Here is a real photograph of yesterday’s inauguration crowd:
Now here are the photos from CNN:
In the linked article, the author claims that “The photo of Trump’s inauguration was taken from television during his speech — peak time for the crowd.”
From what I’ve seen in videos of the inaugural yesterday, the above photo was taken two or three hours before the swearing in ceremony. You look, and you decide who is telling the truth, and who is not. Here are some other photos:
Still from ABC News Video Coverage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nieiu8tmLIM) This is while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing, just prior to the Presidential Oath of Office.
I haven’t found any photos (other than the ones used by CNN) that were taken from the point of view of the Washington monument (either from the monument of from a helicopter). If you find one, please share it.
Here is a map of the National Mall in DC. They may help you to better understand the photos. The Capitol Building is to the right (1), and the Washington Monument is at the left center (2), while the Lincoln Memorial is at the far left (35).