by Angela B Pan (@abpanphoto) on

  • The Lawn at the National Building Museum

    On Independence Day we had the pleasure of previewing The Lawn at the National Building Museum. This is their 6th Summer Block Party installation and it’s great fun.

    Designed by @labatrockwellgroup, DC’s newest summer destination features one big sloping field (yes, you can roll down—we tested it!) with hammocks galore and spots to sit and relax. One really cool feature is the tower overlooking the lawn. The height offers visitors a view not seen in a typical visit and we loved getting that perspective.

    Grab your camera, plop down on a blanket and listen to the sounds of summer.

    More about the Lawn on the NBM website

    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by kiki (@kipdynamite) on

    The Lawn runs from July 4th to September 2nd, 2019.

  • Instagram Image Size Dimensions Guide for 2022 (Photos/Videos/Stories)

    While editing your photos and videos for Instagram it’s incredibly important to know what aspect ratios Instagram allows.

    Since Instagram image sizes change periodically it can be difficult to keep up to date with what resolutions are supported. We’ve done all of the research and have found the correct dimensions for Instagram in 2022.

    We’ll be going over all of the different aspect ratios and sizes for all content on Instagram. Including images, videos, stories, and even IGTV videos.

    Here are all of the Instagram image size dimensions:

    Instagram Image Dimensions

    After taking photos with your camera it’s important to crop your photos properly. While cropping and straightening your photos for Instagram you’ll want to keep the aspect ratio of the crop in mind.

    Here are the proper aspect ratios for landscape, square, and portrait Instagram image posts.

    Instagram Image Landscape Dimensions: 1080 x 608 pixels (1.91:1 Aspect Ratio)

    Example of landscape (horizontal) photos on Instagram at 1.91:1.

    Instagram Image Square Dimensions: 1080 x 1080 pixels (1:1 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram Image Portrait Dimensions: 1080 x 1350 pixels (4:5 Aspect Ratio)

    Example of portrait (vertical) photos on Instagram at 4:5.

    Instagram Video Dimensions

    The Instagram resolution for video is very similar to photos. All of the constraints of the aspect ratios come into place as well.

    Instagram Video Landscape Dimensions: 1080 x 608 pixels (1.91:1 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram Video Square Dimensions: 1080 x 1080 pixels (1:1 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram Video Portrait Dimensions: 1080 x 1350 pixels (4:5 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram Story Dimensions

    You can upload nearly any aspect ratio to your Instagram story but if you want to perfectly fill the frame you’ll want to have a post of 9:16.

    Instagram Story Dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram IGTV Dimensions

    The Instagram dimensions for IGTV are pretty standard, basically, just 1080p video horizontally or vertically. Instagram recently allowed horizontal videos so you can use the same file you upload to YouTube for example.

    There is also the IGTV cover photo which cannot be changed after uploading. When uploading a video to IGTV you can select a cover from your camera roll or use a frame from your video. If you want to add art or a title you’ll want to make sure the text is in the middle of your cover photos since IG will cover up the corners with time stamps and your username. When adding an IGTV cover photo you’ll get a preview so you can tweak accordingly before uploading.

    Instagram IGTV Landscape Dimensions: 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram IGTV Portrait Dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 Aspect Ratio)

    IGTV Cover Photo (Thumbnail) Dimensions: 420 x 654 pixels (1:1.55 Aspect Ratio)

    Instagram Profile Picture Size

    A profile photo is an important part of your Instagram profile. The Instagram profile photo is extremely small at only 180 x 180 pixels. Like everything on Instagram you can upload at a higher resolution but the most important thing is to crop properly with a square aspect ratio.

    Instagram Profile Picture Dimensions: 180  x 180 pixels (1:1 Aspect Ratio)

    With the knowledge of Instagram photo size, your posts will look better than ever. Whether you use Lightroom or Snapseed you can lock the aspect ratio to get the perfect composition for your photos.

    By default Instagram will crop your photos on a 1:1 ratio. So remember to hit the unlock ratio button on the bottom left of your photo while uploading to Instagram.