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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Dress, S Royal Street

Dress, S Royal Street
Dress, S Royal Street. Nikon D200, 50mm f/2 K, ISO 200, f/8, 1/250 sec.

Afternoon light highlighted this window display on the corner of South Royal & Prince Streets in Old Town. I love the play of light and color in this scene.

Christ Church Detail, N Columbus Street

Christ Church, N Columbus Street
Christ Church Detail, N Columbus Street. Nikon D200, Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF Micro, ISO 100, f/8, 1/250 sec.

Completed in 1773, Christ Church is a fantastic example of Georgian architecture in Old Town Alexandria. I loved the way the afternoon sunlight was streaming through these exterior windows, imprinting its own pattern onto the doorway.

Impressions, Old Town Waterfront

Impressions, Old Town Waterfront
Impressions, Old Town Waterfront. Nikon D810, Nikon 200mm f/4 AI, ISO 64, f/8, 6 sec.

Lights from the dock, restaurants, and boats shimmer in the waters of the Potomac River.  An exposure time of six seconds allows them to blur and become colorful patterns against the deep blue of the twilight sky reflected in the water.

Braddock Station Entry, Braddock Road

braddock-station-entry-braddock-road
Braddock Station Entry, Braddock Road. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/125 sec.

In street photography, I’m always looking for visual cues that lend interest to a scene. Beautiful light, colorful or graphic elements, intriguing characters, and decisive moments can all create that interest. I got a handful of them on this particular day. I especially love the tension created between the two figures’ footsteps moving in opposite directions.

West Marine, South Patrick Street

west-marine-south-patrick-street
West Marine, South Patrick Street. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 250, f/4, 1/20 sec.

I love photographing architecture and this building, while not a particularly interesting specimen, took on a beautiful glow at dusk. Twilight exterior photographs can really make almost any building look glamorous.

I happened to have my camera sitting on the front seat of my car (it goes with me almost everywhere) and I snapped this photo while sitting in line at a red light.

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).

 

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.

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.