Category Archives: Events

A Secret About a Secret – Photoworks Fall Fundraiser – Saturday October 20 @ Photoworks

Glen Echo Photoworks Annual Fall Fundraiser is just around the corner. The event will be held Saturday, October 20th, 2018 from 7pm to 10pm at Photoworks –

7300 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo, Maryland 20812

SecretSecretPworks2018

We are doing something really amazing to support our community of photographers and collectors and friends – with each ticket, while supplies last, we are giving away a box of 10+1 photographs by Photoworks faculty and community members to EACH PERSON who buys a ticket. So you’re guaranteed not only to have some wine, look at some art, learn something interesting, and support a great cause, but you’ll also leave with a boxed set of prints by some of the DC area’s best photographers! Win-Win!

This will be a fun evening of photography – we will have film screenings, a talk by Sarah Gordon, Independent Curator and Lecturer, wine and nibbly things, and lots of photography on display! There’s a great show up on the walls, Places We Find by Sandy Sugawara and Catiana Garcia Kilroy, that you can check out while you’re there. Donated items for the silent auction range from photographs by faculty members,  a home-cooked Italian dinner for four, a vacation cottage on Squam Lake, New Hampshire for a week for up to ten people, one-on-one tutorials, to autographed books and college application portfolio reviews. There are items in every price range, with items starting as low as $25, so you don’t have to be a millionaire to bid.

I have donated a print of the featured image on this blog post, “Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso”, an 8×16 inch palladium print hand made by me, edition #1 of 10, as part of the silent auction that will be held both onsite and online.

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I am also donating two one-on-one workshops in advanced darkroom printing and platinum/palladium printing, so this is your chance to get personal instruction while supporting a worthy cause!

Items for the silent auction are available for online bidding in advance.

http://glenechophotoworks.org/2018/10/06/10-photographs-event-online-auction-catalog/

For tickets to the fundraiser:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/10-photographs-tickets-50622631654

I hope to see you all there!

 

Come Meet Me, Get Judged!

Well, I’m not normally very judgmental (of people) but I will be judging Focus On The Story – 72 Hour Photo Challenge. To participate and get your work judged by me and my colleagues at Photoworks, just create an account at  EyeEm.com (its free!), upload your images from around DC shot this weekend, and tag them #EyeEmDC. Get it done by 9:00 AM on Sunday, then come down to the Johns Hopkins SAIS Campus at 3:50 PM to see the live judging!

CyclistRentalFisheye

March For Our Lives

I was downtown DC the day of the March For Our Lives gun control protest. I wasn’t actually there to document the march – I was there to see it and experience it, but not even as my primary goal for the day, so I didn’t shoot a ton of film. Regardless, when I arrived at the parade route, the students and parents from Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School in Florida were passing the intersection where I crossed Pennsylvania Avenue. It was truly moving to be there amongst them as they marched past. I’ll let the images speak for themselves, and just add that the closing image of the series says it all – Don’t just march, VOTE.

March4LivesNoMoreAssaultWeaponsMarch4LivesNotThoughtsPrayersMarch4LivesWillIBeNextMarch4LivesMSDKids1March4LivesNoFearInSchoolMarch4LivesProtectKidsNotGunsMarch4LivesVote

For those interested, I shot the entire series on my Mamiya RZ67 with the 65mm lens, which was really the perfect lens to use for this – I had enough room to get groups and action, but I could still get close up and isolate individual people. Film of choice was the classic documentary film, Kodak Tri-X.

Protests In Washington DC

Given the polarizing nature of the current president’s personality and demeanor, it should be no surprise that he attracts a LOT of protestors. There are always protestors outside the White House – for as long as I can remember, there was a 24/7 anti-nuclear weapons vigil in Lafayette Square, going back to at least the Reagan administration. The woman who spearheaded that protest has since died, so now the round-the-clock vigil encampment is immigration themed, if I recall correctly.

I don’t usually attend protest rallies or photograph them, given that they can be very sensitive events and I don’t want to be associated with anything that might go wrong when two opposing groups confront each other. Fortunately this is a rare thing in DC, but it does happen.

I was out playing tourist/tourguide with some out-of-town friends over the Martin Luther King Birthday holiday. We walked from the Air and Space Museum up Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House, then on to the Washington and Lincoln Memorials before finishing at the MLK Memorial. Outside the Renwick Gallery there was this character:

MeForDictator
Me for Dictator

Inside his white box, he was playing the harmonica through a portable amplifier. There was no discernible connection between his song choices and the overall theme of his demonstration, so I don’t know to what extent he was consciously protesting, making social commentary, or just serendipitously expressing the zeitgeist because his meds were wearing off.

Outside the White House was a different matter, and a much more pointed display of discontent. This was right after the president had made his “shithole countries” comment, so much of the signage centered around that.

ShitholePrez
Shithole Prez

I chose this image because of the profoundly ironic juxtaposition of the happy tourists posing for a family photo in front of the White House with the protesting woman in front. This is something you will experience here in Washington that I don’t think you see many other places – the cognitive dissonance of “oh look, we’re jazzed to be here!” immediately adjacent to “I’m righteously indignant and I’m not going to take it any more!” expressed over the exact same subject.

ResistRacistWH
Resist This Racist White House

One good thing about photographing protestors is that if you want to get better at “street” photography, they’re a great subject to practice on, because they absolutely want their pictures taken to get their message out to the larger world.

 

DC Inaugurates Streetcar Service (50 years after removing it)

I’m a big public transportation junkie, so when I heard they were finally launching the DC Streetcar on H Street Northeast (a public works project over a decade in the making and long overdue – the tracks have been in place for two or three years now), I was so excited I ran over after work last Friday to see it and ride it only to find out I was a day early! So I satisfied my urge and photographed the streetcar at the Union Station end of the line, catching it at sunset. The shiny new car reflected not only the setting sun but the buildings across the street, bringing the surrounding urbanscape out of frame back into the picture.

DC Streetcar, Union Station, Sunset
DC Streetcar, Union Station, Sunset

Here is a different view of the streetcar, waiting at the Union Station end of the line, looking down H Street. H Street was, fifty or so years ago, a thriving business district catering mostly to a middle-class African-American clientele. Then along came the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and then with the 1980s, the cocaine and crack epidemics. H Street was devastated.

Westbound Oklahoma Avenue Streetcar
Westbound Oklahoma Avenue Streetcar

Obviously now, not so much. It has transformed starting in the early 2000s with the real estate boom. Perhaps the turning point was the creation of a large condominium complex, Senate Square, on the grounds of what was originally a Catholic school and later the Capitol Children’s Museum. Now, pawn shops and lake trout joints are being replaced by artisanal coffee roasters, fancy pubs serving British-Indian fusion cuisine, and cultural outlets like the Atlas Theater and the Rock n’ Roll Hotel (which is not a hotel, but a bar and concert venue). Instead of a Murry’s, the neighborhood is now sporting a Whole Foods.

When finally fully operational (at the moment, the streetcar only runs less than half the length of installed track), the streetcar will connect Union Station and the governmental core of the city to east of the Anacostia River, a long-suffering neighborhood where good jobs and access to quality goods and services have been sorely lacking.

Here a Photographer, There a Photographer…

These are two of the wedding photographers I saw in action on my trip – I saw at least two more that I didn’t capture. All were Chinese – I guess it’s a thing now for Chinese couples to come to famous landmarks ( I saw this in Paris as well when I was there ) to get their wedding photos done. I don’t know if they were actually having their weddings in Rome and Florence, or just getting their pictures taken. I’d have loved to have asked, but the photographers were busy working and I’m not going to interrupt them.

I’m not at all surprised by the first location- the steps of Santa Maria in Aracoeli are a very popular destination spot for wedding couples. They were lucky that it was a quiet day – in peak season the steps are very popular with tourists, including pilgrims climbing them on their knees hoping for divine intercession to heal illness or get pregnant, although not so much these days. There are 124 steps (122 if you start on the right-hand side).

Wedding, Steps of Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Wedding, Steps of Santa Maria in Aracoeli

In Florence, this was the scene on the Ponte Vecchio, next to the Cellini monument. I know photographers will go to some lengths to get the shot, but this is really taking it to another level. I also observed a much more conventional photo-taking outside the Duomo early in the morning on another day.

Wedding Photographer, Ponte Vecchio
Wedding Photographer, Ponte Vecchio

The Maryland RennFest

I’m a big fan of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where people get dressed up in all kinds of reasonably (in)authentic garb and indulge in the fantasy of being in another place and time for the day. Costumes range from Renaissance royalty to fantasy characters inspired by Lord of the Rings and other sci-fi/fantasy stories.

While I often get tarted up in my own RennFest costume (I pass for a lesser lord of the Realm in my velvet doublet and tights), it was hot enough out that I decided this time discretion was the better part of valor and I would be better off in street clothes, just taking pictures. I wasn’t as photographically focused as I’d have wanted to be, pardon the pun, as I had a friend in tow who wanted to take in the sights. This was another photo outing where having the Rollei really came in handy, as people would quite willingly (if not eagerly) pose for the cool camera with the two lenses.

RennFest Fairy Girl
RennFest Fairy Girl

Photographing the fairy-wing girl was a hoot- she saw the camera, geeked out over it, and got even more excited when I pulled out my hand-held meter to take an exposure reading: “Are you metering me?? That’s so COOL!”.

I felt so sorry for this poor boy, out selling floral hair garlands from a hand-cart in the blazing sun. Black feathers in your hair, while they do provide some shade for the face, can’t be the coolest thing to wear when it’s approaching 90F / 35C.

RennFest Flower Boy
RennFest Flower Boy

I did take this one as a candid, since the Maryland Man was so deep in conversation with the lady.

RennFest Maryland Renaissance Man
RennFest Maryland Renaissance Man

The living statue was busy posing, like a statue, and would only change or break pose if you put a tip in her cup. A little girl of perhaps five or six years old was enraptured by the statue, and an adult woman who was monitoring the child had to keep admonishing her (in the gentlest and situationally appropriate tone) “Don’t touch the statue- she doesn’t want to be touched”.

RennFest Living Statue
RennFest Living Statue
RennFest Statue Girl, Profile
RennFest Statue Girl, Profile

Another cast member at the RennFest who was approachable, thanks to the Rollei. He did get a bit distracted by I think a rather buxom young girl in a harem costume passing by just as I snapped the photo, so his expression isn’t what I was looking for.

RennFest Pickle Boy
RennFest Pickle Boy

And yes, if you’re wondering, that’s a Pokemon figurine on his necklace. See what I mean about not hewing to historical accuracy?