When traveling to Washington, D.C. we often enjoy wandering about the Mall with the many memorials when we have time or company with us. Though many of these are familiar to us, occasionally we enjoy spending some time reflecting on the purpose of these. Most of the time, mobs of people intrude on our experience. This summer, when I did a photo-safari with my niece, the Lincoln Memorial was crawling with tourists at the hour of the day we arrived.
On a December Saturday morning, we walked over from our hotel, about 9:30 a.m. Only a dozen or so other people were on the stairs and inside by Lincoln’s statue. It was an opportune moment to stay a little longer and arrange some photos.
We approached from the north-east corner, along a tree lined sidewalk. The low, winter, morning sun provided strong illumination and shadows from the south-east direction.
Once inside the pillars, the same light drew us to the statue as well as the carved text of his Second Inaugural Address and Gettysburg Address on the side walls. Lincoln’s statue is probably what most people notice and photograph.
Possibly completely overlooked are the fresco paintings above the speeches. These are high up and marginally illuminated, other than by the natural light. Also, unless you spend some time reading the speeches, your eyes would not have adjusted to the low light to study the symbols of freedom from bondage represented in the murals.