Normally an overexposed picture is not something a photographer wants. Washed out details and weird plays of light can ruin a shot. But, if done just right, an overexposed photo can add a fascinating depth too.
Take Robb’s photo above. It is a noticeably long shot; clocking in at an 8 minute exposure, it’s long even for a long exposure. With the shutter open for so long it allows the camera to pick up the entire light beams from the Capitol’s spotlights, creating a nice framing effect. Also, if you were to only take a quick glance, you’d think there were no people in the shot; but if you look closer, you’ll see the blurring effect of people’s movement at the base of the building. (Added bonus: Look really closely and you’ll see the distinct out line of a family portrait being taken.) The black and white film (yes, it is an analog shot) allows the viewer to focus more on the composition of the photo and not be distracted by any off colors. Yes, overexposed but not ruined, the shot is definitely a keeper.
If you were surprised by all the underwear-clad Metro riders on Sunday, don’t be one of those people surprised by the orange and black human chain during lunch break on Wednesday.
On Jan. 11, activists from around the country will be locking arms from the White House to the Capitol to protest the 10th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay prison. Organizers need/expect at least 2,771 people to complete the chain, which equals the number of detainees still held at Guantanamo and Bagram.
The protest starts at 12pm with a rally at Lafayette Park and is sponsored by Amnesty International and a bunch of other organizations. To get involved, register with any of the sponsoring groups, wear black or orange on Wednesday, and keep up with the campaign via the hashtag #closegitmo.
Oh yeah and eat an early lunch. I doubt it’s polite to break the human chain for a Chop’t run.
Hey, it’s an old photo, and a new photo, in one…and it’s of people doing the Charleston on the doorstep of Capitol Hill! What more could you want in a photo?
Jason is quite the innovator with this style of photo (I call it a “Flashback”; Jason calls it “Looking Into the Past”; whatever you want to call it, we can all call the results awesome). He takes historic photos from publically available collections (mainly the Library of Congress), gets enlargements made, and then tries to line up the old picture with the present scene. It can make for quite the sight: some you see how much has changed, others how little, and then you see the downright weird. If you want to read more, Jason’s work has been highlighted by some high profileoutlets recently.
You already know what we think the five best vantage points in the city are, but there’s one that didn’t make the list the first time around that must be added: the top of the Capitol dome. See that little railing in the image above? You can get up there! It’s a bit of a tricky process as you’ll need to contact your congressional representative to set it up, and a member of Congress has to actually lead the tour. You’ll also have to sign a waiver that releases the Capitol from liability in the event that you tumble down the 300-plus stairs.
The tour is absolutely amazing: your tour guide will explain the history of the Capitol, and you’ll stop at various spots inside to see the view from inside the dome (you’ll have to resist the urge to drop things on the unsuspecting tourists below). But the really stunning part is when you get up to the very top of the Capitol at that railing– you can walk outside and see the most perfect view of the city.
Today’s Find Of The Day celebrates the beauty of our Capitol building in a 3D watercolor collage by hometown born Artmonger. The artwork requires a multi-step process involving gridwork, painting, computer rendering and foam mounting to give the piece it’s 3D look. The collage is the perfect gift or decoration for a DCite or even political junkie. It’s neat-o.
When I spotted this picture in the pool last night, I knew it had to be the featured photo for the week. As you might have noticed, we have a thing for the Statue of Freedom sitting atop the Capitol (if you haven’t noticed, look at the logo).
Erin has been taking pictures of the moon rising from and around the Capitol grounds for a few years now. Each is stunning, and in some ways iconic. We see a lot of shots of monuments and official buildings in our photo pool. Most are good pictures, even if we’ve seen the like of them before. But the moon rising over the Capitol dome is special, requiring dedication and timing to get. And we love rewarding good effort, around here.
Not even the snowpocalypse will stop Brendan Hanrahan from running around the Capitol half-naked this Saturday. The sole director of the first annual Cupid’s Undie Run is devoted to his cause and the message he’s helping to spread here in the DC area.
Hanrahan moved to town a few years back and has been yearning for a way to apply what he left behind at home to his daily life. The end result being Cupid’s Undie Run.
His best friend’s brother is his motivation to raise money for the cause. To him, this justifies all the effort put in to creating a new and exciting way to raise money for a cause in the nation’s capital. Continue reading →
From historical photoblog Shorpy we get this underground gem:
That’s the Senate Subway, c. 1915, just two years after it started operation, part of the whole Capitol Subway System. After the jump, you can see how the Senate Subway still uses open-air cars, though somewhat more modernized.
(Update: Well, boy is my face red; the ‘today’ photo after the jump is actually from the House subway, not Senate. You can tell I’ve never ridden either system, not having had the privilege of working on the Hill myself.) Continue reading →
Welcome to a holiday edition of Mythbusting! This week we’ll be figuring out exactly what is going on with the Christmas trees in DC. How many National Christmas Trees are there? There’s the one outside the Capitol and the one outside the White House, but are there more “official” Christmas trees in our federal city?
Yes, there are! There are three official national trees in our fair city: the Capitol Christmas Tree in front of the Capitol. the National Christmas Tree near the ellipse at the White House, and the White House Christmas Tree inside the Blue Room of the White House. Read on to find out the difference between these trees, where they came from this year, and which one is a DC native!
Despite the history, the sculptures, the uniqueness, it’s still kind of hard to wax poetic about Union Station. You see, when Union Station was built, residents lauded the civic project for finally bringing an impressive and worthy gateway for visitors into the nation’s capital. But today, people run in and out of Union Station faster than… well, faster than a speeding train.
The Glenn Beck/FreedomWorks 9/12 DC Taxpayer Rally was on Saturday, with conservative Tea Party activists congregating in Washington to protest various things like healthcare reform, federal taxation, government deficit spending, and the President being a Stalinist Nazi Fascist Kenyan Hitler. They drew a healthy-sized crowd, by many accounts much larger than the 30,000 names registered online by FreedomWorks. DCFD estimates are said to be in the 50,000-70,000 range.
Given these numbers it seemed a bit unrealistic for a much-cited article from the right-wing Daily Mail to claim “up to two million.” This AP photo does show an impressive crowd gathered from the edge of the Capitol Lower Terrace to just west of East Capitol Circle/1st St NW/SW, filling up the entire Capitol lawn:
Here’s some shaky video of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s hearse and procession leaving the Capitol to go down Constitution Ave. to Arlington Cemetery. Hundreds of people lined the lawn and sidewalk, with Kennedy’s staff and colleagues on the Senate steps. As the hearse left the driveway a wave of cheering and applause swept through the crowd, with some waving a final goodbye.
My favorite feature of the US Capitol Grounds, The Summer House, is currently fenced off and filled with scaffolding, plywood, and other construction paraphernalia. It appears a restoration or renovation is in progress, probably in tandem with other preparations on the grounds for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Here’s hoping it’s open again by next summer; it’s a wonderful spot to relax and get a bit wet, if you know what I mean.*
Heads-up to those of you who were hoping for a nice, relaxing wade in the cool, green, avian botulism-infected waters of the Capitol Reflecting Pool: the National Park Service has drained the Pool till Aug 29th. NPS had considered draining as a quick, immediate protective measure to wildlife — cheaper and faster than installing a water circulation and filtering system, but not quite as aesthetically pleasing. It looks like they went ahead with the draining plan, or perhaps it coincided with what the sign on the fence says is a “routine cleansing.” It’s ugly, but less so, I guess, than piles of duck corpses.
Ron Paul, the anarcho-capitalist cryptolibertarian neoconfederate survivalist Texas congressman and sometime presidential candidate who published a racist newsletter and opposed a medal for Rosa Parks, civil rights, MLK Day, Tibetan freedom, DC voting rights, and the 14th and 16th Amendments, and enjoyed endorsements from such greats as the John Birch Society, Stormfront White Nationalists, and the Ku Klux Klan, is having a march and rally today! Continue reading →