DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

Gargoyle Tour | Washington National Cathedral

Okay, the truth is, I was really psyched about the gargoyle tour at the Washington National Cathedral because I thought you would get to climb all over stuff and go up in balconies and see all these things other people (that aren’t paying $10) don’t get to see.  Well… no, it’s not really like that.  The tour consists of a very knowledgeable volunteer docent showing a bunch of photos of the gargoyles and then a circumnavigation of the cathedral, straining your neck the whole time.

On the plus side, there are some really cool gargoyles on the National Cathedral.

national cathedral at sunset

The tour begins on the 7th floor of the cathedral, which is a pretty cool place to be.  You don’t have to pay to go up there – just go in the front doors and look for the elevators.

washington national cathedral diptych

hallway in the washington national cathedral

I learned that a gargoyle is specifically made to direct water away from the facade of the building.  By definition, all gargoyles have water spouts through or over them – that’s why you so often see a big grimacing mouth.

gargoyle at sunset

crocodile gargoyle at washington national cathedral

gargoyle at the washington national cathedral

Our tour group.

the gargoyle tour group

My totally awesome husband, in some beautiful sun-just-set light.  I told him this would be a gorgeous portrait if he were a girl.  It was all windy and stuff too, as you can see.  His hair is not *that* messy, people.

my awesome husband at washington national cathedral

So these cool bits that decorate arches and things are not gargoyles, but other decorative elements.  I have no idea what they’re called.  But do you know the word quatrefoil?  You probably do because I do.  Why did they teach us this crap in school?  Who cares!?  I don’t even want to know that there are three kinds of columns.  Why weren’t they teaching us more math and science?

little house at the national cathedral

little face at the national cathedral

And in case you’re wondering if the 18-55mm “kit lens” that goes with the D80 all the time has good flare, you’d do well to look at this image.  That is to say, no, it doesn’t.  I’m determined not to carry my new, expensive big camera around with me on non-client gigs, so I was stuck with the old digs.

Cleveland Park neighborhood near national cathedral

I also scoped out the beautiful Bishop’s Garden on the cathedral grounds.  It would make a fantastic place for a little photo shoot, especially if paired with neighborhood-wandering in the surrounds.  Lots of beautiful little secret garden-looking spots and a bangin’ arch.  I was showing George how I would pose a bride and groom and he said it was too sexy to do right next to a church!  This from the man that decided to grab my ass while half the tour group stood behind us!

great place for a portrait shoot

Anyway, cool place this National Cathedral.  I would come back for the regular self-guided tour any day.

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