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Carnival lights at night

The lights and colors of the carnival brighten the sky and draw one to the gates on a hot summer night.  This carnival is set up about once a year in a huge parking lot that also hosts a Walmart.

I haven’t been inside the carnival in years but I don’t that anything inside could be as wonderful as the view of the lights and colors that take over the night sky.  I go to the parking lot each year just to take pictures of the lights.

summer night carnival in Prince Georges County MD


Night light carnival scene


Have you been to one of these carnivals lately?  Ever noticed how beautiful the lights are?

Lonnie Dawkins Photography Website

Family Photo Sessions create Lifetime Treasures

By Lonnie Dawkins

I had the pleasure of photographing this wonderful family.  The session started in the family home  and then we took a stroll to a nearby park.

I was Kelly and Matt’s wedding photographer also so it was nice to reconnect and see the family growth.  Aren’t the children beautiful?

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Lonnie Dawkins Photography

Photo: Alaskan Summer-Views from the train-Anchorage to Seward

A ride aboard the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward is one that I would highly recommend.  It provided me with one of the most exciting and  unbelievable opportunities to make pictures.  In every direction that I pointed my camera there was something breathtaking to capture.

Lake view of sun going down in Alaska

Train passing fields with of glaciers in Alaska

Train going around curve and trees in Alaska

Alaskan Railroad train passes through tunnel

Tin house filled with sand surrounded by trees and road

three trees near lake with mountains in background in Alaska

Alaska landscape view with stalks of grain in forefield and beautiful sky

Everyone loves a beautiful cake. Half eaten cakes as art.

(Note:  added a new cake to the list. 2/19/12)

Everybody loves beautiful cakes.  I think that beauty can be found in half eaten cakes as well.  There is something about the contrast betweeen the touched and the untouched.  You can also see how much the cake has been enjoyed.

90th Birthday Cake half eaten

half eaten wedding cake

half eaten pound cake

half eaten birthday cake

Lonnie Dawkins Photography

Photography Tip No. 1 Only show your best work.

Often people take one picture and walk away. Take enough to make sure you have a good image. When you download your pictures or get them back from the lab, take time to edit them and decide which ones to keep or to show.

Consider the people who are going to view the images. Think about what would interest them. Nobody wants to look at a bunch of pictures that are repetitive or not interesting (except for grandmothers and not all of them). Each picture should say or show something interesting. Only keep and show your best. Also put them in an interesting order before you show them.

A picture that is weaker than another one takes away from the first one. If you aren’t proud of it or it makes someone look bad DESTROY it! Only show your best work. Don’t show all your pictures just to be showing them. Every photographer takes pictures that don’t turn out as expected but the smart ones don’t show them all. Good photographers only show their good pictures. Practice this and you will have stronger pictures to show.

The Scurlock Studio Exhibit at Smithsonian a Must-See

Picture of my father-in-law Alexander Davis (age 23 in 1945) taken by the Scurlock Studio.

Picture of my father-in-law Alexander Davis (age 23 in 1945) taken by the Scurlock Studio.

Information about The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise Exhibit

Today I finally had the opportunity to see the The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise  Exhibit.  It’s at the National Museum of African History and Culture , Smithsonian Institution.  The museum is located at 14th and Constitution in NW DC.  It is well worth the visit.

Have you heard of Addison Scurlock and his sons George and Robert? Very few people have and that is a shame!  In my opionion the Scurlocks are among the greatest American photographers PERIOD!! The Scurlocks photographed EVERYONE during their time which spanned the early 1900s to around 1994.   Addison Scurlock would put pictures of the famous and not so famous on display in the windows of his studio. Having your picture taken by Scurlock was status! In the exhibit you will see pictures of almost every famous African American of the time but also will equally enjoy the images of everyday people. The thing about Scurlock and his sons were that they truly took wonderful images that stand out. For example, I have seen lots of pictures of Mary Mcleod Bethune but the picture that I saw taken by Mr. Scurlock is truly beautiful and well done. It’s a good picture of her!!!

Addison Scurlock was also the official photographer for Howard University and that great institution’s history is well recorded thanks to him.

If you want to see beautiful black and white images of Washington society, businesses, families, celebrities, and much more please visit this exhibit before it closes and take your children.

In addition to getting to enjoy the photography I also learned more about Washington history.  Previously, I had never heard of Suburban Gardens which was an amusement park once located in the Deanwood section of DC or what a “Negro spotter” was. (You’ll have to go to the exhibit to find out). Also I had never heard of the Bison Bus Line.

Also did you know that if your family has been in the DC area for some time it is very likely that you own some photography by the Scurlocks?  You need to get that photography out and enjoy it.   The Scurlocks didn’t just photograph the rich and famous.  Everyday people had the opportunity to sit for portraits and the same dignity and beauty was brought to each sitter’s image. Above is a picture of my father-in-law Alexander Davis taken by the Scurlock Studio. It was taken in 1945 when he was 23 years old.

Hey, you must go and see this exhibit!  Go see the pictures and go learn some more history. Even while I was writing this note I just learned that the Addison Studio building is the same one that now houses Nellie’s Sports Bar at 9th and U Streets. Hmmm.

Do you have some Scurlock experiences? Maybe you or someone in your family was photographed by the Scurlocks or you remember going by the studio on 9th and U.  Please leave a comment and share it.