Elevator, Torpedo Factory

Elevator, Torpedo Factory
Elevator, Torpedo Factory. Nikon D200, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/80 sec.

I love this elevator. It has that perfect creepy institutional aura.

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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.

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.

Street Performer, Old Town Waterfront

Street Performer, Old Town Waterfront
Street Performer, Old Town Waterfront. Nikon D200, Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF Micro, ISO 100, f/4, 1/250 sec.

I’ve tried making pictures of this particular performer in the past, but had never come up with something that I liked. He twirls a baton and I’ve tried to capture that action. The main problem is that he’s usually standing in front of a bunch of trash cans, so it’s not the most flattering background.

Yesterday, I realized that what interested me most about him was his face, and to a lesser degree, his hat. So I asked him if he wouldn’t mind me coming in close for a portrait. He speaks very little English (as far as I can tell) so there was a bit of pantomiming on my part to get him to understand what I wanted him to do.

I like this shot the best out of any I’ve taken of him so far, but I’d like to try more in the future. He has a great face, and is quite an interesting character.

Artist Mark Parmelee, Alexandria Waterfront

Artist Mark Parmelee, Alexandria Waterfront
Artist Mark Parmelee, Alexandria Waterfront. Nikon D810, 50mm f/2 K, ISO 64, f/4, 1/1600 sec.

The Old Town Waterfront attracts musicians, artists, and street performers of all types. That’s part of the reason why I keep going there with my camera—you never know what you’re going to get.

As a street photographer, there are times you want to remain innocuous, even invisible. When it comes to artists and performers, I often feel that is the wrong approach. If the tables were turned, I know I’d feel uncomfortable working on my craft if I could feel the presence of a photographer lurking around me. So, as is the case with a lot of my photographs of performers, I introduced myself and asked if he wouldn’t mind me taking a few pictures. Unless the person says no (which is rare), it allows me to feel comfortable to shoot many different angles and moments. It also sets the artist at ease knowing that I’m not a total creeper!

Finally, for me, it’s about creating a connection. You never know where these connections may lead, if only to a pleasant exchange between artists.

Yellow & Blue, Alexandria Waterfront

Yellow & Blue, Alexandria Waterfront
Yellow & Blue, Alexandria Waterfront. Nikon D810, 50mm f/2 K, ISO 64, f/8, 1/320 sec.

This is why I try to carry a camera with me whenever possible.

Street photography is often frustrating, but at times opportunities just fall right in your lap. I doubt this girl purposefully parked herself right in front of these umbrellas that perfectly matched her skirt, but I am glad she did it! The sky was also a lovely shade of blue, providing a nice color contrast to the scene.

Oar Sanding, Alexandria Seaport Foundation

oar-sanding-alexandria-seaport-foundation
Oar Sanding, Alexandria Seaport Foundation. Nikon D200, 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 100, f/2, 1/160 sec.

I met Evan Waksler while out on a stroll with my kids along the Alexandria Waterfront. He was working on sanding down the rough spots on a newly made oar, a tedious task for sure. Evan is the director of the Seaport Center, the floating workshop of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. ASF is a wonderful non-profit organization here in town that teaches youth the art and craft of shipbuilding. Go check out their website!

Stormy Dock, Old Town Waterfront

Stormy Dock, Old Town Waterfront
Stormy Dock, Old Town Waterfront. Nikon D200, 18-70 3.5-4.5 AF-S DX @ 31mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/50 sec.

A storm was on its way out several days ago and, seeing as I hadn’t been out shooting as much recently, I decided it was the perfect time to get out and try to make some pictures. It turned out that the light was absolutely gorgeous everywhere I looked, so I was really glad I made the effort to leave the house!

The shot above was made shortly before sunset, so the low setting sun was reflecting off all of the clouds to the east. As a result, everything beneath was bathed in a golden glow from above. I took a shot very similar to this one over the winter and it’s interesting to compare the two. See below:

Wintry Dock, Old Town Waterfront
Wintry Dock, Old Town Waterfront. Nikon D200, 35mm 1.8 AF-S DX, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/100 sec.

Fireboat & Rainbow, Potomac River

Fireboat & Rainbow, Potomac River
Fireboat & Rainbow, Potomac River. Nikon D200, 180mm 2.8 AIS ED, ISO 200, f/8, 1/500 sec.

It’s pretty fun to sit and watch the Alexandria Fire Department show off, although I’m sure they have a good reason for these exercises! The sun was hitting the scene just right, forming a rainbow in the mist from the stream of water.