Sue Henry, Tulusa

There’s this hip little townhouse in Del Ray that you can’t miss. In fact, I would say that it’s one of the most unique pieces of architecture in this neighborhood. Turns out that the house is as eclectic and original as its owner, artist Sue Henry. She’s the owner of Tulusa, her “personal line of original block printed and embellished textiles.”

Sue Henry, owner of Tulusa
Sue Henry, Owner of Tulusa. Nikon D810, Tokina 17-35mm f/4 @27mm, ISO 64, f/7.1, 1/80 sec.

Sue works out of her basement studio, which is flooded with light from a glass-filled garage door. That light was the inspiration for the lighting in these photos, and it was a marvelous place to create portraits of her.

As I was admiring her work, I asked where she got her inspiration. “Nature,” came the immediate response. She went on to explain that her color palette is sort of at the intersection of jewel tones and earth tones, which I totally get. It’s warm and inviting, yet also sophisticated.

Sue Henry, Owner of Tulusa
Sue Henry, Owner of Tulusa. Nikon D810, Nikon 105mm f/2.5, ISO 64, f/2.8, 1/60 sec.

Her work can be purchased online at Tulusa.com or locally at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria. Also keep an eye out for Sue’s pop-up shops around town.

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Looking Up, Alexandria Waterfront

Looking Up, Alexandria Waterfront
Looking Up, Alexandria Waterfront. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 100, f/9, 1/250 sec.
Ever play Mystthat computer game from the 90’s? Yep, the creepy one where you always felt like someone would be behind you even though no one was there. Anyway, this photo reminds me of that game.

This was shot in one of the gazebos that is located at the end of one of the docks out on the Potomac River. Always look around you. Up, down, left, right. And, if you’re playing Myst, behind.

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!

Reingold Building, E Monroe Avenue

Reingold Building, E Monroe Avenue
Reingold Building, E Monroe Avenue. Nikon D200, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-S DX @ 31mm, ISO 100, f/8, 160 sec.

Having recently moved from Old Town to the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, I’ve had a change in scenery. Walks with my kids down brick sidewalks used to pass colonial and federal town homes. Now we walk the tree-lined streets of Del Ray, where bungalows and Craftsman revivals are more the norm. There are modern buildings as well, in the case of this building which is located just across the street from Swing’s Coffee.

I’ve been keeping an eye on architecture lately, and the numerous styles around town make for varied practice as I get more into this genre of photography. Time of day is an interesting thing when it comes to architectural photography. As always, early morning and late afternoon light is great, but I’ve noticed that you can get interesting shadows and light on buildings when the sun is higher in the sky. For instance, the shot above was made after the sun had been up for about 2 hours. Even later, midday sun presents its normal challenges but depending on the style of building, good architectural shots can still be made.