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  • Writer's pictureAnne

If at first you don't succeed...

Air Force Memorial

There's certainly no shortage of awesome sights to see in and around Washington, DC. I have a long list of go-to spots and personal favorites. What's kind of cool is that some of them didn't even exist when I first moved here in 1991.

One such gem is the Air Force Memorial. It sits just up the hill from the Pentagon, alongside Arlington National Cemetery.

It appeared on the scene in 2006, popping up on Columbia Pike, near the Navy Annex. It's a prime spot, atop a hill, with a great view of the monuments. Back in 1992, my husband chose that very location to park to watch the July 4th fireworks show over the Potomac.

And now, it's the sight of one of my favorite new additions to the DC landscape. And what a beauty of an addition it is. Three spires soar up from the ground, mimicking the contrails of the Thunderbirds as they peel back in a bomb burst move. The lack of a fourth spire hints at the traditional missing man formation. It’s truly a sight to see, both from a distance, and close up. Very simple and yet very moving.

Our 2007 holiday photo taken at the Air Force Memorial.

The photographer in me gets goose bumps every time I see it. But here’s the thing … turns out I don’t have a wide enough lens to get a good shot of all three spires in their entirety. At least not when I'm standing at the base of the Memorial.

We chose to do our holiday photo shoot there in 2007. You can see I had to cut off the top of the spires. Perhaps if I had tried lying flat on the ground and shooting up ... but I wasn't bold enough for that sort of maneuver back then.

We've been back multiple times since, but I've yet to snag a decent close-in full-on shot of the whole thing.

Newsflash, people! Sometimes one of my different perspective shots is based on my keen artistic eye. And sometimes it’s simply my inability to actually get the more obvious shot! 

On my last visit, armed with my old 8 megapixel Canon Rebel XT and it's kit lens, I snagged the shot at the top of this post. Not horrible, but not what I was looking for. Bless my heart.

I pretty much gave up. And instead, focused on something different. Like this:

Artistic shot of one of the Air Force Memorial spires from the side.

Not bad. Thought it was cool. But then I took a few steps to my left and got this:

Artistic shot of one of the Air Force Memorial spires from below and to the side..

Yeah, that's more like it!

Seems like the moral of the story for me is ... if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Also, make sure you visit the Air Force Memorial the next time you're in DC!

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