Chapter 16. Smithsonian Institution Castle

Smithsonian Institution Castle

The Smithsonian Institution Castle seen from the National Mall in the morning. Taken at ISO 100, f/8, 1/320 second with a 70mm lens.

Why It's Worth a Photograph

A standout even on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institution Building — known simply as The Castle — was the first building of what is now a research institute and museum campus. Near the building's north entrance is the crypt of James Smithson, the English scientist whose name the Institution bears.

The red sandstone and design of the building makes it particularly photogenic, along with the immaculately tended gardens that surround it.

Where Can I Get the Best Shot?

The Castle has many good angles, as well as much to see within its gardens. It's definitely a rare opportunity to have access to such a unique building.

The best locations from which to photograph the Smithsonian Institution Castle: (A) the south-side garden and (B) the north side of the castle. Nearby photo ops: (9)National Air and Space Museum, (10) National Archives, (11) National Mall, (14) OldPost Office, and (27) Washington Monument.

Figure 16.1. The best locations from which to photograph the Smithsonian Institution Castle: (A) the south-side garden and (B) the north side of the castle. Nearby photo ops: (9)National Air and Space Museum, (10) National Archives, (11) National Mall, (14) OldPost Office, and (27) Washington Monument.

The southside garden

A lovely view of a gorgeous building, this is definitely the side to spend your time photographing. The north side of the building is attractive, but this ...

Get Photographing Washington, D.C.: Digital Field Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.