Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Photo courtesy of
‘National Harbor 2011.11.26 3.jpg’
courtesy of ‘JasonianPhotography’

A long exposure can make for an excellent photo. By keeping the shutter open for a few seconds, a photographer is able to pick up a wider range of lighting than in a fraction of a second shot. It can also give some great lighting effects, like the starbursts from the very bright street lights and spotlights. JasonianPhotography certainly shows us what kind of lighting is around National Harbor and the Awakening statue, does it to great effect.

And, of course, the photo helps us get into the Christmas spirit!

The Features, Tourism

Ice Ice Baby

IMG_1498ICE! penguins by Corinne Whiting

I’ll be the first to admit that planned communities and “town center” mini-metropolises aren’t really my thing. I find them rather soulless and frankly a little creepy, so I tend to steer clear. But on a recent snowy Saturday, I was lured over to Maryland’s National Harbor—that relatively new complex of colossal convention centers and hotels, shops, eateries and a man-made “beach,” site of the relocated Awakening sculpture that I loved to crawl atop as a kid (at its former Hains Point home).

The draw this past visit? A mini-city of ice created by forty Chinese artisans flown over to sculpt 5,000 blocks that cumulatively weigh two million pounds. I was intrigued. Despite fears of rambunctious tots dominating this surreal ice world, the experience was a pleasant one. Visitors purchase timed tickets to enter Gaylord National’s ICE!, housed in a tent on the resort’s property that contains a 15,000-square-foot “cold room.” To combat the nine degree inside temps, guests borrow XXL blue parkas before entering, turning the masses into a sea of super-size Smurfs (wee ones shriek in horror as they attempt to wiggle free; adults belly laugh, delighted by the silly scene). Groups then get their photo snapped by staff as if about to board a cruise ship, before slipping beyond the warmth into the winter wonderland. The vibe’s a bit cheesy, but charming all the same.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

The Awakening #41 by andertho

One of my earliest memories of DC was when I visited The Awakening statue as a kid.  I have bad snapshots of me as an awkward looking teenager sitting in a giant hand coming out of the ground, proof that we’re all tourists at some point.  Looking at those photos now makes me feel old, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would live here.  Rarely do people dream of living in Washington DC, but rather places like Los Angeles, New York City, or Seattle.  But as fate would have it, here I am, over twenty years later living smack dab in the capital of America (f@&% yeah!), just nanoseconds from being obliterated by a nuclear bomb.  I digress.

Sadly, as most of us know, The Awakening no longer resides in DC but rather at National Harbor in Maryland where it was moved last year.  Photographer Tom Anderson, a fellow Fotoweek finalist, does a great job of capturing the giant in his new location.  I like his use of black and white here to accentuate the negative space between Goliath and the unsuspecting little girl as well as the sinister looking clouds in the background.  Where does this story end?  Does the bearded giant pluck the girl up and eat her like a gummy bear, or does she escape his grip only to move back to the area years later to become a K street lawyer or a nonprofit worker?  We’ll never know.