Sitting with Abe

A quiet moment at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.


The story: Right place, right time

I’ve liked this shot ever since I first saw it through my viewfinder.

I was in Washington, D.C., on business in September 2007 and had time early in the morning to roam with my camera. I climbed the steps to the Lincoln Memorial, hoping to get a shot of tourists at Lincoln’s feet looking up at the statue but no one was around. I went behind the interior columns and was reading the text etched into the wall when I heard someone quietly talking. I turned around to see a woman sitting on the floor between the columns, reading to her son about Lincoln.

Their bright shirts, the interior columns and even Abe himself were all modeled by the early morning sunlight.

I took a couple of shots, framing the threesome between columns.  When I checked the image on the camera’s display I knew I had the shot I wanted.

I don’t know who these people are (except for Abe, of course), but I’m glad the mother picked that morning and location to give her son a history lesson.

I used a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 lens at 22mm. I set the aperture to f/7.1 to get a little extra depth of field. That allowed me to shoot at 1/80th of a second at ISO200.