We are into a new year and I made my trek to Washington, DC once again to visit my former college roommate. We usually try to find something new each visit, which can be a bit challenging in the middle of winter – that is, between low temperatures and the lack of greenery. Saturday involved Alexandria, Eastern Market, and U Street. Sunday, we visited the Mall, via the Gallery Place metro stop and visited the National Gallery of Art, before having lunch on 10th street at Cosi. Between Metro fares and irresistible books, I might have spent a bit more than I wished, but I had a good time getting away and doing something fun with my weekend.
The next three photos were taken on our trip to Alexandria. We walked from the metro station down King Street and to the marina. We stopped in several stores along the way and had lunch at Five Guys. You’d think I would stop in a local eatery, but both times I have been to King Street, I have eaten at Five Guys…. go figure! At Book Bank, I picked up a copy of The Hat Book, by Rodney Smith and Leslie Smolan. Rodney Smith is one of the earliest photographers to make an impression on me. I remember his photographic exhibit at the now Fralin Museum in Charlottesville (many years ago) and his stylized work has always stuck with me.
The weekend was fairly temperate and we were thankful that we did not have to walk in heavy winter clothing. The nice weather let us enjoy walking down to the marina. Several seagulls rode ice shelves down the river and we sat on the end of a pier to watch them float by. We thought it was rather funny that they were being so lazy.
After Alexandria, we rode the metro forever to Eastern Market. The flea market was going on and we admired several things there. A potter was there showing off his wares and I really liked some of his mugs, but I resisted! At Capitol Hill Books, I bought a copy of the Henri Cartier-Bresson book by the Thames & Hudson Photofile series. Henri Cartier-Bresson is covered in photography history as a leading mind and artist in the movement towards photography as an accepted art form and method of storytelling.
Saturday night, we joined my college roommate’s friend for a band gig on U Street at DC9. Her cousin plays in the band The End of America – we enjoyed their performance as well as the Hearts & Spades. Both bands have a rock-folk sound and used a variety of stringed instruments. I got to meet members of The End of America and we helped them take some of their gear to their van. We also hung around and got to talk some with them about random topics. They are really cool guys. Their friend, Whitney, was traveling with them – he plays the harmonica and is an artist.
Kathy and I perused some exhibits at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday. We walked through the visiting Byzantium exhibit. I really enjoy illuminated manuscripts and the period’s style of painting. The intricate, tiny handwriting is just as impressive as the painted pages. I remember seeing an exhibit at another museum of old Indian(?) paintings with similar attention to tiny details, figures and patterns. The patience and precision that it took to create such works of art is always incredibly fascinating to me.
One thing that comes to mind when I am visiting DC with my iPhone is how photographers and artists alike are starting to find these phones as a vital tool and as a way to earn income. I think it would be neat one day to be a professional street photographer, utilizing both my iPhone and my film slr. Sharing photo essays about topics important to society and sharing the voices of everyday life. National Geographic photographers inspire me – as well as Henri Cartier Bresson, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Sam Jones, and so many others. I am an advocate for the concept that the photographer makes the image, not the device. There are poignant images out there that were taken with homemade cameras, camera phones, simple pinholes, whathaveyou. It is not necessarily how much you spend on your camera as much as it is about what you do with what you have.
A quote included in one of my newly acquired books,
“For me, the camera is a sketch-book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to give a meaning to the world, one must feel involved in what one singles out through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, sensitivity, a discipline of mind and a sense of geometry.
“It is through economy of means and above all forgetting oneself that one arrives at simplicity of expression.
“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It is at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
“For me, photography is to place head, heart and eye along the same line of sight. It is a way of life.”
Thank you for stopping by today and viewing my post! I hope you will come again.