courtesy of ‘dr_kim_veis [”o ]’
While looking for photographs to use for this feature (please, consider this an invite to add yours), I noticed a pattern. My eye fell on many film pictures, particularly street photography ones, and I began to wonder why. I think that good street photos require good composition, rather than shooting from the hip. I think that folks with film rather than digital cameras tend to spend a little more time composing a shot (yes, it’s a generalization, deal with it).
I imagine Dr Kim Veis standing there, patiently waiting while all the actors got into place between the lines. The wary business men on their way, wondering why there’s a photographer shooting them, while the man with the phone goes about his business, unaware. All of this at a building that has a reputation of shooing photographers away.
Lyndon B. Johnson’s photographer Yoichi Okamoto disappeared behind the President to make this image. Okamoto would have been below the eye line of almost all of the reporters in the room. (LBJ Library/Yoichi Okamoto, p. 118); courtesy National Geographic
Photographs. They’re a common form of expression in media today; they’re everywhere. To many, none are more relevant or as communicative as those taken of the President of the United States. We see them every day in the paper, on websites, on television. “Pictures are worth a thousand words,” says the old adage; none more so true than those of the most powerful and important position in these United States.
But what about the men and women behind those shots? Ever wonder about them – who they are, how they do what they do, what it takes to get “that shot”? John Bredar recently published The President’s Photographer: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office. Bredar primarily chronicles Pete Souza, President Obama’s chief photographer (and former photographer for President Ronald Reagan), through the book while discussing the unique ins and outs of the position with past photographers. We managed – with National Geographic’s help (and a review copy of Brader’s book)- to catch former Presidential photographers Eric Draper and David Hume Kennerly and find out a little bit more about who some of these special and unique individuals are behind the lens.
Access to the President “behind the scenes” by photographers is, in the sense of Presidential history, only a recent development. “Do we really need someone following the President of the United States around every day with a camera?” Bredar asks in his book. When photographer Edward Steichen approached President Lyndon Johnson about it, he posed a simple question: “Just think what it would mean if we had such a photographic record of Lincoln’s presidency?” Continue reading
P021809PS-0069 by The White House
Have you ever had anyone other than your friends and family look at your photos? If you’re an aspiring photographer, you probably should. When your mom introduces you to her friends by saying, “This is my daughter – she’s an amazing photographer,” it just doesn’t hold that much weight in the real world. With FotoWeek coming up, you’ll have a few chances to show your work to professionals, including this great opportunity brought to you by Civilian Art Projects:
“Submit 3 images for $25 by email before Nov. 10th. Images will be projected for the panel and the audience in the order received on Nov. 13th starting at 3pm. The panel will dialogue about each image offering pointers, advice and edits. All work will be projected anonymously but you can ‘out’ yourself if you feel like it. The best 3 photographers will have work published on Washingtonian.com!”
The panel consists of Mary Cahill (Deputy Photo Editor, Martha Stewart Omnimedia), Avi Gupta (Photo Editor, U.S. News & World Report), David Hicks (Senior Photo Editor, Washingtonian), and Dee Swann (Senior Photo Editor, Washingtonpost.com). The deadline to submit your images is at 11PM on Wednesday November 10th, so start looking for your top three photos tonight (after you help your mom with the dishes).
DSC_0013 by mediaslave
Despite our best efforts, it’s hard to pick a favorite time of year. Some say it’s the spring when the weather starts warming up and the cherry blossoms burst onto the scene. Not long after we’re given an 80 degree day and are drinking margaritas on a patio which could easily contend for my favorite time of the year. Yet somewhere deep down in my twisted psyche, the month of October will always hold a special place.
Perhaps it’s my memory of wearing vampire teeth with fake blood on them and running door to door with my friends to fill our pillowcases full of candy. After a few years of practice, we knew which houses gave out caramel apples, which gave out toothbrushes, and which geriatric neighbors had the ability to scare the crap out of us regardless of what they were giving out. As Seinfeld once said, the main objective of a kid is to, “Get candy, get candy, get candy,” and get candy we did. Unfortunately, most houses gave out miniature versions of the real thing, from boxes of Nerds, to Dots, to Snickers. It brought us great joy when our rich neighbors down the street plopped full size candy bars into our bags. The weight of them as they hit the bottoms of our bags caused our tiny little arms to strain, but brought big smiles to our faces. We then scurried off through the crisp October air, or snow as Denver would often have, to the next lit doorway in our sweaty little costumes. We were on an important mission, a mission to get candy.
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’
It’s still summer out there. Yesterday, we came within two degrees of breaking the record high temperature. Today, it’ll be in the low 80s. But fall is coming. It has to, you see:
The candy corn is in the stores. People are pumpkin picking. Sexy Big Bird costumes are in the stores. Even I am doing drinks and dinner outside.
And the Halloween decorations are out. Kim Baker‘s even got her house decorated (as do half my neighbors, it seems). There’s something just this side of menacing from that spider silhouette. But, as cool (or creepy) as that photo is, the best part of it is the sure knowledge that fall is coming.
courtesy of ‘dracisk’
Summer is still there, still hanging on, but fall is coming. This leaf, heavy with rain water, is the height of summer.
This photo by dracisk is a good example of why I love black and white photography. The color in this might be great. Bright greens, I’m sure, and the water magnifying that, too. But the photographer chose to make this a black and white. And it stands out.
The details are sharp, the lens fading off toward the bottom. The curve of the leaf takes your eye to the corner, and the leaf’s arrow like structure bring you back to the area of focus. I could look at that leaf for a long time.
‘Katy in the surf’
courtesy of ‘MudflapDC’
Labor Day weekend is traditionally recognized as the End Of Summertime. School starts again, the weather (reportedly) begins to cool, and collectively we put away the swimsuits and get down to the business of life. In their quest to document summer’s last grasp, our pool of photographers did not disappoint: Many went to the beach and found some great ways to capture the atmosphere. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘dr_kim_veis [”o ]’
The VW Beetle. An icon of design, a symbol of a generation, and captured here in all its glory on film.
Flickr pool contributor dr_kim_veis [”o ] uses film well, capturing the Beetle with tones that are hard to replicate using a digital camera. The square format and the smilie sticker just add that excellent finishing touch to this shot.
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’
With the kids heading back in to school today in P-G and DC – and more starting over the next 2-3 weeks – you suddenly realize that summer is just about over. Which means the tourists are tapering off, the heat is going down, and more Redskin angst is around the corner. (At least the Caps start camp in less than a month, so there’s that.)
Still, you might be stuck in the office for your work week. And we bring the goods in photos for you to enjoy and settle in on a Monday. Just know that…it’s just getting better from here.
courtesy of ‘Tyrannous’
Ahh, the Star-Spangled Banner. It symbolizes a great many things about our country and our city: freedom, war, resurrection, preservation, complicated photography policies …
Often the subject of discussion among the DC photo rights crowd, the Smithsonian’s ban on photos of the Star-Spangled Banner was put in place in 2008 after the renovation of the American History Museum. The flag got a shiny new home and display case, and tourists got a shiny new rule. The Smithsonian is a generally photo-friendly place, so when it does break out the ban-hammer without explaining why, speculation can run rampant. (Among the crazier theories: the renovation was expensive, and the need to sell postcards so great, that they couldn’t let people create their own memories, not when there were trinkets to sell!) Continue reading
courtesy of ‘ekelly80’
Hope you enjoyed the last few days, because this week’s going to be a scorcher. We suggest some Monday morning therapy paging through some weekend photos, drinking the beverage of your choice, and hoping for a quick fast-forward to Friday.
Welcome to the dog days of August in DC… Continue reading
Courtesy Michelle Farnsworth
I am truly amazed at the number of photographers who call DC home. Many of them contribute to our photo pool on a constant basis; many of the photos accompanying our articles are taken by local residents who enjoy sharing their work through the Flickr avenue. And then there are others who don’t necessarily contribute through Flickr but still wander the streets, shooting as they desire, creating visual art through images of every day life here in the capital.
Many carry their art beyond images of the DC area in pursuit of a hobby or livelihood they love. On occasion, we take a moment to highlight the greater work of our area shutterbugs and this time we managed to snag Michelle Farnsworth for a quick peek into her life as a DC resident and photographer.
courtesy of ‘ep_jhu’
And a weekend it was. Spain wins, an octopus goes undefeated, we finally get rain, then back to heat, and as usual, our awesome Flickrati were out in force. Be sure to check out a new feature here on WLDC, and if you’re interested in being spotlighted, drop me a line.
Meanwhile, time to indulge in the weekend for just a little bit longer! Continue reading
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’
My pet project involves making sure photographers in the DC area are free to shoot without idiotic restrictions imposed by a sometimes-security-crazed bureaucracy. So it’s with some interest and outrage that I came across this blog post by local photographer Jerome Vorus detailing an incident last Saturday in Georgetown. Vorus claims several MPD officers told him photographing people in public without their consent is illegal, said he was being detained, required his ID, and ran his name through a database before letting him go. Um, what? Continue reading
courtesy of Paige Weaver
Ever since I started our Weekend Flashback feature to start off your week, I’ve become fascinated with the myriad (just for you, Erin!) of photographers in our area. There’s such a wide range of talent, skill, expertise, and perspectives around here that’s worth sharing, so I decided to begin a periodic feature showcasing our local photogs and their array of works. Because DC imagery makes up only a small part of many of our local photographers’ repertoire, I want to give them a chance to expose their broad range of expertise and work – and their personalities.
Kicking off this periodic feature is Paige Weaver, known on Twitter as Moxie_Marmalade. A baker in Chevy Chase, Paige lives in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area and loves to shoot – and eat! – food on the side.
So who is Paige Weaver? Where do you come from originally?
Well, I grew up in Dallas, TX and ended up in DC via Maine and Tennessee. I graduated college in ’08 and moved to DC for a job, which I quit last August to attended culinary school in New York City. The school I attended emphasizes health supportive cooking — how ironic now that I make desserts for a living. But if you need a vegan, gluten-free dinner party menu, I’m your girl. I hate parsley, don’t discriminate against wine that comes in boxes, and have recently become obsessed with the Civil War.
I’ve also been participating in Project 365 this year, challenging myself to take a photograph every day of 2010. It’s been a great undertaking because it forces me to practice photography every day. As expected, some shots are much better than others, but so far, I haven’t missed a day!
‘a summer romance’ by ‘Blinkofanaye’
At 5:00 on any given Friday afternoon in the summer, Jazz in the Garden is just getting started, and space quickly becomes scarce as hundreds of worker bees flock for a little wine, maybe a pitcher of (surprisingly potent for what you pay) sangria, a picnic and some tunes. It’s a grand way to spend an evening, even if by hour two you’re hot, sticky and a little closer than you’d like to be to the sweaty stranger who drank too much of that sangria.
Or you could do what this couple did: carve out a nice, cool space for themselves where the crowd couldn’t get to them. Sure, the police will come along eventually and escort you away (to the boos of the crowd), but in this moment, for these two people, none of that matters. All they feel is that cool, forbidden water on their feet, and all they see is each other. It takes a certain kind of guts to walk into a fountain and, ahem, dance like nobody’s watching. That’s the kind of guts we could all use more of.
We’re lucky Flickr user Blinkofaneye caught the moment so perfectly, with the fountain water glistening and half the crowd in the background oblivious to the scene unfolding right in front of them. He also caught the pair a moment later, hands entwined, proud smiles on their faces, and really, can you blame them? (Hat tip to Tracy Clayton, who tweeted the incident as it happened and also captured it and posted a play-by-play of their dance.)
The Way We See It, Brochure, 2010
Through their work, artists are able to convey and share their most personal thoughts and feelings with the public. And the photography exhibit The Way We See It is the perfect example of young photographers doing just so.
The non-profit AED’s Idea: Exchange is a new effort dedicated solely to promote dialogue and communication on social and developmental issues. AED is inaugurating the Idea: Exchange with the photography exhibit The Way We See It: Young Photographers Examine, Define and Change Their World, showcasing the work created by youth from D.C. and around the world who use the art of photography to “reveal their lives, speak out about social issues, and advocate for better public policies”.
Now that is inspiring.
The exhibit will be open Wednesdays through Fridays, June 18th through September 3rd, from 2-7 PM.
The Idea: Exchange is located at the corner of Connecticut Ave and T St, NW.
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’
One of the best times of my Monday is when I get to scan our Flickr pool for shots taken over the weekend. I never, ever know what’s going to turn up or what great things our contributors drop into the mix. Even though many times there are photos from the “well-known” events (like this past weekend’s Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure), it’s always a treat to find photos of other events, scenes, and discoveries our readers find across the weekend.
So enjoy this extra-big Flashback today, as our contributors were out in force and made it really hard for me to decide what to put into today’s roundup. Thanks to all our local photographers! And being a WeLoveDC photo contributor is really quite easy: join Flickr and start dropping local photos into our group! Maybe you’ll see one of your shots here one day…
‘Rolling Thunder Salute, Memorial Day 2010 Washington DC’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’
Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.
-Sir Walter Scott
Many thanks to all of our active servicemen and women, reservists, and veterans who put their lives on the line for this country every day. While we enjoy the Memorial Day holiday (which around here is the official start to “tourist season”), we do so in the knowledge that we live in a free country protected by those who volunteer their lives to pay that price. So with a heartfelt thanks, we salute you for your dedication and service.
Linger just a while longer before heading into the shortened work day with some great photographic captures from the weekend. Continue reading
Time is constant, it is unavoidable, it can be unattainable, and it is a commodity. When someone we cherish is gone, we wish we had more time with them. When a deadline is approaching we say, “If only I had a little more time.” People say that life is short, but what they really mean is that there isn’t enough time. We spend our days in the hustle and bustle, sending e-mails, eating lunch at our desks, multitasking, scheduling meetings, and doing everything we can to make the most of our time. Everything we do and everything we have done, everything, is in one way or another dependent upon time.
It was an amazing day when the first cave drawing was created, freezing a moment in time. What sparked in that person’s mind, motivating them to make a record of history? Was he aware that he had virtually defined the word “history” as we now know it? Was it hard for others to grasp the idea that time not only marched steadily forward, but was also made up of distinct points in the past that we could capture? Until that moment we only had memories of events that we could recollect by saying, “Remember the time when…?” Over the ages we began to invent better ways of capturing history, whether it was carved in stone, drawn on paper, or a painted on canvas, but these methods could only show a rough portrayal of the actual event. That is, until the invention of photography.
“Photography appears on the scene as though someone had found a way to freeze the water of passing time; appearances that were once fluid as water running through one’s fingers became solid objects.” – Rebecca Solnit