Good morning, DC. Is it feeling like fall yet? Grab your coffee and take a look back through this weekend’s best photos from around the area.
In a world where photographers are often more concerned with flashy presentation or outstanding technique, Mondmann reminds us that simplicity is key to capturing a unique moment. The photo makes me think of a 70-year-old man who has lived in the same house for 50 years, sitting to watch the world pass by, yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. The dog just looks like a curmudgeon, although I’m sure if you asked him, the dog would say, “Stop anthropomorphizing me!” Well done, Mondmann.
Self portraiture is a challenge at times, but to capture both the self and the environment creatively takes a clever mind. Enter pablo.raw. His photo from the metro isn’t about the subway tunnel on which he’s focusing, but about his act of taking a picture. Placing himself out of the focused area emphasizes his role in the product, and is a truer portrait of him as an individual – he’s doing the photographer’s job. It’s creative and masterfully executed – a portrait of a creative mind at work.
It’s difficult to capture the vastness of nature through photography. A track of mountains or an ocean stretching infinitely on the horizon are unquestionably photogenic, but the challenge lays in conveying the scale before you. In the case of specimenlife’s photograph, a wandering cloud finds several points of scale to remind the viewer just how big they actually are. Land, air, and sea are all dwarfed. Clouds are so present in our daily lives that we only think twice about them if they pose a threat to our outdoor activities or commute, but specimenlife turns this ordinary occurrence to the extraordinary. His compelling colors and strong composition keep your eye moving around the photograph. The lines the sun draws through the cloud and along the sky leave one in awe of the majesty of nature.
My blood is too thick for this humidity: my mind boils, I rant and rave, and I’m unable to properly explain myself. And I channel Hunter S. Thompson. I moved to DC before I knew what the summers were like; heatwave or not, I boil like a potato in this climate. But everyone who loves hanging idly around a swamp going to fairs and farmers markets, let’s reminisce. Welcome to yesterday, DC. And the day before. And Friday, when the Redskins started back up and squashed the Steelers in their first preseason game. Busy weekend around town – let’s do this thing!
A regular party of flamingos can’t seem to decide which way to go at the National Zoo. The placement of the birds keeps your eyes moving around the photo, while three birds facing both let and right, respectively, provide an interesting balance in the shot. The composition is further strengthened by the triangular shape the birds keep in relation to one another, as well as the focus being on the single bird looking towards the photographer. Heat and humidity can’t keep these birds from being awesome.
‘Little Guy’ by Allee574
It’s been a while since I’ve just stopped and said, “Wow!” to a photograph, but this gem broke that trend. Allee574‘s capture at the Kennilworth Aquatic Garden this past weekend brings together two completely different worlds – the micro and the macro. Macro photography often lacks scale, but in bringing a human hand into the composition, she provides us a frame of reference omnipresent in all of our lives. The stunning, intricate details on the frog’s back are paired with the simple details of an everyday surface we take for granted – our fingerprints. Through a strong composition she brings you into the world of a tiny being confronting a giant. The finger and hand serve to guide one’s eye across the screen, like an arrow pointing directly to the subject. The narrow perch on which it sits, in this case a finger, serves to place emphasis on the frog, as does the blurred, green background. I’m left to wonder if the frog soon sprung back to nature, or felt content to be admired by a larger world.
You want to know why I love DC? Well, take a look through my lens and see how I view this beautiful city. I don’t claim to be a great photographer – I’m just a guy who likes to shoot. Washington is my arena, my subject, and my muse. DC, my darling, smile for the camera.
I first came to DC to report on Congress. That was kind of like drinking from a fire hose, and the Capitol building quickly became my favorite place in the world. This shot elicits the collectivism of the House of Representatives, a subject of endless fascination for me.
Juxtaposition is a powerful tool, especially in photography. It lets you make commentary on an otherwise silent picture.
Pablo.raw must have either waited for a bit in front of the Studio Theater, or was lucky enough to have a flip-flop wearing, iPhone toting guy walk by as he got on the scene. The yelling mouth certainly screams “can you hear me now?” from the old Verizon commercials.
Whether he needed to hang around or not, it pays to keep an eye out on your surroundings and know when that makes the picture.
There are many ways to make a great picture. Sometimes, it requires you to look at a familiar subject from an unusual angle. It’s not always possible, but sometimes you get lucky.
Looks like Ryan Maxwell got a little luck and managed to take the time to put his camera on the edge of a Metro escalator. He was lucky not to have others walking up behind him to use it, for one, and luckier that it didn’t self destruct while he was there.
A long exposure from a low angle, and the escalator is transformed into something a bit more … sci-fi? Something bigger? More sinister?
In this case, Maria Izaurralde seems to have decided on a life-size Barbie theme, and the execution is brilliant. You have to look twice, sometimes more, before it finally occurs to you what it is that makes the picture so strange.
Your first take is “something’s not right with her.” The stiff stance and “fake” smile on the woman’s face leaves you wondering what is going on, until, finally, it clicks. That’s Barbie, brought to life.
Check out Maria’s Tumblr for more.
You’ve heard the phrase over and over again: “A picture is worth a thousand words!” Maybe. Sometimes, though, it only has to be worth one.
As soon as I saw this picture, and before I’d seen the title, I thought, “wonder.” One word. But this photo captures the feeling of wonder so perfectly, so succinctly. I’m sure this shot could replace a thousand words, but its power lies in not having to distill a rambling set of prose. It does the much harder job of showing you one singular emotion.
Jennifer Crawford‘s photo taken at Zoolights was the first that popped up as a candidate for this featured photo, and remained the front runner as I looked through the last week’s worth of pictures. I hope the snow and the season shed some wonder into your lives over the next week or two.
Patterns broken up by a subject or other feature tend to make a photo stand out. In this case, the patterns are the stairs — the many, many stairs — of the Lincoln Memorial. You can’t really tell it’s at the memorial, and that makes it a more interesting picture than one which might have attempted to have the jogger framed with Abe in the background.
National Geographic concludes their 2010 NatGeo Live season with eight more programs to ring in the holidays. Because all of their events wrap up before mid-December, we’re giving you a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to any of the programs below (except the sold-out Irish Christmas Celebration). To enter, simply comment below (using your first name and a legit email address) with which two events you’d most like to attend, using your first name and a legit email address; we’ll randomly draw two winners sometime after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
We at WeLoveDC would like to thank National Geographic for bringing our readers the opportunity to attend these events all year long. It’s been quite the diverse line-up this year and we can only look forward to another great year in 2011!
If you’re interested in attending one of these events, visit NatGeo’s website or their box office, located at 17th and M Street, NW. Keep in mind that parking in NatGeo’s underground lot is free for all programs beginning after 6 p.m.