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Archive for July, 2009

90ish days of summer

I assure you, this blog is not dead, despite the fact that I haven’t posted anything in about two weeks.

The fact of the matter is, my photo internship at washingtonpost.com consumes the working week, and I’ve kept myself busy during the weekends. The problem is not a shortage of material. I have, in fact, about six photo entries and five other entries in queue. The problem is, the majority of those photos are not yet edited (some of them date back to late June, eek). As for the other entries — well, I’ll get to them! Cross my heart. Some of them will happen this week.

In the meantime, I’ve been accumulating material for a big potpourri post — basically, items that aren’t substantial enough to merit their own blog entry but that I’d nevertheless like to share with you. (Some of these are pettier than others.)

So, here’s some potpourri!

  • Three weeks left, and lots still to do

I have about three weeks left in Washington, D.C. It’s amazing how quickly this summer has flown. Of course, there is still plenty of work to be done…

Namely, I have three somewhat large-scale projects I really need to complete. Two of them are in conjunction with the other photo-pod interns and other .com departments. Both require a lot of research, too. All I can say is, thank goodness for Google Docs.

The other project is more weather-dependent and not as urgent as the other two. It’s rather disconcerting to see that the weather forecast for the next two weeks involves some significant chance of thunderstorms — every single day.

  • Metro etiquette — and other Metro notes

The Metro is an amazing Washington, D.C., institution. Without venturing into the various frustrations and annoyances that have resulted from the fatal June 22 collision on the red line, here are my general observations and thoughts.

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90ish days of summer

Two days later, I can now show you the photos I took for The Washington Post!

My supervisor Dee gave me permission to post my photos on Flickr and this blog (with some provisions). So, here are a few of my photos from Takoma Park’s 120th annual Independence Day parade. All photos are copyright 2009 by The Washington Post.

Takoma Park mayor Bruce Williams waves from the back of a 1903 Oldsmobile during Takoma Parks 120th annual Independence Day parade on July 4, 2009.

Takoma Park mayor Bruce Williams waves from the back of a 1903 Oldsmobile during Takoma Park's 120th annual Independence Day parade on July 4, 2009.

Maryland Governor Martin OMalley shakes hands with a shy five-year-old Jacob Petruzzelli of Silver Spring during Takoma Parks 120th annual Independence Day parade on July 4, 2009.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley shakes hands with a shy five-year-old Jacob Petruzzelli of Silver Spring during Takoma Park's 120th annual Independence Day parade on July 4, 2009.

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90ish days of summer

Happy Fourth of July!

Fireworks over the National Mall on July 4, 2009. Taken from a downtown D.C. rooftop.

Fireworks over the National Mall on July 4, 2009. Taken from a downtown D.C. rooftop.

Although, technically now it’s the fifth of July…

Quite honestly, my memory of Fourths of July extends to the days of bicycle-and-firetruck parades around the neighborhood and then skips ahead to 2006. 2006 was my first year on staff at Philmont Scout Ranch, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have the day off. For a few other staffers in the News & Photo Department, Independence Day was just another working day.

As for the next summer — also spent at Philmont — I’m not quite sure what I did during the day. But at night, some friends and I went to Eagle Nest to watch the fireworks show over Eagle Nest Lake. That night was also my first attempt to shoot fireworks.

My gear included:

  • my Canon Digital Rebel XTi (which is now broken beyond repair… poor baby)
  • my friend Greg’s 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6
  • a teeny tripod with bendy legs (kinda like this one)
  • the wall of a truck bed as my steady surface for the tripod

I shot on the bulb exposure — meaning, the shutter is open for however long I depressed the shutter button (sans a remote shutter release, which I still don’t have). Given all those factors, I’m still surprised my photos came out without any camera blur.

Fireworks over Eagle Nest Lake on July 4, 2007.

Fireworks over Eagle Nest Lake on July 4, 2007. The mountain in the background is Wheeler, the highest in New Mexico.

In 2008, I finally got the Fourth of July off from work. So my friend Stephen and I shot the annual Maverick Club Rodeo in Cimarron, the small village three miles from Philmont.

I’d never shot a rodeo before. But based on my experience shooting the Maverick Club Rodeo, I’d gladly cover another one, as long as it’s outdoors.

Then, of course, at night we all went to Eagle Nest Lake to shoot fireworks. This time, I shot with an XTi, my 70-200/2.8 and a decent tripod.

Unfortunately, I seem not to have saved those photos on my hard drive. Because my XTi started giving me ceaseless Error 99′s in April 2007, I used Stephen’s XTi to shoot the rodeo and fireworks. I’m guessing I somehow didn’t save them on my hard drive before deleting them from my computer forever.

Oh well.

Now, for 2009. I still don’t know if I can post the photos I took of the Takoma Park parade today for The Washington Post, but you can check out two of those photos in this washingtonpost.com photo gallery. (My photos are now the 11th and 20th photos n the gallery.)

However, here are some National Mall fireworks photos I shot from a downtown D.C. rooftop! This time around, I shot with my 30D, a Manfrotto tripod (from the office) and every lens I own.

The fireworks are launched over the Reflection Pool in the National Mall. At left, you can see the Washington Monument. Taken with the 16-35/2.8.

The fireworks are launched over the Reflection Pool in the National Mall. At left, you can see the Washington Monument. Taken with the 16-35/2.8.

Taken with the 50/1.8.

Taken with the 50/1.8.

Taken with the 70-200/2.8.

As always, you can view more photos HERE.

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90ish days of summer

ARLINGTON, Va. — This morning, I shot my first photo assignment for The Washington Post.

Today is the Fourth of July, which means that 233 years ago, a group of colonial rebels signed a piece of parchment that confirmed their resolve to break from their parent country and create a new nation. This also means that today in the U.S. of A., people celebrate by eating as many German/Austrian hot dogs as they can stomach, setting off Chinese fireworks and watching (insert country of origin) parades.

So I shot Takoma Park’s 120th annual Independence Day parade for The Washington Post.

I originally thought about taking photos and recording sound so I could create an audio slideshow. Then I realized that maintaining consistent levels while recording a parade would be above my learning curve at this point. So instead, I asked my supervisor Dee if I could shoot the parade for a gallery. To ensure I wouldn’t be stepping on the Post‘s toes in doing so, she contacted the Post.

Before I knew it, I received an e-mail from one of the photo editors at the Post. Shooting the parade was a legitimate Post photo assignment.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if posting photos (published and/or unpublished) on my Flickr and this blog would be within the Post‘s copyright and ownership policies, which is why you don’t see here any of the photos I took this morning.

But in the meantime, I can direct you to this washingtonpost.com photo gallery, which features my photos in the 9th and 18th spots (as of 8 p.m., at least — they’ll be adding more photos after the fireworks show tonight).

I hope I can share more photos with you on this blog and my Flickr! As it is, though, I’m so excited to have a photo byline again, and plan to pitch more photo ideas and hopefully get more opportunities and fieldwork this summer.

(Why the ARLINGTONG, Va. dateline? Because I’m in my last half-hour or so for the day in the washingtonpost.com newsroom.)

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