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A local photographer discovers the wild side of the National Mall.


Washington Monument

Local freelance photographer Craig Hudson admits he has a strong affinity for the grand and majestic, which he credits to growing up in San Francisco. “To me, the National Mall is a physical manifestation of our nation’s history on a grand scale, with all of that majesty coming to life in our monuments and wide-open spaces,” he says. Those open spaces, of course, deliver the East Coast’s version of big skies, which provide nature’s quintessential—and ever-changing—backdrops. As a wan morning sun ducked behind long patches of clouds, Hudson walked the Mall with his Nikon D700 and noticed a small army of finches swoop down next to hundreds of others foraging for breakfast. The photographer-bird dance had begun. “I positioned myself between the birds and the Monument and waited, so that when the flock took off—in front of my camera—I would be there,” Hudson explains. His composition paid off… majesty and all.