There are times, like this one, when I might get distracted from what I’m intending to capture, something that is far more appealing to the eyes and creative sense. Such was the case when a soccer team assembled while I was in the midst of framing the planes descending to land at Ronald Reagan International airport. While seeing airplanes up close and personal can be a rush. The formation of enthusiastic athletes grabbed my attention long enough to want to capture their sudden burst of energy. Not wanting to be too intrusive or get hit by an errant soccer ball. I reached into my bag and grabbed my Canon 70-200 focal lens.
As I sit here in the library across the street from Shirlington, Virginia’s Busboys & Poets. I can’t help but think of all of the amazing history the restaurant/bookstore provides for it’s community. I took this image with my cell phone as my wife and me awaited our French toast and eggs Benedict. While I dream of spending hours and hours photographing the people, art, and atmosphere of the place with my Canon. I feel lucky for the chance to capture this little moment with my cell.
Imagine yourself sitting at a bar with nothing to drink, no bartender to serve you, and no alcohol to serve. That was me today at Baltimore’s Cross Street Market. Kind of cool. Don’t you think?
Since moving to Virginia, we’ve surprisingly made more trips and visits to Baltimore than D.C. or anywhere else. Yesterday we spent the day in an area called Fells Point. It’s a beautiful area on the Inner Harbor. We enjoyed delicious food, charming shops while avoiding a number of atrocious cover acts. It’s where I took this image and learned that my current walker is no match to the surrounding cobblestone streets.
After an already full day in Baltimore. We made a final stop at Graffiti Alley, which is located in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District directly behind the Motor House. It somehow reminded us of a miniature version of Long Island City, NY’s “Five Points.” (R.I.P.) Awash with colors and ripe with the smell of newly created art. We made sure to taking our time to soak it all in. As someone who grew up in graffiti culture and always admired what kind of messages would come from a can of Krylon. It energized me. Seeing that someone was using the name that I once tagged up with was just candles on my cake.
Earlier this weekend, we took a short drive to a fairly local Virginia market where we enjoyed the food, cool weather, and even got to talking to some of the locals. I took this image while waiting in an alley while my wife visited a nearby bakery. With the mid day sky at it’s brightest, I made sure to lower my iso and kick up my aperture. When I got home I played around with the contrast, amongst other tools, to get what I wanted. Below are the results.
Though I’ve missed my photo gear, I can honestly say that the last months I’ve spent living out of a suitcase have been educational. This time has reminded me how happy my trips abroad have been, mainly since I was traveling with the bare essentials. With the weeks closing on our condo in the rear mirror, the impending move is just days away. I find myself feeling grateful for getting to know my 50mm better lens and capture the many things that catch my eye and capture my imagination. As one who’s long been intrigued with light and shadow, there have been countless opportunities to be creative and work towards bringing my vision to life. From the day we arrived at our hotel, I became fixated on the lights above the bar on the hotel’s ground floor. Something about it reminded me of the Death Star depicted throughout the Star Wars saga. Just like the movies. I needed to find the right angle or spot to fire. Once I did that, I was able to go into manual and take my shot. Though I’ll be going back to work on my manual focus. I thought the images below were pretty cool, with only a short time left before moving day. I’ll be sure to be roaming the halls, looking for light and looming in the shadows.
I can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve wanted to pull the car over to spend an hour or two taking pictures. Knowing what my wife’s reaction will be, I keep my mouth shut and my enthusiasm in check. That said, there are moments and opportunities that I can’t pass on. Knowing how protective my wife has become and my not wanting to be made fun of, due to my obsession. I’ve been forced to try new things.
The other night was a perfect example as we were on the final leg of our trip back to the hotel. The colors and shapes in the sky caused by the setting sun were off the charts. (My favorite time of the day to photograph landscapes.) With no filters or flash and no intention of asking her to pull over. I adjusted my camera settings, leaned forward and took a few images to take home with me. I was somewhat surprised how well the images came out. With no reflection from our dirty windshield. I guess I found a temporary filter without actually looking of paying for one. Not bad. Not bad at all.
When thinking of photography and whatever approach I might decide to take in the near future. Much like life itself, I can’t help but think of minimalism. What that actually means? I’m not sure, but living out of a suitcase over the past months with a single camera body and a 50 millimeter lens has been difficult yet educating. Moving to Arlington, I’ve found a renewed interest in photography and documenting my new surroundings. With my newfound interest has come a desire to approach each picture with a new sense of purpose and focus. Asking myself, what attracted me to this image and what message, if any, do I wish to convey? As much as I’ve alway been to telephone lines and cell phone towers. I can’t help but think, with all these connections and gigabytes, we seem to be communicating less. Sure, we talk a lot. But, are we listening?
Every weekend my wife and me try to get out of the everyday stress of the work environment and whatever stress the work week and it’s related trappings. No matter the city we called home, there was always an outlet or a route worth taking. One that would allow us to expand our minds and realign our focus. Having grown up and lived in the boroughs of New York City and lived much of my married life in New Jersey, there was always somewhere to go and something to do. Moving to, and living in Seattle for four years provided more than its share of exploration and mind expanding experiences. With only a few months back east in Virginia. There’s still so much to do. Lucky for us, that desire to explore and experience new things still burns. As many days of exploring Virginia and Washington, DC lie ahead. The several trips to Maryland have been rewarding. I took this image of the Patapasco River in the midday sun with the only equipment I have with me now, my Canon body and 50 mm lens. While I’m looking forward to being reunited with all my lenses, filters and flash, shooting with the bare minimum has been a fulfilling challenge. Here’s to more weekend challenges, exploration and of course, documentation.