Day 6 - Annapolis & Washington DC  
    A very crooked house, Annapolis, Maryland    
Minolta X-570 with 24mm f/2.8 VFC MC W.Rokkor Film: Kodak Portra 400UC

On my second day in Washington DC I was met by a friend I had met online through one of the Minolta manual focus camera enthusiast discussion forums in which I participate. Ken Kirch is a lovely guy who, when I advised I was visiting the USA, offered to meet me and show me around. Ken actually lives in Virginia Beach, so just to meet me was a trip of 208 miles!

Unfortunately, the day was again very overcast with rain threatening, but Ken was still keen to take me where I wanted to go, so I suggested Annapolis. He thought that would be a fine idea, so we jumped back in his Mazda Miata and cruised down to the coastal town.

About 32 miles from Washington DC, Annapolis was originally called "Providence" when settled by Puritans, and it wasn't until 1708 when then Governor Sir Francis Nicholson moved the colony capital here that it was called Annapolis, in honour of Queen Anne. When establishing the city, Sir Francis decided on a street pattern different to the traditional grid pattern, and so he settled on a plan of radiating concentric cirles like some of the magnificent capitals of Europe. It is understood that George Washington so admired the design that he insisted that Pierre L'Enfant incorporate it into the design of Washington DC.

Once a major city due to it's role as a shipping port, Annapolis now is probably most famous for it's position as home to the United States Naval Acadamy. However, it is also very famous for its architecture, arts and its place in revolutionary history. In this respect Annapolis was the capital of the country when the Treaty of Paris was signed there, ending the revolutionary war.


A street scene, Annapolis, Maryland


Minolta X-570 with 24mm f/2.8 VFC MC W.Rokkor Film: Kodak Portra 400UC


Ken and I walked around the beautiful streets of Annapolis, admiring the architecture and history in this beautiful old town. Unfortunately the heavy overcast made the skies less than inspiring for photography, but that was soon resolved when Ken opened his camera bag.

Knowing my interest in Minolta gear, Ken had brought along two of the lenses I most covet for me to play with. In his bag he had both the 35mm f/2.8 Shift CA, a perspective control lens, and the 400mm f/5.6 APO, an incredibly rare and very expensive Minolta telephoto. With the 35mm on my lens I was in heaven, and with an abundance of beautiful old buildings to photograph, the lens got a good workout. This was all the inspiration I needed!

The Statue of Thurgood Marshall, first Black Supreme Court Justice
Minolta X-570 with 35mm f/2.8 Shift CA. Film: Kodak Portra 400UC

The statue above was erected in honour of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice. Before becoming a Justice, Thurgood Marshall's most famous victory was in the case Brown vs. The Board of Education in 1954, which found that segregation in public schools was illegal. Thurgood Marshall served on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring in 1981 due to ill health. He died in 1983, and in 1996 the memorial honouring his work was erected, appropriately in Lawyers Mall (also known as State House Square).

Note in the above photograph how the sides of the building remain parallel. Compared to the previous photo where the building suffers from the effects of perspective, it is easy to see how the 35mm Shift lens has corrected this problem. While it is possible to adjust perspective in photoshop with a digital file, this correction was done in camera, and the lens was sure a lot of fun to use!

Yours truly, in front of the main shopping precinct. Annapolis, Maryland.
Minolta X-570 with 24mm f/2.8 VFC MC W.Rokkor. Film: Kodak Portra 400UC
We had lunch at a dockside bar and restaurant, where I enjoyed some very fine clam chowder, and then continued walking around. I picked up some great souvenirs, including an authentic Navy footbal jersey, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Annapolis began as a harbour town, and even today the city still revolves around the docks.
Minolta X-570 with 24mm f/2.8 VFC MC W.Rokkor. Film: Kodak Portra 400UC

Annapolis is a very interesting city, and I was pleased to visit. The city exudes a sense of history, and it is obvious that it has been around a long time. Modern conveniences and buildings have been completed in harmony with the historic architecture, and as one would expect from a town that relies heavily on tourism, the streets were very clean and shopfronts were subdued and in keeping with the city environs.

Annapolis graveyard.
Minolta X-570 with 50mm f/1.2 MD Rokkor-X. Film: Kodak Portra 400UC

Our walk was interupted at one stage by some torrential rain so we huddled in safety on the steps of the Legislature, and proceeded to talk cameras and lenses and all manner of camera related things that would be utterly boring to 99.9% of the population. Best of all, I also got to play with Ken's 400mm f/5.6 MD APO Tele Rokkor lens. What a great day!

In no time at all it seemed that we had to head back to Washington DC, as I had a busy night ahead of me. The NFL season was opening that night with the Washington Redskins versus the New York Jets, and I was going to the game!

Ever imagine how hard it might be to get tickets to a sold out football game from Australia?.
Thank goodness for Ebay!

Ken dropped me off at Columbia Heights, and I jumped back on the subway to head into the city. After all I had an hour or two before I needed to head out to the game, and the Washington Mall was going to be home to a huge concert planned to celebrate the kickoff to the NFL season. I wanted to see what the party would be like!

Thanks Ken, for driving so far to meet me, and then driving even further to show me around Annapolis. I had a great time and the opportunity to meet one of my internet buddies was a real thrill.

Day 6 - Continued
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