A monthly series by E. David Luria, Founder & Director of the Washington Photo Safari
US Air Force Memorial
Not quite in memorial mecca (but overlooking it) is the US Air Force Memorial - one of the newest memorials in metropolitan DC. If you’re exploring the Arlington side of our great city, it’s worth more than a fly-by (which is what you will do when taking a taxi from Regan National Airport into DC and passing the memorial on your way). It’s composed of three spires that symbolize, among other things, the soaring “bomb burst” formation of Air Force jets memorializing a soldier who has died, a bronze Honor Guard and a Glass Contemplation Wall. One of the major design challenges of this memorial was representing air – the medium in which Air Force soldiers operate. Thus a photograph juxtaposing the two elements – real and virtual – captures the memory the designer intended its audience to have while experiencing the memorial. To get this photograph, stand right under the memorial and shoot straight up at the sky on a sunny day with clouds, underexpose by one stop and use a circular polarizing filter to make the white clouds whiter and the blue sky bluer. (In black and white, use a red filter to really make the sky dark and the clouds white) Then, kneel in back of the row of airmen and shoot from a low angle up at the memorial, incorporating the soldiers in the front of your picture. Another nice shot is the view of the DC skyline from the base of the memorial, especially at night! The memorial is located right next to the Pentagon on Columbia Road.