Braddock Station Roof, Braddock Road

braddock-station-roof-braddock-road
Braddock Station Roof, Braddock Road. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 100, f/8, 1/160 sec.

I see a lot of this roof. One day this past winter, I decided to make a picture of it. It was daytime but I processed it to give it more of an evening feel.

Catherine & Margaret Portner, Portner Brewhouse (Before)

Margaret and Catherine Portner
Margaret and Catherine Portner pose in the unfinished space that is to become Portner Brewhouse. Nikon D200, 105mm 2.5 AI, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250 sec.

One of my goals when starting this blog a little over a year ago was to eventually highlight local business owners and their businesses. It’s been a busy year, but I’m finally getting around to making this happen.

I reached out to Catherine and Margaret Portner after discovering their business through social media. The sisters are the great-great-granddaughters of Robert Portner, who owned the largest pre-Prohibition brewery in America. His brewery was located in what is now known as Old Town Alexandria, and the sisters have decided to launch Portner Brewhouse in Alexandria, 100 years after the original brewery closed its doors.

Portner Brewhouse Exterior
The empty corner unit which will become Portner Brewhouse. Nikon D200, 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 AF-S DX, ISO 100, f/8, 1/400 sec.

Portner Brewhouse will include an onsite brewery as well as a full-service restaurant specializing in German fare. Catherine is the beer guru and Margaret is the mastermind behind the food. The sisters have a lot of awesome ideas for the business including a craft beer test kitchen and mug club membership; in addition, they will be resurrecting some of Robert Portner’s recipes and plan to decorate the brewhouse with original Portner artifacts.

Portner drinkware
New and old Portner beer steins, along with some other artifacts from the family’s past. Nikon D200, 105mm 2.5 AI, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/60 sec.

The idea I pitched to them was to do a shoot in the space that would become Portner Brewhouse, and then another shoot once construction is completed. A “Before & After,” if you will. The brewery and restaurant is set to open for business by the end of summer, so you all can expect the “After” post to appear this fall. That is, if I can avoid spending too much time hanging out at Portner Brewhouse!

For more information, visit their website.

 

Wreath and Door Knocker, Duke Street

Wreath and Door Knocker, Duke Street
Wreath and Door Knocker, Duke Street. Nikon D200, 60mm 2.8 AF Micro, ISO 100, f/8, 1/200 sec.

Muted colors can be just as beautiful as bright, bold colors. This was an interesting take on the normal green and red that you see all over Old Town around Christmas. Taken last month, I’m finally getting around to posting this one.

Bridge & Sky, Jones Point Park

Bridge & Sky, Jones Point Park. Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 AF, ISO 100, f/11, 1/100 sec.
Bridge & Sky, Jones Point Park. Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 AF, ISO 100, f/11, 1/100 sec.

Sometimes you just have to look up…

This photo was taken underneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on a beautiful fall day. I’ve seen this image in my head a few times while walking there, but the conditions were never quite right.

If you stare long enough, the clouds begin to move.

Violinist, King Street

Violinist, King Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 100, f/8, 1/200 sec.
Violinist, King Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 100, f/8, 1/200 sec.

Sometimes the light is so good you can’t believe your luck. Other times, the light stinks and you need to create your own luck. For the latter, I usually carry around a small flash.

But in the photograph above, the sun provided all the luck I would need. This musician was standing right on the edge of some great late afternoon golden light. The sun was at the perfect angle to create interesting shadows and reveal texture in the wall.

It was almost as if the violinist positioned himself perfectly for a photograph, but I’m sure he was just trying to fend off the fall chill.

Man with Suspenders, Cameron Street

Man with Suspenders, Cameron Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 400, f/4, 1/200 sec
Man with Suspenders, Cameron Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 400, f/4, 1/200 sec

I’ve been pretty good about carrying my camera with me more often. On my way home from work the other day, I met up with my wife and kids for some coffee. Then we walked around town as my wife worked on completing more of this scavenger hunt, where she has to seek out all of these stores to get a card stamped (and hopefully win some prizes).

One of the stores was tucked away into this alley that I had never noticed before—the kind of serene little nook I love discovering. As I was waiting outside the store, this gentleman walked out and stood right where you see him. Thankfully my camera was in my backpack and I got it as fast as I could, before the man could move.

Most of the time I lug the camera around all day and end up not even taking it out of the bag, but moments like these make it worth the effort. As the great photographer Jay Maisel said, “Always carry a camera, it’s tough to shoot a picture without one.”

Lightpost and Window, South Royal Street

Lightpost and Window, South Royal Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec
Lightpost and Window, South Royal Street. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec

This scene caught my eye while out on a walk a few weeks ago: color, light, and texture. Going on walks with just a prime telephoto lens has really helped me to work on distilling a photograph to its simplest elements.

Weathered Door and Lantern, South Lee Street

Weathered Door and Lantern, South Lee Street. Nikon D200, 18-70 AF-S DX @70mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/80 sec
Weathered Door and Lantern, South Lee Street.
Nikon D200, 18-70 AF-S DX @70mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/80 sec
It seems like hardly a day has gone by without rain these past few weeks. Yesterday was no exception, and in fact, it hardly stopped raining all day. Regardless, my wife and I try to get the kids out for walks because sitting around the house starts to get pretty rough.

So we headed out during a bit of a lull in the downpour, armed with umbrellas, toys, and of course, my Nikon D200. I never really worry about this camera when the weather is bad because it’s built like a tank. I actually froze the shutter on it once when shooting birds on a 15ºF day a couple of winters ago.

I get a little bit excited about heading out during crappy weather because it tends to make for better photos. Clouds are often more dramatic, and in the case of rainy days, colors tend to look more saturated. Such was the case with this historic home on beautiful Lee Street in Old Town.

I wouldn’t mind owning a home with a lantern on the front some day.

Exposed Wall, Gibbon Street

Exposed Wall, Gibbon Street. Nikon D200, 18-70mm AF-S DX @ 70mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125 sec
Exposed Wall, Gibbon Street. Nikon D200, 18-70mm AF-S DX @ 70mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125 sec

On one of our evening walks with the kids, we passed this house that we’ve passed at least a hundred times before. Except this time it looked markedly different.

“Was that wall always like that?” I asked my wife. Definitely not we decided.

Nikon D200, 75-300 4.5-5.6 AF @112mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/500 sec
Nikon D200, 75-300 4.5-5.6 AF @112mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/500 sec

I had to do a Google maps street view search to even recall what it looked like before (white plaster or something), but now the original brick was exposed in all its glory- and with a surprise. I love these old advertisements that were just painted right onto buildings. It reminds me a bit of the sign painted onto the cliff above Harpers Ferry (photo at right). Lasting impressions from a time long gone.