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.

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Saint Mary’s Steeple, South Fairfax Street

saint-marys-steeple-south-fairfax-street
Saint Mary’s Steeple, South Fairfax Street. Nikon D200, 200mm f/4 AI, ISO 100, f/4, 1/250 sec.

Here’s a slightly different look at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old Town. The main facade of the church is on Royal Street, but this was taken from over a block away, on Fairfax. From that vantage, there is a perfect, clear view of the bell tower and it looks especially dramatic when silhouetted against a gorgeous evening sky.

MGM National Harbor, from Alexandria Waterfront

mgm-national-harbor-from-alexandria-waterfront
MGM National Harbor, from Alexandria Waterfront. Nikon D200, Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI, ISO 100, f/8, 1/2 sec.

As some of you know, I’ve been studying and shooting architectural photos a lot this past 8 months or so. It’s been a while since I’ve been down to the Old Town waterfront, so when I was there last night walking around, I was surprised to see that the MGM is looking to be nearing completion (at least from the exterior).

I happened to have my 200mm f/4 in my pocket (try doing that with any other 200mm lens), so I put it on my camera and propped the whole thing on a pier piling using my wallet under the lens to get the angle just right. Blue hour makes for gorgeous architectural photos, assuming you wait until the ambient light mixes with the man-made light. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite times to photograph!

Mural Detail, Mount Vernon Avenue

Mural Detail, Mount Vernon Avenue
Mural Detail, Mount Vernon Avenue. Nikon D200, 105mm f/2.5 AI, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/320 sec.

Living in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria has given me some new scenery on my walks with the kids, and the bold mural painted on the side of Cheesetique’s building is just one of the many sights.

I knew I wanted to photograph the mural ever since I first saw it, but it seems that to reveal the whole thing would make me some sort of photographic copy machine. So I’ve let the thought percolate for a while. Do I look for some interesting light? Light it myself? Use it as a portrait backdrop (keeping that thought in mind for the future)? What?

Then the other day it dawned on me, clear as day. Shoot some abstract details. Duh.

I took many shots of difference parts of the mural, which includes the Washington DC skyline, a train, and a derby horse with jockey. I figured the DC skyline made sense, and I knew that Potomac Yard used to be a huge railroad yard, but the racehorse?

I did a little digging into the history of Del Ray, and discovered that the St. Asaph Racetrack (closed since 1905) used to be quite the scandalous affair. The track no longer exists, but you can tell where it used to be from the diagonal streets that enclosed it (E. Mt Ida & E. Randolph Avenues).

 

Old Town Shoe & Luggage Repair, King Street

Old Town Shoe & Luggage Repair, King Street
Old Town Shoe & Luggage Repair, King Street. Nikon D200, 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 @ 50mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125 sec.

I’ve been on this architectural kick lately, photographing all sorts of buildings that I find interesting. I’ve always liked the curved element of the sign on this store, and just had to wait a bit to get the right amount of action in front of the store to make things a little more interesting.

Summer Window Planters, Cameron Street

Summer Window Planters, Cameron Street
Summer Window Planters, Cameron Street. Nikon D200, 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 @ 70mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125 sec.

I’m not around Old Town as much anymore since I moved to Del Ray, but when I do go I end up seeing different things. I feel like when you pass the same things everyday, you tend to become blind to them. That’s definitely a major factor, but in this case it was as simple as having to park on a street that I didn’t used to walk quite as much.

I love the patina of the brick juxtaposed with the bright colors in the planters. Texture, color, line, form. A few of my favorite things.

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.

 

Sunset Over 495, Jefferson Davis Hwy

Sunset over 495, Jefferson Davis Hwy
Sunset over 495, Jefferson Davis Hwy. Nikon D200, 18-70 3.5-4.5 AF-S DX @ 70mm, ISO 100, f/16, 1/160 sec.

Having driven Route 1 north into Old Town many times, I have always admired the view at sunset. Unfortunately, there’s really no good place to pull over and take a photo and I don’t usually have my camera with me in the car.

I decided to change that for good a few weeks ago and made it a point to have my camera with me. There’s a short stretch of shoulder between two exit/entrance ramps that allows for a really nice composition. So I pulled over, leaned out the window, prayed that no one would rear-end me, and made a few pictures.

Potomac Sunset, Riverside Park

Potomac Sunset, Riverside Park
Potomac Sunset, Riverside Park. Nikon D200, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, ISO 100, f/11, 1/3 sec.
I love photographing at Riverside Park, which is down on the southern part of the George Washington Parkway. There’s something exhilarating about scrambling down to the rocks and setting up while trying not to fall in the Potomac River. What follows is the serenity of listening to the waves while waiting for the light to change.

Long exposures are typically my favorites down there, showing motion in the water and, in this case, the subtle motion of leaves and flowers.