andyhunt
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 1226
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:50 pm

Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:34 am

Hi All,

I will be going to Washington DC next week with the family and have a day for looking at the Smithsonian Museum.

I notice that there are two:

National Mall Building
Washington, D.C.

and

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Chantilly, Virginia

Which one should I be visiting? (for photos of course!   ) I guess from what I can see, the Udvar-Hazy Center???

Regards

Andrew
Full frame always beats post processing
 
User avatar
dvincent
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:53 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:13 am

The answer is obviously both.   You'll have better photo ops at the Udvar Hazy Center (bring your ultrawide in addition to your standard walkaround) but the National Mall museum has lots of very cool and interesting things related to the history of aviation. It's less airliners.net friendly but every aviation enthusiast should visit it.

You can do the Udvar Hazy center in a day in order to see everything. The National Mall museum is more of a half day thing (or maybe less depending on how quickly you go through it); you'll likely be able to mix it in while visiting other areas like the national archives or the museum of natural history. It'll take a few days to really visit and digest all of the areas in downtown, so you can plan accordingly if you have the time.

It is very dark in the SUHC with lots of mixed lighting. Flash is OK but the last time we went mini-tripods were NOT allowed (even gorillapods). An idea for some makeshift stabilization might be a beanbag or some other soft implement, like a backpack. Fortunately, there are catwalks circling the main hall and you can get nearly every exhibit from the higher elevation as well as the ground.

[Edited 2010-03-21 19:23:12]
From the Mind of Minolta
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 2555
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:16 am

They both have an incredible collection of aircraft and other exhibits. Photo-wise, you may have a better time at Udvar-Hazy, as there is a bit more room to work with, but if you can manage both, you should.

I was down there about 5 years ago, and hit both during a one week stay, photos here...
http://www.moose135photography.com/T...useum/1736813_s6mYg#85861913_i2Eo5
From what I remember (and looking at the EXIF on my photos) I was able to use a tripod in both places.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
ccarter757
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:29 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:49 am

I'll echo what was previously said. If you have the time, I would visit both. I was just in DC this last summer and had the opportunity to do both, and did not regret it as they are both great. It really just depends on what you want to see more of. It also depends on whether you will have a car or not, as the Udvar Center would most likely require a car, unless you take The Washington Flyer bus service to Dulles, and get the shuttle to the Udvar Hazy center.

Udvar- Space Shuttle, Concorde, Sr-71 (Big stuff etc)

National Mall- Packed full of a variety of displays and exhibits, and an interactive kids center.

Hope that helps
Best Regards Chris: Nikon D40 ~ Nikkor 70-300 VR ~ Nikkor 18-105 VR
 
dlednicer
Crew
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:37 pm

Quoting moose135 (Reply 2):
From what I remember (and looking at the EXIF on my photos) I was able to use a tripod in both places.

Tripods are NOT allowed. Guards will descend on you if you try to use one - this happened to me. A friend of mine was able to use a Gorillapod, but I am not sure what the rules are regarding them. There isn't much light in either location, there are swarms of people and there are limited number of clear sightlines to the aircraft, so photography is difficult at best. My best results came from holding my camera up against walls while I shot.
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3256
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:40 pm

I don't remember if I used a tripod on the downtown Smithsonian, but I am 100% sure I used a tripoed on the Udvar Hazy center and noone seemed to mind. I was passed by staff several times. So it seems to be up to the individual guard who happens to be on duty whether a tripod can be used or not.
Attamottamotta!
 
photopilot
Posts: 3061
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:05 pm

In my opinion, if you can only see one, then head to Dulles and the Udvar Hazy Center. Sure, it's best to see both, but in terms of aircraft and photos, Head for Udvar.

Here's some shots from one of my trips a few years ago.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Misc_Photos/EnolaGay.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Misc_Photos/Corsair.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Misc_Photos/SouthHall.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Misc_Photos/SR-71-1.jpg
 
User avatar
dvincent
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:53 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:05 pm

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 5):
I don't remember if I used a tripod on the downtown Smithsonian, but I am 100% sure I used a tripoed on the Udvar Hazy center and noone seemed to mind. I was passed by staff several times. So it seems to be up to the individual guard who happens to be on duty whether a tripod can be used or not.

Tripods are 100% against the rules according to the website. They search you on the way in. It is, as they say, at your risk.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/visit/security.cfm

Like I said - try a beanbag or some other soft implement for stabilization.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
ketko2
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:10 pm

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi,

been to both, and as most of the replies say, they are both great! However, if you have to choose just one, I would definitely go with the Udvar Hazy Center. Its exhibition of complete airframes is much larger and you could also capture some nice approach shots from the parking lot.

Also, do not forget to visit the National History museum, which is wonderful as well, although not aviation. In any case, I am sure you will enjoy DC. Was there a year ago and it became one of my favorite cities.

Regards, Keishi.
 
66chargerfan
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:31 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:02 am

ive never been to any smithsonian and it wasnt till now that i realized that there are more than one...i gotta go there sometime to see the dash-80


whats the 1st plane photo of? heinkel??

enjoy your trip
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 2555
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:12 am

Quoting 66chargerfan (Reply 9):
whats the 1st plane photo of?

In photopilot's post? That's a B-29, the Enola Gay
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
photopilot
Posts: 3061
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:35 pm

Quoting moose135 (Reply 10):
Quoting 66chargerfan (Reply 9):
whats the 1st plane photo of?

In photopilot's post? That's a B-29, the Enola Gay

Yes, that's the Enola Gay (B-29) shot from the catwalk that crosses just in front of the aircraft and just slightly above it. It was shot with a VERY wide lens, and you should be aware that at one point, some idiots threw red paint over the nose of the Enola in protest of what that aircraft did. Since then, they have extended the height of the glass wall alongside the catwalk so you'll likely have to shoot through the glass. Hint..... take a soft cloth with you to wipe the glass clean. Or, if you're very tall like I am, I was able to take a "prayer" shot by holding the camera high overhead and shooting over the glass wall.

Good luck and happy shooting.
 
66chargerfan
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:31 am

RE: Which Smithsonisan Musuem Should I Visit?

Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:51 am

thanks for clearing that up

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests