Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Travel photography destination: Philadelphia

Today is National Anthem Day, and a patriotic destination seemed appropriate for any travel photographer thinking about a trip. Photo opportunities abound for the history buff and there are things to shoot both inside and out, so it’s an appropriate photo destination whatever the weather.

Did you know that Philadelphia was where the national anthem song was first sung at a season opener baseball game? That was back in 1897, 34 years before “The Star-Spangled Banner” was adopted as the official national anthem.

A simple one-day drive from Cleveland, Philadelphia is just less than 450 miles via either I-76 or I-80. Many Clevelander’s aren’t used to the narrowness of the PA Turnpike (I-76) and some even complain of it being claustrophobic in the tunnels, so I-80 is a better bet for them. It only adds about 15 miles to the trip, the roads are usually in better shape, and it’s free – no tolls.

When you arrive in Philadelphia, there’s one more thing that typically freaks out Clevelanders. Parking in the center of the street is common and totally lawful. In addition to parallel parking along the curbs, people park parallel with the center dividing line, smack-dab in the middle of the road. With typically wide avenues in a number of places, it created a new supply of parking spaces for Philadelphia’s growing population.

Philadelphia offers an amazing blend of architectural textures, from some of this country’s most historic landmarks to the sleek, shiny skyscraper. As in the photo above, look any direction and you’ll find the wonderful juxtaposition of old versus new, and ornate versus austere.

Some of the more historical sites that offer good photo opportunities would include:
- Independence Hall
- The Franklin Institute
- Elfreth’s Alley
- The Liberty Bell
- Congress Hall
- Boathouse Row

Information and photos of all these locations are available on Wikipedia. Watch this short video to give you more ideas of what Philadelphia offers photographers.

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