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Saturday, October 7th, 2023 | 6:15pm - 8:30pm

Where We Will Meet

North Side of Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall

Where The Walk Will End

We will end at the same location we started

About This Walk

DC Monuments by Night Part 2!  Come join us!

Hello!  My name is John Dukes and I am a professional photographer located in Maryland.  I would really love for you to join us on what promises to be a very interesting, fun and beautiful walk.  This will be my second time leading a photowalk and it will be a sequel to what was a fabulous walk we had last year.

Last year, we had such an awesome time walking around the reflecting pool in Washington DC that we wanted to do another Washington DC sunset and evening walk around our Nation’s Capital.  We had many attendees walking with us last year, and the feedback I received was so positive, I wanted to do it another version of it.  This time, we will explore, walk and photograph the National Mall on the western side of the Washington Monument and it promises to be another amazing experience like we had last year.

You will be able to photograph some beautiful and fascinating architecture, where the past, present and future meet all in one geographical area.  The terrain will be mostly flat and easy to walk.  We will start around sunset and capture the magic and beauty of Washington DC as the evening approaches.  After the walk, I will arrange for us to enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant so we can share in our adventures together.

Come join us. Make new friends and enjoy one of the most beautiful and most visited national parks in the USA!  Hope to see you there!

Photos from PhotowalkOctober 10th, 2023

Hi everyone! The photowalk last weekend was so fun! I am so grateful to all of you who attended!

Please do not forget to submit your photos from our walk! If you go onto the website, you can submit! I saw a couple already from our walk and they are great! Would love to see more!

I sent our group picture to Scott Kelby this morning. He has been posting on the KelbyOne and his social media pages, so I am sure he will put our picture up, too.

Thanks again for a fabulous time! And thanks especially to Stu for riding in the trunk of Tracy’s car on the way to the restaurant! Fun memories! 🙂

See you all tonight!October 7th, 2023

Cannot wait to see you all tonight! We are on for 6pm at the Smithsonian castle.

Just a quick reminder to maybe bring a light jacket tonight. The forecast is a bit chilly and will be in the low 50’s for our walk tonight. But no rain and it should be a gorgeous sunset!!

Thank you all for joining us tonight! Let’s have some fun and capture some beautiful photos of our Nation’s Capital this evening!

Weather ConcernsOctober 5th, 2023

Hello everyone!

I have received several messages from some of you, expressing concerns about the weather this weekend. I just checked the weather for Washington DC for Saturday, and it appears that the forecast is for showers in the morning and clearing in the afternoon and evening. At this time, it does not seem that the weather will impact our walk very much. But I will keep a close eye out.

It does seem that the temperature will drop on Saturday night, so you may wish to bring a jacket with you.

I will keep a close eye on the weather forecast and will update all on any changes. But our walk is still on, beginning at 6pm.

Hope that you all have a great Thursday!

Photowalk UpdateOctober 4th, 2023

Greetings everyone, and a happy Wednesday to each of you! We are just three days away from our upcoming walk, and my excitement is off the charts. I can’t wait to meet new friends, reconnect with those of you who joined us last year, and simply have a blast!

Yesterday, Tracy and I did a trial run along our planned route at the same time we’ll be walking on Saturday. Let me tell you, this walk promises to be absolutely fantastic! If the weather in the nation’s capital is anything like it was yesterday, the lighting will be breathtaking, and the photo opportunities will be endless. We are both brimming with anticipation, not only to walk with all of you but also to see the stunning pictures you’ll capture. This is bound to be an epic experience!

Here are a few key takeaways from our trial walk:

As I mentioned in an earlier update, there are very few restroom facilities along our route. We only found a public restroom on 14th St. NW, just east of the Washington Monument. I highly recommend using the restroom before meeting up with the group, as our walk will last approximately two hours, and there won’t be any restroom options on the actual path.

We managed to find ample parking around 5:45 pm on Jefferson Drive SW. If you approach Jefferson Drive from 14th Street, there are metered parking spots available. Parking is free after 8 pm, so you’ll only need to pay up to 8 pm. Nevertheless, I still strongly advise considering taking the metro instead, as Saturday evening might present different parking challenges. The metro stop is conveniently located next to the Smithsonian Castle. Additionally, please note that our walk will not start and end at the same point, so if you park at the castle, you’ll need to walk back to your car.

Another parking option, for those who prefer not to take the train, is to park along 4th St NW, between Jefferson Dr SW and Madison Dr NW. There should be plenty of spots available, and this location is central to our walk. However, keep in mind that parking spots may be less abundant on a Saturday compared to our experience on a Tuesday.

The terrain for our walk is mostly flat and very manageable. We’ll be walking on paved roads, except for a portion along the National Mall area, which is gravel and grassy. There’s a slight incline near the US Capitol building, but overall, it’s an easy and enjoyable walk.

Along our route, you’ll encounter numerous photo opportunities! Last night’s sunset was breathtaking, and many of the monuments and buildings were beautifully illuminated with golden light. We’ll be taking photos while walking and also stopping at planned rendezvous points where everyone can explore the immediate area, take pictures, and then regroup to continue our journey. We have a detailed itinerary to make the most of the available lighting opportunities, which we’ll share with you as we go along.

If you happen to get separated from the group at any point and need to locate us, you can reach me at 443-547-5850 or Tracy at 240-285-3886. Just give either of us a call, and we’ll guide you back to our location.

I encourage you to bring a small tripod and/or a platypod, especially for nighttime photography. The areas along our walk are tripod-friendly, and we encountered no issues while using them.

Finally, we’ll gather at the Smithsonian Castle at 6:00 pm. Between 6:00 pm and 6:10 pm, come find us, as we’ll have pre-made name tags for everyone. We’ll be located at the north end of the castle, between the museums, right next to the statue of Professor Joseph Henry, making it easy to spot us. The name tags will help us remember each other’s names and enable you to identify fellow group members. After a group photo, we’ll kick off our journey by capturing images around the Smithsonian Castle.

Our walk will conclude at the Supreme Court building, located at First St NE. From there, you can opt for an Uber or Lyft (or drive if you brought your car) to the restaurant, if you’d like to join us for dinner afterward. We’ve made a reservation under the name “Photo Walk” at City Tap House Penn Quarter, situated at 901 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001. We hope you’ll consider joining us for delicious food and some post-walk fun!

Finally, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to each of you for joining us. I’ve done my best to ensure this is a fun and enjoyable experience for all of you, and I genuinely hope you have a fantastic time.

If there are any further updates before Saturday, I’ll post them here. Please travel safely to the walk, especially those of you joining us from out of town. Your participation means the world to us!

Enjoy the remainder of your week, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Updates and Helpful InformationSeptember 30th, 2023

Greetings to all of you and Happy Saturday! Only one week away from our walk!

Our walk is only one week away now and I hope that you are getting excited for the fun! I just wanted to give a few quick updates and some information for next Saturday.

Plan on meeting at the north end of the Smithsonian Castle at about 6:00pm. For those not familiar with the Washington DC geography, the north side of the castle is the grassy area on the opposite side of the castle from Independence area. We will take a quick group photo and then start our walk and the picture taking in that area, as well as in the gardens on the opposite side of the castle. If you are a little late, you will likely find us on the south side of the castle shortly after about 6:10pm. At the time I am sending this, we have 22 people signed up for our walk.

The sun will start to set at a little after 6:40pm and that is when the real magic begins to happen! You will have plenty of opportunities to capture the scenery from the National Mall as the sun goes down, and the monuments start to light up.

The planned route is to walk towards the east on the mall, past the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and towards the US Capital Building. We will then go past the beautiful reflecting pool in front of the US capital, which is a gorgeous photo spot, and then circle around the north end of the US capital towards the Supreme Court of the United States and the Library of Congress. You will find stunning views, beautiful architecture and plenty of compositions to choose from, so have your cameras and smartphones ready!

Tracy is coming with us and she will have a lit up lightsaber that is easy to spot, so it will be no problem finding our group once the sun goes down. I received a lot of feedback that this technique was very helpful last year with finding our group at night, so we will do the same thing this year.

One thing to note about this walk, is that there is bathroom accessibility on the mall, but you will likely have to deviate from our walk to get to them. It is strongly recommended that you use the facilities prior to meeting at the castle. The museums will be closed and will not be able to be accessed to use the restroom. The closest bathroom I know of to the Smithsonian castle, is directly in front of the Washington Monument (the east side) from where we will be. I plan on doing another preliminary walk of our route prior to next Saturday, so I will let you know if I find any other places to use the restrooms.

Also, I have on many occasions used a tripod in this area, and was never stopped by anyone. Please feel free to bring a tripod or a playpod if you wish, just in case you want to capture some long exposure photography.

Please also remember to consider the reason for our walk. We are supporting the Springs Of Hope Kenya Orphanage – an organization dedicated to nurturing, housing, educating, and empowering young orphans, enabling them to thrive. We kindly request each participant to contribute and make a meaningful impact on these children’s lives. Every donation matters, and that’s why we’re embarking on this mission! Even a donation as small as $1.00 makes a difference!

I will have another update prior to next Saturday! I am looking forward to seeing you all there! Hoping you have a wonderful week!

Helpful Information for TravelersSeptember 14th, 2023

Greetings everyone, and Happy Thursday!

Our photowalk in Washington DC is just a few weeks away, and we’re thrilled to have 15 people already signed up to join us. We’d like to extend a warm thank you to those of you who are traveling from out of town to be part of this event.

For our traveling participants, we want to ensure you have all the necessary information to make your trip as smooth as possible. Here are some travel tips:

Consider traveling by train if feasible, with Union Station being the primary Amtrak station in the Nation’s Capital. Parking in DC can be expensive and inconvenient, so relying on the city’s excellent metro service, as well as ride-sharing options like Uber, Lyft, and city taxis, is often more convenient.

Our meeting point for the start of the walk is the Smithsonian Castle. You can reach this location via the Smithsonian metro station, served by the Orange, Silver, and Blue Lines of the Metro System. When exiting the station, choose the Mall Exit (12th St. at Jefferson Drive SW) for easy access. The DC Metro system is known for its convenience, cleanliness, and comfort.

As for accommodations, we recommend staying in the Northwest (NW) region of Washington DC, which is close to attractions and the National Mall while being a safe choice. Here are some hotel recommendations:

Omni Shoreham Hotel – 2500 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC, 20008. This hotel is in a fantastic area, close to the zoo and Dupont Circle, offering cleanliness and comfort.

Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center – 627 H Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001. This option offers great value and convenience to Chinatown, the National Mall, and Smithsonian.

Washington Hilton – 1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20009. While it may be slightly pricier, this property is outstanding in terms of cleanliness, safety, and location.

You can find excellent hotel deals on, where you can sort options by price and ratings. If you have any questions or need advice about Washington DC, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at I’m very familiar with the city and its neighborhoods.

Additionally, we’re arranging a post-walk dinner at the City Tap House Penn Quarter restaurant, located at 901 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001. We had a blast there last year, and we hope you can join us for some good food, fun, and laughter. You can learn more about the restaurant and view the menu at

We can’t wait to see all of you at the photowalk! It’s a pleasure to welcome back those who attended last year and to meet new friends as well. Expect another update from me next week. Have a fantastic weekend!

Warm regards,

Greetings and UpdateAugust 31st, 2023

Greetings to you all for registering for our Washington DC Monuments By Night Part 2 photowalk! I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your joining us. Anticipate an awesome time ahead!

A special shout-out to those who joined us for last year’s nocturnal monuments walk in DC – and are joining us once again! To those joining us for the first time, a warm welcome and sincere thanks for being part of this. Last year was exceptional, and I am certain this year will be equally enjoyable!

In the approaching weeks, expect some updates via email and regular check-ins here. While the awaited day draws near, you might consider ordering your 2023 Kelbyone Photowalk t-shirts, which are presently accessible for online orders. Visit the Kelbyone store on Dazzle to find them:

Amidst our photography adventures, leisurely strolls, and making new friends, let’s not forget our contribution to a noble cause. We’re also extending our support to the Springs Of Hope Kenya Orphanage – an organization dedicated to nurturing, housing, educating, and empowering young orphans, enabling them to thrive. We kindly request each participant to contribute and make a meaningful impact on these children’s lives. Every donation matters, and that’s why we’re embarking on this mission!

Thank you once again! Expect further updates in the approaching weeks. Your enrollment is deeply appreciated. Many thanks!

Warm regards,

3 Responses

  1. I am joining the walk (unofficially). I tried to switch from the other one in the rain this morning and it it too late to register. But I will crash the party anyway 🙂 as I had a great time last year with the night walk.

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