Travel theme: Night

I went to Washington DC to visit a friend and experience July 4th in the nation’s capital. On the night of July 4th, we celebrated at a rather fancy do on a rooftop in Georgetown, with a catered buffet, cocktails galore and a great view of the fireworks. I was informed that no native DC resident would ever consider making their way down to the Mall on Independence Day – the rooftops are where all self-respecting DC inhabitants watch the fireworks.

night fireworks washington dc july 4th grand finale

The grand finale

Festivities over and a good night’s sleep behind me, I took off to explore DC. As darkness fell, it became apparent that DC is a city that has got to be viewed at night time. If you only see it during the day, you’re missing out. Here are a few of the lovely sights I saw under cover of the night.

jefferson memorial at night washington dc

Jefferson Memorial at night

lincoln memorial at night washington dc

I love this one. I had my camera set on long exposure to photograph the Lincoln Memorial, and a mother and daughter crossed into the frame, giving a rather ghostly effect.

capitol at night washington dc

Crossing the road to catch the last bus, I saw a spooky moon above the illuminated Capitol Building. I had to grab a quick shot.

Do you have a place you love viewing at night? I’m looking forward to seeing your take on this week’s travel theme.

xxx Ailsa

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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214 Responses to Travel theme: Night

  1. trishworth says:

    Hi Ailsa, I think the photo with the walkers is intriguing. I looked at it for a few moments before reading the commentary. I had decided they were shadows, but now I understand they do have substance. And I love the moon shot. I noticed myself that the moon has been big and beautiful for the past few nights. I submitted a post on ‘Night’ back in February, so I’ll point you to it:

  2. Pingback: Travel Theme: Night | a hectic life

  3. Dauw says:

    Dear Ailsa,

    This time you made it really easy for me.
    Looks as if you read my mind.
    Two days ago I already posted the picture for this challenge, can you believe that?

    A hug from

    – Dauw –

  4. DagEnDauw says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention how I liked your last picture with the moon in the corner and the previous one with the ghostwalkers … They’re really beautiful
    I especially like to look at a starry sky at night. It puts all human-worries in the right perspective I think. That’s also what my entry is about. =)

    • ailsapm says:

      Glad you liked my photos, and yes, I love a starry night too – don’t get to see too many stars in New York because of the light pollution. 😦

      • DagEnDauw says:

        I can imagine. Even here we have a problem with it and I don’t live in a big city…
        The most beautifull sky I can recall was the one in the dessert near Douz in Tunesia.
        Very impressive! I’ll never forget the calm silence there … And the big pale moon like a cradle =)

  5. autumninbruges says:

    I love your second picture! It looks like a magic temple or something like this 🙂 I love cities at night, unfortunately I often don’t manage to get good pictures at night, they are all blurry… 😦 will try to find something nice 😉 I wish I could see NY by night, it must be beautiful… hopefully one day 🙂 thanks for the theme, have a nice weekend!

    • ailsapm says:

      I know, night photography can be tricky, but once in a while you can capture something fun. Capturing shots at night in NY is pretty easy, actually, because it never really gets dark with all that neon! 🙂

  6. adinparadise says:

    These night photos are really fabulous, ailsa, especially the one of the Jefferson Memorial. It sounds as though you had a great 4th July celebration. Lucky you to view that firework display from such a good vantage point. I don’t think I have any real night pics, only early evening ones. 😉

    • ailsapm says:

      Early evening works just fine, adinparadise 🙂 Yes, the fireworks were fantastic, although, like all fireworks displays, they ended far too soon 🙂

  7. sahbinahvioletflynn says:

    Great shots! My old stomping grounds….DC really is beautiful at night and you captured it most splendidly;o)

    • ailsapm says:

      It’s such a great city, Sahbinah, I can’t get over the museums here, incredible resource, you could spend weeks here and not even see the half of it.

  8. Nice shots Ailsa! I especially like the Jefferson Memorial. Great theme..I’m off to find some night photos. 🙂

  9. Madhu says:

    Stunning shots Ailsa! Love the first two. The Jefferson memorial seems surreal! I am afraid this one is going to be a really tough one for me. You know how hopeless I am at night shots 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      But hopefully you’ll have fun trying, Madhu, you might surprise yourself 😉 The Jefferson was beautiful, it looked like it was floating on water! xxx Ailsa

  10. Anne Camille says:

    Your photos are lovely. I love capturing ghost-walkers in long-exposure shots. I wrote about night, the moon, and people in or near such shots (a yoga dancer, beach walkers, boat captain) on my last day on the beach last January. Here is the link:

  11. badflea says:

    I love the night but the special place is my home…. I live in Milano, the biggest city in the north of Italy and my home is into a long building called “Ca Longa” (Long House). The building in the past was a farm!! Built in the ‘800 outside the city near the fortess walls, actually is really near the center. Now there aren’t animal and field around but only concrete buildings, horrible traffic and pollution.
    During the night time and especially during the black out I love to go outside on the common balcony to try to understand how the people lived in this house, without electricity and hot water…..

    Here the “Ca Longa” photo by night

    • ailsapm says:

      Great shot, badflea, almost like a flash back to simpler times. There’s a surprising amount of detail, despite the low light, really intriguing to look at.

  12. The memorials in the Mall look all a glow in your photos. Lincoln’s Tomb is my favorite one of them all.

    • ailsapm says:

      The whole city seems to glow, c & c, like a great big Christmas tree 🙂 Couldn’t stop taking photos, but have been out and about so much that I haven’t had a chance to go through them yet.

  13. Pingback: TRAVEL THEME: NIGHT « Francine In Retirement

  14. fgassette says:

    I love your post and idea for this theme. The photos of city of Washington D.C. at night are wonderful. Here is my entry for Travel Theme: Night


  15. I love the Lincoln Memorial. Now I do even more. 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      I got some really lovely ones earlier in the day, when the sprinklers were on and the memorial was perfectly reflected – goodness, I’ve taken so many photos while I’ve been here, and seen so many memorials, and oh, those museums, incredible!

  16. Pingback: Travel Theme: Night | Autumn in Bruges

  17. gingerbreadcafe says:

    These are lovely, I have to agree with firstandfabulous the Lincoln Memorial is fantastic.

  18. gardens look quite different by night. Here’s one in Thailand and one in France.

    • ailsapm says:

      Two very different gardens! I love parks and gardens at night, they take on quite a different appearance – white and scented gardens are especially lovely.

  19. Love these shots, especially since I’m in the DC metro area. You’ve captured them very nicely.

    • ailsapm says:

      Thanks, Eagle-Eyed, you live in a fantastic city – the buildings, the museums, such a wealth of things to see and do.

  20. Pingback: Travel theme: Night « Emma's life unravel

  21. Emma says:

    Hi Alisa, sorry for not participating last week, the word ART brought so much to mind that I couldn’t decide, so I took a pass.
    here is my entry for this week, a bit different that what you might expect, hope you like it, Emma

  22. That Jefferson Memorial shot is amazing!

  23. Pingback: Travel Theme: Night « A year in the Life

  24. Gilly Gee says:

    Hi Ailsa, I have some ghostly photos like yours but taken in the slightly less grand city of mine – Exeter!
    Great theme again this week,thanks. Here is my entry

  25. Pingback: Travel Theme:Night « So where's the snow?

  26. Great shots, I find night ones difficult, but here’s my go!

  27. travtrails says:

    Hi Alisa posted my photos on Hong Kong 1st July fireworks

    • ailsapm says:

      Really great shots of the Victoria Harbour fireworks – I didn’t realise it was the 15th anniversary of the handover.

  28. stefanini says:

    Hi Alisa, nice shots 🙂

    I have several nightpics on my page, but I guess the one of the ruins of whitby abbey is one of my favourites…

    Have nice day!

    • ailsapm says:

      Wonderful shots, stefanini, I particularly like the reflection on the roof of your mini, it looks great and made me laugh too 🙂

  29. Madoqua says:

    Ailsa, what beautiful photos and excellent photography!
    I have put my take on this challenge into a cycling article…

    • ailsapm says:

      I really enjoyed this post, Madoqua. You reminded me of a long walk back to my hostel with a couple of friends in the west of Ireland – same deal – no street lights, no road markings, it was the longest 2 miles I’ve ever walked. At one point I heard heavy breathing in my ear, nearly died of fright – it turned out to be a cow leaning over a stone wall.

  30. Pingback: Travel challenge: Night (riding in the inky dark!) | Ride a rainbow

  31. Hi Ailsa, first of all: great pics! I don’t have many night shots actually, this is the best I could find:

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh but it’s lovely, Ingrid. Inky clouds, blue mountains, that gorgeous lake and a chink of moon, just wonderful. xxx

  32. Pingback: A Night Cruise On The Seine « The Urge To Wander

    • ailsapm says:

      You must have been in the middle of nowhere to get a shot of the moon like that with no other light source around. Where did you take it? xxx Ailsa

      • It is taken outside of St. Catharines/Welland, Ontario (between them). Yes pretty much middle of no where 😉 Nice to get away (or back here) since 10 months of the year I am in Shanghai. I grew up not far from here and to see the stars and moon is something I took for granted and pretty rare now in Shanghai. I haven’t seen stars in Shanghai ever… too much light.

  33. Pingback: Ailsa’s travel theme: Night | Anotherdayinparadise2's Blog

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  35. I love your DC photos! A number of years ago, we took our younger two kids, and watched the fireworks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (being lowly tourists!) Although the day (and night) were blisteringly hot, the spirits of the crowd were very cordial and added to the festive feel of the evening. Thanks for the memories!
    And here’s my contribution:

    • ailsapm says:

      I’ll let you in on a secret, if you promise not to tell anyone else. Even though I had a fantastic time at the party on the rooftop in Georgetown, part of me (the part that always carries a camera) wanted to be overlooking the Mall trying to get a shot of the fireworks exploding over the Washington skyline. But shh, it’s a secret. 😉

  36. Pingback: Night at a Chinese Street Market | thirdeyemom

  37. thirdeyemom says:

    Fabulous pictures! You are so lucky to have seen the fireworks at DC. I’ve heard they are great! Here is my entry:

    • ailsapm says:

      They were really spectacular, Nicole – but like all fireworks displays, just not long enough – I’m always sad when they finish 🙂 Great shots of Beijing at night. How was your vacation? xxx Ailsa

  38. Pingback: Travel Theme: Night | mothergrogan

    • ailsapm says:

      Really fun shot, and looks like a really fun night too. Trying to figure out from the corner of the movie screen what movie you were watching… 🙂

  39. Pingback: Weekly Theme– Night | The World Is a Book…

  40. Amy says:

    Great shots! I like the “Jefferson Memorial at night”. Here is my entry:

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