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Eastern Market

For those of you who have never been to Washington D.C., and may soon come visit, I have a tip: coming to see all of the typical tourist sites is all well and good, but as well traveled person will tell you, get off that predetermined path and find the places where the locals go. Such is the case with Eastern Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the city. Typical of any good market in a major city, Eastern Market sells local meats, produce, baked goods,and everything in-between. I love this place because people from all races, economic backgrounds, and different nationalities all congregate here for their various needs. It is a true reflection of the city. Built in 1873, this market has served the locals for many years. During the spring and summer months, venders line the front and sides of the building selling artworks, clothes, food, and even more local produce. On the weekends next to the building is also a great open air flea market. Back in 2007, the market suffered a devastating loss through a fire that almost destroyed the building. The market did not give up however, and carried on it’s business under tarps and inside tents until it was rebuilt in 2009 and, as you can see in the photo above, things are back to normal and the market is as good as new.

Even though I live in the suburbs of the city in Maryland, I still come here a few times a year to take in the sights and smells and to remind myself that yes, I did once live here.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 640, 1/160 @ f / 5.6

You’ll Never Walk Alone

As I sit here at my computer for what seems like hours trying to write a post that reflects my feelings about the loss of such a truly remarkable human being that was Nelson Mandela, I think I will forego all of that and post this photo of his statue in front of the South African embassy instead, as a tribute to a man that, in his long walk to freedom, never walked alone.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 100, 1/100 @ f/8

Cities in Dust

I took this photo of an angel that is part of a large fountain in front of Union Station in D.C. The thing that struck me as odd about the fountain was the fact that not only was it bone dry, but it was also filled with trash like old bicycles and just general garbage. The rest was in some serious disrepair. I certainly hope they revive this very old structure as I feel that it is just as important as the interior of the station that they seem to be forever trying to fix.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/450 @ f/8

Where The Vultures Are

Here on the east coast winter has come early, and as a photographer, venturing outside with my camera has become more and more limiting. As a consequence, I have resorted to carrying my camera out while on errands such as getting gas, going to the store, etc. This way, if something along the way strikes my fancy, I can just hop out the car and get a few photos, and continue on my merry way. Yesterday while on my way back home from the grocery store I spotted a large group of vultures roosting in a grove of trees that sat high up on a hill in the small village of New Market, MD. Since I only had a 50 on my camera it limited me on range as the hill on which they sat was fairly high and because they were on private property, I couldn’t just go waltzing in and start shooting. This relegated me to standing on the street and try to figure out a way to get a decent shot. It’s all about perspective you know. At first things weren’t working out so well for me, but then I thought I would try and and sneak around the back side of the trees which is on public property. I hiked down busy main street climbed an even bigger hill and proceeded to work my way through the woods to the other side of the trees the the vultures were roosting on. Before I got halfway through the woods I felt a sharp zap on my hands as if I had been mildly tazed. I looked down and saw this thin wire that stretched as far as the eyes could see and realized that I had just walked into an electric fence. Nice. This really pissed me off.

Instead of giving in, the anger inside me helped me focus my determination on how to correct this situation. This meant going home and getting a bigger lens. So I did. When I got back to the location, fortunately the vultures where still there. This time I was able to shoot with ease and get the shots I wanted. Now I know that all of this seems a bit crazy and maybe I should have cut my loses and moved on, but for me sometimes photography can be nothing more than catching life in a moment when no one else is looking or even paying attention and exposing it so that others know that while we are busy running errands or rushing to go nowhere, there are other forms of life that sit and wait high above us looking down and wondering what the fuss is all about.

Canon 5D markII, EF 70-200 4 L IS, ISO 320, 1/100 @ f/8

Frosty the Snowman and The Grinch walk into a bar….stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Yesterday of course was “Black Friday” and I for one refuse to partake in any of that madness. I did however, have a craving for a toasted salt bagel with cream cheese and a hot cup of coffee. This meant driving to downtown Frederick and going to our favorite bagel shop to get one. Afterwards Sheila and I were heading back to the car when she spotted a shop that she wanted to check out. Since the “Black Friday” crowds were in full force, We agreed to part ways. She would browse the shop in question while I and my camera walked the streets of downtown Frederick to capture the holiday melee in the streets. About halfway through my walk I saw these two waving at people as they bounced up and down Market street. Did it make me feel festive? Not really, but they did put a smile on my face.

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 100, 1/160 @ f/5.6

Come See The Antique Man

Last summer Sheila and I had a day to ourselves and we decided to hit some antique stores in Baltimore. There is a section on Howard street called “Antique Row” and we went there first. After about an hour we were at a lost of where to go next. Then I remembered of this place I discovered while milling about Fells Point on Fleet St. called The Antique Man. I had taken a shot of the front of the building weeks before, but it was closed so I had no clue of what it was all about. We got to the store during open hours and let me say, it is pretty fascinating to say the least. Now I’m the one who usually goes into these places kicking and screaming because I can get bored pretty quick. Not this place. Not only do they have your standard antique fare, but they also have a lot of crazy art, collectables, and my favorite – artifacts from various carnival and circus side shows including posters, banners and yes, a mummified two headed giant named Kap-Dwa. Awesome.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8, ISO 320, 1/500 @ f/8

Torn

The thing I like about street art is the fact that it comes in many styles. The piece in the photo above is paper glued on a brick wall. I actually found it by accident while shooting other street art. What intrigues me about this piece is the fact that it doesn’t seem (to me at least) that this artwork has deteriorated on it’s own. It almost looks as if someone did not like the subject and tried to tear it down.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/8

Looking up at the Stafford Hotel

This building was known as the Stafford Hotel in the Mount Vernon section of Baltimore. It was built in 1894. It is now an apartment building.

Canon 5D MarkII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/8

Structures

This is a shot of the store front window of a local hair salon here in Frederick MD.

Canon 5D markII, EF 85 1.2 L, ISO 640, 1/250 @ f/5.6

The Mayfair Theater

As most of you who follow me know, I am quite found of shooting old buildings and structures, but then who with a camera isn’t. The real gems though, are the ones that turn out to have a great and storied past, only to be left to rust or rot in place as if they never existed in the first place. One day while slumming up Howard street in Baltimore I came upon such a place. This is the Mayfair theater. It started its life in 1880 and back then it was known as the Auditorium. I don’t know what the entertainment was like back then was like back then, but considering the details to the exterior, I am sure it housed only the best plays as well as being a grand concert hall. In the early 20th century, some of the country’s finest vaudeville acts performed here. By mid century it became a movie theater when it got it’s name change to the Mayfair. After years of showing B-movies, it finally closed in 1986. There were rumors of bringing her back to her former glory, but sadly in 1998 the roof collapsed all but assuring that it probably won’t happen.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/250 @ f/8

Adams Morgan

This photo highlights the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood on Washington D.C. Many years ago this used to be my stomping grounds as it were, but sadly today this area has become something of an ultra trendy locale for tourists and college kids. Nothing wrong with that mind you, but back in the day it was more of a haunt for the locals. The thing that makes  this place so unique is the fact that people from all over the world call this place home. I find it nice that these folks find their spot among the souvenir shops and college bars to sell their wares. Where else can you get a Tibetan massage, shop at a Moroccan bazaar, eat a slice of pizza, get a Dominican haircut (whatever that is) and hit the pharmacy all in the same block?

Canon 5D markII, EF 50 1.2 L, ISO 320, 1/320 @ f/8

Neptune

I know that it seems that I have been on a black and white jaunt lately, and the truth is, I have.  As of late, color has not been on the menu for me. It just happens so bear with me while my fling with various shades of grey runs it’s course. I will try to post some color to break up the monotony, but for now let me present to you this photo of the Neptune fountain in front of the Supreme court of the United States. I got this shot while walking to another destination. The U.S. Capitol building is directly across from it. I almost never venture to these parts of D.C. for tourists reasons so I was pretty shocked when I saw it. All these years of living in or near D.C. and I never noticed it. The Fountain is quite large as it also includes two women holding back horses by the neck on either side. I have shots of them and will post at another time. Maybe in color as well.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 320, 1/1000 @ f/8

Mother and Child

I am a huge fan of street art and Baltimore has it in spades. Just wander around the right neighborhood where the buildings are in various stages of disrepair and all of a sudden you are surrounded by street art painted on brick canvases by artists known the world over. The piece in the photo above is one such masterpiece by an artist Known as Indigo from Vancouver B.C.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/400 @ f/8

Looking Up At The American Visionary Art Museum

This hand sculpture is an installation that is attached to the outside of the American Visionary Art museum in the Federal hill section of Baltimore. I first noticed it when I shot the Inner Harbor in the last post. When I first saw it I was at a great distance and I thought I was seeing things. Of course I can’t just let things go so I walked over to get a closer look. At first I thought “Why would anyone put this on the outside of this apartment building?” Then I quickly glanced around me to see if anyone was looking at this fool completely mesmerized by this hand that seemingly was about to pluck him off the ground and toss him into the harbor. I just stood there looking up at what seemed to be the hand of god totally forgetting the fact that I had my camera and maybe I should be shooting this thing before it actually moves. After about five or so minutes of gawking I did just that. I finally wised up and decided to pursue this matter even further by walking around the building and discovering that this was part of a museum and not an apartment building. Silly me.

Canon 5D mark II, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/160 @ f/8

Inner Harbor

This is a view of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore from atop Federal Hill.

Canon 5D markII, EF 24-70 2.8 L, ISO 160, 1/125 @ f/8

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