2017, September 10: Gunston Hall, An Architectural Photo Safari and Barbecue

At the invitation of the staff of Gunston Hall, the folks at Wasington Photo Safari have been given an exclusive opportunity to conduct an architectural photo safari in this distinguished manor, located near the Potomac River in Lorton VA.

Instructor E. David Luria will provide instruction during this safari on interior and exterior architectural techniques, lighting, white balance, use of f stops and shutter speeds, and use of external flash to balance indoor and outdoor light.  A trained history guide from Gunston Hall will accompany our safari, explaining each of the rooms and answering any questions about Mason’s turbulent role during  the adoption of the US Constitution and its subsequent Bill of Rights.

Although he was an extremely wealthy man, owning over 20,000 acres of farmland, Mason commissioned a modest design, reminiscent of the simple colonial-era elegance of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Though unpretentious on the exterior, Mason determined that it should have elegant interiors. The result was a unique suite of detailed spaces including what is arguably the finest room in the Chinese taste. It also features The Great Parlor, a Central Passage, a Little Parlor and a Main Bed Chamber on the first floor, bedrooms on the second floor, and an outdoors kitchen, laundry,  schoolhouse and burial grounds, all of which we will be allowed to photograph.

As an added treat, we will conclude our safari with a barbecue on the grounds of the manor, giving us a chance to review the images taken.

Recommended equipment:  any camera will do, even late-model smartphones, but for best results we suggest a DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, a wide angle of about 14mm (for full frame cameras), or a 10-20mm for cropped sensor cameras. An external flash is also recommended to balance indoor and outdoor light in interior shots.  No tripods allowed, monopods are OK.

The fee of $109 includes all photographic instruction, admission to Gunston Hall, a donation to the Gunston Hall restoration fund, and the price of the barbecue.

Instructor: E. David Luria

E. David Luria is a commercial photographer based in Washington DC specializing in architecture, editorial, event, food, art/still life and landmark photography.

A member of the American Society of Media Photographers and the Society of Photographic Educators, he has had his images of the National Capital Area appear in over 100 national and local publications and on calendars of the US Capitol Historical Society.

David is also founder and director of the Washington Photo Safari which, since 1999, has conducted 4,500+ photo safaris, training over 32,000 people in the techniques of travel, nature and portrait photography.

David is a graduate of Amherst College and studied photography in Paris with a protege of Henri Cartier Bresson. His work can be viewed on his website at  www.eDavidLuriaPhotography.smugmug.com.

David teaches the following classes for Capital Photography Center:

  • Capital Photography Center Photo Safaris
  • Photography As A Second Career
  • Travel and Vacation Photography
  • Washington DC, a Photographer’s Paradise