A place to indulge an affliction

$5 Photo

1 Comment

For one of our visual assignments this week, I chose Return to the Scene of the Crime from the Assignment Bank.  The assignment required us to “Take a photo from the past that you took in a particular location. Return to that stop, and take another picture, “framing” the original within the current view.”

I took some liberties with the assignment guidelines: First, the photo of the past I used was not a print photo but the Lincoln Memorial printed on the back for the $5 note. Second, I took the photo I’m submitting a few months ago, not recently. This was on July 4, 2013, while I was volunteering for the American Red Cross during the 4th of July celebrations on the National Mall. For those  of you who live in the DC area, you’ll know that while there are always many people milling about on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it’s not usuallly as many as in this photo.  This crowd was waiting for the fireworks to begin.

I took this photo along the Reflecting Pool. My limitations included the glare from the setting sun, the temporary fencing put up by the National Park Service, and the crowds of people around me, all preventing me from aligning the $5 bill exactly with the columns of the actual Lincoln Memorial. I tried several ways to angle my camera but in the end could not align the columns properly without stepping on small children or falling into the (duck doo-infested) Reflecting Pool.

This photo is worth more than $5

This photo is worth more than $5

I cannot even take credit for the idea of this photo. While on business travel the previous January to a naval hospital, I noticed a similar photo ($5 bill framed against the Lincoln Memorial) used as the background photo on someone’s computer screen. I asked him, a Navy veteran, about it and he told me it was taken on his one and only visit to Washington, D.C. That poignant conversation reminded me of how I sometimes take for granted that I live in a city replete with memorials to our nation’s history, yet there are thousands of Americans out there, including those who served in our armed forces, who have never had the chance to visit D.C. So, on the day the U.S. celebrated its independence from Great Britain and on the site of the memorial to the President who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, I copied the photo idea to honor those veterans, including two uncles, who have not had the chance to visit D.C.


One thought on “$5 Photo

  1. You are more then welcome to take liberty with the assignment if you justify it as you have done. You have certainly captured the spirit of the assignment and connected it with a larger story of DC, visitors, and honoring veterans. I am confident you could do it with your own photo.

    I have a related story- I grew up in Baltimore and for being that close, I can only remember going to DC a handful of times; every time I go there as an adult I have a greater appreciation for both the deep history and the inherent power of the places there.

    I’m really happy that you figured your own take on the assignment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s