If you ever travel through Dulles International, it is well worth scheduling yourself in early or out late so you can take a short side trip. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex of the National Air and Space Museum is located a of the airport. You can take a shuttle to and from the airport, or follow Highway 28 (the first exit as you leave the airport) south until you see the sign. It only takes 10 – 15 minutes to get there from the airport. Entrance to the museum is free, but parking is $12, so take a few friends (all in one car).
The Smithsonian needed additional space to display items that they don’t have room for at the downtown Washington, D.C. location. This is very good news for traveling photographers. For a small investment of time (2 – 3 hours) you can see a lot of aviation and space history. They have Wright Brother flyers (click on the photo above for a larger version), an SR-71, a Concorde, the Space Shuttle Enterprise, The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer and much more. Some of these items are beautiful, and all are historic.
Equipment: I took my Canon G9, which did very well. You’ll mostly want a wide angle lens for the interior shots – these things are big and you can get close to most of them. The light is pretty dim, so use a fast lens and plan on at least bracing your camera for longer exposures as I did. Flash won’t be too effective due to the distance involved.
The rest of my photos for this post are here.
On a side note, after you get to your hotel, keep looking for photographs. I made this one out of my hotel window.
©2008, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.