Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

NMNH Butterflies and Plants Exhibit Opening Tomorrow

Get your cameras ready, local photographers. A new exhibit, Butterflies and Plants: Partners in Evolution, will be opening tomorrow at the National Museum of Natural History. According to their website, the flippy-flappies and the greeny-weenies will be hosted in “one hall, two exhibits”. The first exhibit, Partners in Evolution, is free just like every other Smithsonian offering and is an “exploration into”…*yawn*…”how insects and other animals have co-evolved with plants”. The Butterfly Pavilion is where the real fun begins, however you will have to pay $6 if you’re an adult like I am (sometimes), $5.50 if you’re a senior like Carl, $5 for members, and $4.50 for groups of 10 or more. But wait! If you can somehow swing into the exhibit on a Tuesday, it will cost you nothing. Be prepared to be swarmed by lots of beautiful butterflies.

If you thought the National Geographic frog exhibit was cool, wait until you check this out. From a photography standpoint, I’d recommend a fast, long lens (maybe a 70-200mm f/2.8 or a macro lens if you’ve got one) and a high ISO setting. Sometimes you’re lucky to find a butterfly at a complete standstill at these types of exhibits, but usually you’ll need a fast shutter speed to get a clean shot. And please, post any and all of your shots to our Metroblogging Washington DC Flickr Pool!

Photo by Mangiwau

Ghosts at Clarendon

Ghosts in Clarendon IMGP0138
I was at Clarendon the other night and was surprised at not only how I wasn’t quite freezing to death in the middle of February, but also how clear and serene the evening seemed to be, even right outside the Metro station. What better time to do a little nighttime photography?

I hadn’t planned on this evening activity and thus did not have a tripod with me, but I took advantage of a newspaper box for support and did a few different exposures, ending with this one, which was eight seconds at f13, ISO 100, and I think the best of them all. Read more about nighttime photography here.

What’s your favorite place to get some after-dark snapshots?

DC’s Getting Smart

As if DC wasn’t smart enough, we seem to be getting even smarter. Aren’t we considered to be the most educated city on the planet or sumthin’? Well leave it to us to be early adopters of the space saving, environmentally friendly Smart car. Made by Mercedes and starting at just $11,590, this little scooter is likely to be the next Mini Cooper, that is, you’re going to start to see them zooming around everywhere. I remember the first time I saw one of these in London about five years ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “You can actually drive that thing? A grown adult can actually fit in there?” Amazingly, they have more room inside than you might think, although you probably won’t be using it to take that new 50″ flat screen TV home from Costco. The beauty of these cars, especially for those of us who have to deal with parallel parking on a Friday night, is that they’ll fit into the smallest of spots that even a Mini couldn’t fit into.

While probably not the safest car to be in with a Hummer speeding behind you, the Smart is a brilliant car designed for city dwellers like us and I expect to see them flood the area over the next few years.

Photo by yospyn.

Last Chance – Ansel Adams

Sunday is the last day to see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery . Over 125 of his fantastic photos are featured in the exhibit, including many from his trips to the Grand Tetons (pictured), Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas.

Much of the art displayed is from his personal collection, which is amazing to contemplate in this day of digital photography. The Mysterious M and I saw the exhibit back in October and it’s just inspiring even to amateurs such as myself. And frankly, I was more impressed with the Adams exhibit than the Leibovitz one next door (that one already closed up shop).

But that’s probably due more to the horrendous crowd that snaked through there – when strangely, the Adams one was all but ignored that day.

No matter. If you’ve not had a chance, go. Sunday’s the last day.


A relatively new concept or methodology in the world of photography is that of HDR (High Dynamic Range) images. Let me begin by saying that I am by no means a master of creating HDR photos, but I understand the basic concept and I think it’s worth sharing with those of you who are in the dark, no pun intended.

DC Flickr Meetup & Photowalk

In the spirt of some of our lovely Washington-area photography of late, I was excited when I saw a post on Upcoming about a DC Meetup and Photo Walk for local Flickr folks.

On January 27, the shutterbugs will assemble at 2:00 at Rocket Bar. At 4:00, they will set off on a photo walk to snap some city shots. (Tip: You are going to want some fingerless gloves to operate your camera and maintain some warmth. Trust me.)

More information can be found on the Flickr discussion board.

If you go, be sure to let us know. We would love to see your lovely photos of our lovely town!

Abstract DC

I’m always impressed when a local photographer finds a way to show one of our beloved monuments in a new way or with a new light. Flickr user jtnhogs does just that with this photo taken behind the Lincoln Memorial. Captured at dusk, the sky is still blue, setting up a great rule of thirds photo. With the top of the memorial peaking over the top and the streak of car lights below, he’s created a very cool shot. This makes me want to take my camera and tripod out for some night shooting. Eh, maybe when it’s a little warmer.

Exposed 2008 Announced!

If you missed last year’s Exposed show, then now’s the time to get planning! DCist today announced their plans for Exposed 2008, which will take place March 7th-15th at Civilian Art Projects in Penn Quarter. With a friendly $5 entry fee, and a request of only 25% of final sale profits, Exposed is a great way to get your photos seen without having to come up with a bundle in jury fees.

Check out their new Flickr Group for Entries, and make sure to fill out the entry form.

And remember: unless you can capture it on fire, the Washington Monument is a bad subject.

Flickring around DC

I know that most of us here are avid Flickr users, but I don’t know if I’m the only DC metblogger here who uses their geotagging feature or not. I hope not, since I’ve just discovered – through a post on reader Justin Thorpe’s blog – that Flickr has enhanced the way you can see those tagged images by offering Flickr Places.

The DC Flickr Places page has a neat selection of shots, though they are kinda heavy on the touristy and flashy stuff, like this shot of the 4th of July fireworks behind the Washington Monument. It’s fun, though, to click through on those shots and see the “Taken in Washington, District of Columbia” under the Additional Information header on the right, where the link will show you that user’s local shots.

The screen full of DC entries has one minor flaw, in my opinion, in that it’s not immediately obvious how you move to another block of photos. See the screengrab here with the block of shots? Those left and right arrows are only visible once you mouse over them, making it not immediately obvious there’s more than one bunch of shots when you first load the page. Personally I’d have made them always visible, but they got bought for a bazillion dollars by Yahoo whereas I’m sitting in a cube, so what the hell do I know? So just realize – there’s more than those 12 shots to page through.

This is my fave so far.

Annie Leibovitz at The Corcoran Gallery of Art

Annie Leibovitz is an icon of modern photography. Building her career from scratch, she has become one of the most recognized, sought after, and important photographers in the world. Over the span of her career she has photographed countless celebrities including Demi Moore, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Robert Dinero, and Scarlett Johansson. She has worked for such magazines as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Vogue and created ad campaigns for The Gap, American Express, and the Milk Board. She was designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Magazine has called her one of the “innovators of our time”. She has photographed the last two sitting presidents and many of their cabinet members. Hell, she recently photographed the Queen of England claiming that “they had fun” during the shoot. When asked by a reporter if she has a “dream shoot”, that is someone she’s been dying to work with, she sort of scoffed at the question. From a professional photographer’s point of view, her life has been a dream shoot.

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