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).

 

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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.

Repeating, South Washington Street

Repeating, South Washington Street
Repeating, South Washington Street. Nikon D200, 60mm 2.8 AF Micro, ISO 100, f/8, 1/200 sec.
When I started thinking about the premise of this blog, I told myself that I was going to be looking for images that conveyed great color, light, or texture. All three would be nice, and in this case I got it. This was shot mid-morning outside of a retail establishment on Washington Street. The sun was at the perfect angle to create this interesting array of shadows. I love the way they seem to interlock with the actual pattern.

It’s easy to pass these things every day and not notice. Keep an eye out no matter where you are—there are always great pictures to be made, even if only in your mind.

Afternoon Snack, King Street

Afternoon Snack, King Street
Afternoon Snack, King Street. Nikon D200, 60mm 2.8 AF Micro, ISO 200, f/8, 1/250 sec.

I look forward to taking my kids on their afternoon walk. I pack up a snack for them and often grab a snack for myself while we’re out. Carluccio’s is a fun little place to stop for a quick espresso and something sweet.

A bench provided the perfect backdrop for this photo, and I bounced a flash off the back of it to create some dimensionality on an otherwise overcast day. I was using one of my favorite lenses, a 60mm macro, to get close to this delightful duo.

Fractured Reflections, South Lee Street

Fractured Reflections, South Lee Street
Fractured Reflections, South Lee Street. Nikon D200, 180 2.8 AI-S ED, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/200 sec.

As you know by now, I’m always on the lookout for patterns, colors, and textures. Lee Street is lined with homes that have interesting architectural features. The sun was hitting the house behind me, allowing it to be reflected back clearly.

Ice House Door & Latch, South Lee Street

Ice House Door & Latch, South Lee Street
Ice House Door & Latch, South Lee Street. Nikon D200, 60mm 2.8 Micro AF, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/125 sec.

There’s an old ice house that has been repurposed as an office for an architectural firm in town. It’s a fascinating building (one that I’d love to see the inside of some day), and the door latch isn’t something you see every day. The late afternoon light was hitting it just right when I snapped this photo.

Chimney & Shadows, South Royal Street

Chimney & Shadows, South Royal Street
Chimney & Shadows, South Royal Street. Nikon D200, 135mm f/2.8 AIS, ISO 200, f/8, 1/320 sec.

The interplay of shadow and color is fun to look for, regardless of where you may live. You can find great moments like these anywhere. To me, this image evokes a feeling of warmth that is especially welcome on a cold, rainy day like today.

Window in Alcove, South Pitt Street

Window in Alcove, South Pitt Street
Window in Alcove, South Pitt Street. Nikon D200, 35mm 1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 400, f/4, 1/60 sec.

Photographers refer to the hour after the sun goes down as blue hour. It’s a magical time to be out shooting, as you can really play with the juxtaposition of cool and warm light.

I spent some time photographing this particular scene with different compositions, fascinated with the way the warmth from the man-made light receded into the cool blue of twilight. In the end, I decided I liked this composition where I omitted the actual source of the warm light, making it appear as if the window is being bathed in light from an otherworldly source.

City Hall Steeple, King Street

City Hall Steeple, King Street
City Hall Steeple, King Street. Nikon D200, 180 2.8 AIS ED, ISO 200, f/4, 1/250 sec.

You can’t really do better for light than the warm glow from the setting sun. We may not be seeing much sun for the next couple of days here in the DC area, what with the impending blizzard. Stay warm folks!