DC Wall Mural Art. Perfect for photo background.

We were looking for location for a shot in Washington, DC.  We found this wall mural on the side of a building in an alley near the Lincoln Theatre and Ben’s Chilli Bowl.  We got some good shots.  This mural has since been removed.  Glad we got the shot.
The model is Keniesha Cook.
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More wall graffiti in Washington DC

I told you so...

Wall Graffiti in DC

Reach out and Touch

Dupont Circle after dark–Night Photography

Earlier this summer a friend and I went out to capture nighttime images of a popular gathering place in Washington, DC –Dupont Circle. Night fall brings on a whole different mood and beauty. Some people seem more relaxed, some more suspicious – especially of cameras. Nevertheless, if done carefully some great images can arise. Pictures were taken without flash using only existing light.

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Vacancies

Fountain--The gathering place

Clothesline

A day in the life of a few everyday people.

Do you see people on the street and wonder what they are doing, where they are heading, what’s significant or happening with them on a particular day?

Well on October 22, 2009 I decided to take my camera and engage people I didn’t know. My plan was to ask them what was going on with them on that day. I went to a park in NW DC and had no success in the morning. I talked to a fascinating man but he would have no part of having his picture taken as he had an issue with the police. (Most of the time I ask people before I take their picture) I gave up and decided to toss the street photographer idea and went to the gym. Coming out of the gym I saw on my cellphone that someone had actually read my Facebook message about my self assigned photography project and was looking to see who I had shot. I had to do something. I ended up driving over to SE near the Potomac Metro Station. There I got better results.

I found 6 people willing to talk but it didn’t seem that anyone was doing much more than just enjoying a beautiful day outside. The closest I got to finding out about a big event was hearing that someone’s out of town friend was having a birthday. I was hoping to get a “I’m getting married tomorrow”, “I’m leaving for Africa in the morning”, or even a “I just got a $50 parking ticket”. True, if I had engaged more people I would have gotten more interesting responses. It is not easy getting strangers to talk to you and then let you take a picture. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t let a total stranger with no press credentials take a picture of me. Would you?

Anyway, on October 22 all seemed to be well in DC. Here are the responses that I got. Thank you to those who chatted with me.

Marley

Marley

Marley- “I woke up, brushed my teeth, did the basic things that everybody does. I’m heading to a job meeting.”

Adam

Adam

Adam- “I’m enjoying the weather, slept most of the day. I’m going to a coffee shop to catch up on some online stuff.”

Cecelia

Cecelia

Cecelia- “I just left seeing about a friend. I look after her every Tuesday and Thursday. Now I’m headed home.”

Thomas

Thomas

Thomas- “Today is a friend’s birthday — he lives out of town. Just enjoying the nice weather.”

Randy

Randy

Randy- “Just a regular day. Just skating.”

Bradley

Bradley

Bradley- “I’m out and about. Applied for unemployment. Cooking dinner later on.”

Senator Edward Kennedy funeral procession–Downtown Washington, DC

On Saturday, August 29, 2009, Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral procession traveled slowly through downtown Washington on its way to Arlington National Cemetery. I had the opportunity to capture these images as it passed along Constitution Avenue near 14th Street. A sizeable crowd of people wanting to pay their respects had gathered in this area which is near the Washington Monument. A thunderstorm was threatening and the hour was growing late, but the crowd wanted patiently. They waved and politely clapped as the motorcade passed.

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Hearse carrying Sen. Kennedy as well wishers applaud his life and legacy

Hearse carrying Sen. Kennedy as well wishers applaud his life and legacy

Kennedy family members of different generations, show regard and gratitude for the public.

Kennedy family members show regard and gratitude for the public.

Family members reaching out to acknowledge public

Family members reaching out to acknowledge public

Kennedy processional passes Washington Monument near White House.

Kennedy processional passes Washington Monument near White House.

Hometown Washington DC–More than Monuments? The Real DC

7th Street, NW heading south towards Pennsylvania Ave.

7th Street, NW heading south towards Pennsylvania Ave.

I was thinking about people who consider the Washington DC metro area home and their relationship with DC as an important world city.

Years ago when I was in sales with a major corporation a colleague came to the city on business. I picked him up at the airport and as we passed within sight of one of the monuments he asked which monument it was. I said it was either the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorial. He seemed to be in shock that I didn’t know specifically which one. Hey, I was driving and not looking that closely. Honestly, at that time I hadn’t really thought about it. I was born here and had been here so long that at that point monuments were just monuments and I had other priorities. Most of my relatives who had visited the city had been here lots of times and were no longer interested in touring the city. When my wife and I took our young son to the Washington Monument years ago, he didn’t have the patience to wait in line to get inside so we left. That was the last time I had been close to that or any of the other monuments.

I do currently have a much stronger appreciation for the city. I love it here. I am a volunteer usher at several theatres such as the Shakespeare and Ford’s. I go on tours, attend lectures, and am even a Smithsonian Resident Member. DC is my hometown and I am fascinated by its history especially Howard University and the Black migration from the south. I often see it as more of a small town than a “Big City” like New York and Chicago. I see a whole different world from just the nation’s capital and a major tourist destination. I am very curious about how the town folks from DC see the city and the relationship to the nation’s capital.

Surely, there are many of us who have lived in the area for 20 or more years and have never been or thought about visiting the Smithsonian, the White House, the Capitol, the Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetary, or the hometown landmarks. I know someone personally who was born here, lived here all her life (50+ years) and has never been to Ben’s Chili Bowl!!

Does it matter? I am really curious about how the homefolks feel about visiting the “official” Washington, DC. When you have visitors come to the city, where do you take them? What is the real DC to you?