D.C.

Which way did I go?

Been on a Black & White photography kick for a few days now and really enjoying it. If I see something I want to shoot and process in color, I’ll do that I suppose. Still having lots of fun with my iPhoneography, posting daily to Instagram (you can find me there as @JacquesGude if you like). May take the X100 (and the iPhone of course) for a photowalk around the streets of DC this weekend to see what I can find. My D700 feels so unloved these days. Heh heh! I think the days of me lugging my DSLR and an assortment of heavy lenses around with me are coming to an end (except for URBEX shoots); more to follow on that topic.

To Paris…

Today, I offer another glimpse into my thought processess when I create one of my photographs.  This past Friday evening (11.11.11), after visiting Arlington National Cemetery, I headed to the movie theater to watch J. Edgar (I always enjoy anything Clint Eastwood directs).  Charles A. Lindbergh was a critical element in the film.  On Sunday, after hanging out with my brother (whose name is Charles), I headed into the District (Washington, D.C.) on a whim, figuring I’d see if I could take a decent picture somewhere.  But what would I photograph?  And where?  Lindbergh popped into my mind, so it was off to the Air and Space Museum to see and photograph the “Spirit of St. Louis”, the aircraft Charles flew from New York to Paris in 33 1/2 hours in 1927.  On Monday night, after work, I just could not seem to figure out what to process and post on Tuesday (today) morning.  During a Skype chat with my good friend (and amazing photographer) Bob Lussier, I decided I’d work on my shot of the Spirit of St. Louis.  Looking at the “canvas” I’d be working with (once I had run the several brackets through Photomatix Pro) and thinking of some of the great paintings I enjoyed last year in Paris, I knew exactly how I would process this one.  As some who’ve followed my work may have figured out, many of photographs rely heavily on chiaroscuro (check out the work of the Italian painter Caravaggio), the treatment of light and shadow in drawing and painting (and photography).  It’s a great way to get the viewer to spend more time looking at what you want them to see, while at the same time prompting them to wonder what lies in the shadows.

The End of the Line

When I left Germany to return to the USA, I was afraid my days of great URBEX photography were gone.  Boy was I wrong.  One of the first things I did was to link up with three URBEX groups here in the area, one based in Washington, D.C., one based in the State of Maryland, and one in the State of Pennsylvania.  Between the three of them, I figured I’d be able to satisfy my URBEX wanderlust.  I met up yesterday with the D.C. group down in the District to explore and photograph the abandoned Dupont Underground Trolley/Streetcar tunnels and Stations.  Man was that an awesome bit of URBEX.  I’m off with the same crew to the famous abandoned St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, also in D.C., next weekend.  Until then, here’s one of my favorites from the photographs I captured at Dupont.

The Great Emancipator

I still remember the first proper book report I had to write.  I was in 5th grade, at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.  I chose Abraham Lincoln as my subject.  I learned a lot about the Great Emancipator and always considered him my favorite American President.  It’s one of the reasons I visited his home and his tomb (separate locations in Springfield, Illinois) during my Route 66 adventure, paying my respects to a great man (I’ll post pictures from those visits at some point).  Though I spend a lot of my time living and working outside these great United States, I ALWAYS find time to visit old Honest Abe when I’m back, as I did last night, after most of the crowds were gone.

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