On Tuesday I did a scouting trip for a future, more detailed shoot for my Virginia Project. Virginia has been involved in some of the most important phases of America's history and this building has been a part of each one of those phases. The wings on the left and right side of the core, original building were built in 1906. I had a chance to walk around the 'open' sections and came away with a good feeling about what i want to do when I go back later this year. I also went to the Hollywood Cemetery and St John's Church but I'll post some of them later. The first shot is from the front of the Capitol Building, which was built in 1785!! Of course there's a lot of subsequent history this place has seen. The shot of the desks is the old House of Representatives room in the center building where they met for years until the new wings were put up in 1906. The third shot is really my favorite...a worker taking a newspaper break from painting.
Today I visited Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA, the first winery in Fairfax County. The owner is a descendant of the original land grantee in 1716!! Doing the math on that makes my head hurt but over 300 years ago this all started, not as a vineyard of course, probably a farm that's been divided many times over.
I am doing a book project that will release early next year and I'd like this winery to be a part of it. This is the closest winery to DC, the only one in Fairfax County, and is steeped in the history of the land. An original building from two centuries ago is on the property and was renovated in the 1950s by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's associates. There are really cool places to relax, meadows with picnic tables, decks that overlook the vineyards and forests...and...the wine. They actually grow grapes in other places in addition to those grown on this property, but all in VIRGINIA! They have a wide variety of reds and whites and based on my (limited) taste testing, the wine is really quite good...well, actually it's excellent!! And they have a "wine educator" on staff who helps you understand the wine, the process and the grapes.
I hope to go back soon for photos of bottling, harvesting, processing and more. I also hope to visit without my camera since they have live music three days a week and, of course, wine tasting every day. Want a cool destination...Paradise Springs Winery!!
Today I went to the Anacostia River. I actually started in Bladensburg, MD, where there is a park with rental kayaks, canoes, boats, etc. The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) hosted a few of us on a boat ride from Bladensburg Park to the Navy Yards. I learned a great deal about the river and about the land around it. The watershed area of the Anacostia is most of DC, PG county and parts of other counties. Rain water and other liquid products are what makes this river a river. Consequently, there is not a lot of "flow" and the river mostly just sits...so all the junk and toxic stuff that used to go into the river would just sink to the bottom. Over the decades, well centuries, the Anacostia river just turned bad...really bad. But in the last few years tremendous strides have been made in cleaning up and reducing new contaminants. I normally don't take bird photos but I've included a couple in this sequence...the eagle is one of those who is in the Arboretum and has a nest right next to a webcam so every little bit of their lives was on the web while they were having baby eagles.
A friend recently posed this question and I realize that I have "gone to the dark side" by working a lot to get my prints into B&W format...I think that's because I'm influenced by another friend who shoots almost exclusively in B&W and whose photos are quite stunning. And, I really like the work of Ray Metzker who treated B&W in a way that brings art, contrast, life, and nature into moving B&W images. Nonetheless, i need to work more on my color renderings. I am still baseball focused for the next few days so don't have anything new to put up here but I did go back in time a bit to prove that I have been actually exposed to color photography...
This first photo is a simple shot of a storefront window in Harpers Ferry reflecting the store across the street.
The second is the inside of the locomotive called "Allegheny." This locomotive weighed 389 TONS!! Do the math on that....778,000 pounds...three quarters of a MILLION pounds. Now that's really something. There weren't a lot of creature comforts in the heart of this beast. Locomotive Allegheny in the B&O Railroad Museum in BaltimoreAllegheny
The day before July 4! And the weather is exactly what one would expect in Washington, DC...hot! hot! hot! And so I'm not going out too far...maybe not out at all. Once again I'm looking at old photos and trying to pull out the high contrast shots. This is kind of cool, looking over the Memorial Bridge to Crystal City. The steps you see on the left are to the Lincoln Memorial. I shot it at 8000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8 and 1/10 sec. I was bracing the camera on a ledge.