600 14th St. NW
I take a lot of pictures at concerts, but I’m not a professional photographer — just that annoying guy with an iPhone and an Instagram account. The Hamilton is the venue where I know I’m most likely to get nearly pro-level photos. The key is to snag a spot in the front of the small, often not too crowded general-admission pit, where there’s enough room to take a variety of shots without elbowing your neighbor. The stage is so low that, if you hold your phone at the right angle, your photo will almost make it seem like you were onstage with the band (see my shot of bassist George Porter Jr., left). Concerts there aren’t too dim (low light is always a problem for show photos) and the venue has one of the best, most versatile in-house lighting rigs in D.C. When a beam of light hits a musician just right, it can turn an OK photo into a great one. Rudi Greenberg
Old Capitol stones
Rock Creek Park
Tired of seeing Instagram pics of the old Capitol columns at the Arboretum? Check out their cousins in Rock Creek Park instead. In a rarely visited patch of woods stands D.C.’s own Stonehenge: piles of sandstone and marble stones, some of which still bear the intricate carvings that indicate their former home as part of the U.S. Capitol’s east facade. The stones, which date back to as early as 1812, were discarded after a mid-20th-century renovation and left in unruly piles to be slowly reclaimed by the forest. To get to them, park at the Rock Creek Park maintenance yard just off Glover Road, then find the narrow path that runs alongside a chain-link fence at the southeast corner of the parking lot. When you get to the stones, be careful and step gently — these are historic artifacts, after all. Sadie Dingfelder
4221 John Marr Drive, Annandale, Va.
You see a bowl or a plate. The Block sees a canvas. The Asian-leaning food hall is home to a full bar and five different food stalls, all serving photogenic — and utterly delicious — dishes. Find glistening cuts of raw fish and technicolor toppings at Pokéworks; comfort food like pork belly and a runny egg over rice at Balo Kitchen; steaming soups with hearty garnishes straight from Bangkok at Roots; and iced treats from Munch and SnoCream Company so tantalizing that your Instagram followers may be tempted to lick their phone screens. Though The Block is essentially a windowless warehouse, the lighting is strong enough for good photos. (Still, the brightness setting comes in handy.) Many people have been known to step outside to snap shots against the white walls. Never mind all the likes you’ll get: The most rewarding part is devouring your subjects. Holley Simmons
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