Our email correspondence pinged across the world. Betsy was in Europe, and I (Beth) was in South America. We wrote of our shared passion for travel, photography, and writing blogs. Since both of us would return to Washington, DC, we planned to spend an afternoon together in December photographing an iconic place. Betsy suggested the garden and grounds at Dumbarton Oaks in historic Georgetown.
The garden would be quiet in early winter with resting flowerbeds and few tourists. The light would be good to photograph those very large trees, hedges, and garden sculptures. We could talk about what we were seeing and the images we hoped to capture. But then…
Our best-laid plans ended with a cold, dark, and very rainy day.
We discovered the only way to see Tudor Place was to take the one-hour tour.
Rooms were partially roped off so details that we would have loved to photograph often lay just out of photographic reach in the dim light. Getting a good angle to take a photo often proved difficult in the small spaces and working around the other people on the tour. The last challenge was one of timing. The guide spent a few minutes in each room and would not allow any dallying when it was time to move on.
Instead of the quiet, contemplative outdoors to photograph, we had to work quickly, in dim light, with rain on the windows, people in the way, and objects too far away to take photographs.
We stepped out the door and captured a photograph of the garden.
Since we were on a tour, listening to the guide, we had no chance to talk about what we were photographing or why. The surprise came afterward when we looked over the photos we each took. We had taken very few duplicates, and each set showed the photographer’s own style. Betsy’s primarily focused on whimsical, small details and many of Beth’s photos aimed (and failed) to capture the outdoors.
When our travel paths cross again, we’ll give it another try. Meanwhile our email will continue to ping across the many miles separating us, and we’ll be inspired by each other’s travel, blogs, and photography.