It has been nearly a month since the governments of DC, Maryland, and Virginia issued stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus, and area photographers are doing their best to capture moments within the constraints of the “new normal.” Some take a photojournalistic approach: showing the masked faces, deserted streets, and empty shelves that were once unheard of, but which have become all too familiar. Others find peace in the natural world. Still others break the monotony of confinement and daily Zoom meetings by dressing up or starting a new project.
This is the view of my window in my room. Usually, I would miss the
various cloud formations that happen from sunrise to sunset due to
having a 9 to 5. But given the quarantine I know one thing, the
outside still appears beautiful. (Anupam’s IG: @nupambphoto)
This picture was taken last month early morning with a friend in
Harpers Ferry, far away from the crowd of the cities while practicing
the most amount of social distancing we could at the time. It was a
In my day to day musings outside of work, I’m getting more time to
learn something new and enough time!
I’m really new to photography, but I’m loving wildlife! All my shots are from Huntley Meadows. I caught this little muskrat having lunch one afternoon, munching on the greenery in the water. (Teresa’s IG: @tbryant13)
I caught this Osprey taking a branch for his nest. When he flew over, it looked like he was riding a broom!
And I saw this spotted turtle while walking the trails at Huntley after a rain storm. The shell was mostly out of the water when he stuck his head up. The sun was shining brightly through the trees and I think the reflection in the water made a cool shot!
I’m submitting three images. Two are of an American Robin feeding her chicks. The bird made a nest next door and I’ve been checking in to see the progress. Today I noticed the chicks and got a few snaps. (Hugh’s IG: @dccitycyclist)
My third image is of a church group playing brass instruments in a church parking lot on Easter Sunday. I heard sounds while out walking and found myself walking to the United House of Prayer for All People. The music reminded my of a New Orleans band. It was a great moment to stumble upon.
I took the picture of the woman in front of the flowers because she was by herself in front of the pretty flowers. There was a bit of sadness in the moment for me. (Rodney’s IG: @rodneydcunningham)
I took the picture of the two guys because there was a large gap between the two of them. For me, it represented how so many people feel distant from each other now.
I am submitting a picture of me in a 1980’s bridesmaid dress; also known as a ballgown. I was feeling rather trapped at home, tired of the Zoom meetings and needed some kind of diversion. So I raided my own closet. (Cindy’s IG: @cindygfrank)
I’m submitting three photos, taken ’round the neighborhood recently, to remind myself that it’s still spring out here. (Aurelia’s IG: @glennaurelia)
I’ve relied on a one-block radius from my house for most of my photo inspiration of late. Last week, I saw some neighbors sitting outside, so I ran out with a long lens and asked if they’d mind posing for me. They kindly agreed. (Miki’s IG: @mikijourdan)
On an early morning walk, this cat was perfectly positioned in a window, as if just waiting for someone to come by with a camera.
Over the past several weeks I have been spending my time photographing the wildlife which I encounter along Rock Creek and the Potomac River. (Rob’s IG: @osoikame)
Luckily for us, we adopted Eleanor Roosevelt on Valentines Day. She has kept us on our toes and poked us for constant walks outside. Right now with two humans home, its a great time to be a dog! (Chris’ IG: @laskeysnaps)
I’ve been sourcing things from around the apartment to create still life images to stay creative and behind the camera as well. I have a great window in my apartment that I can use to track light at different times during the day, which can create different moods with the changing light source.
Living in Capitol Hill, many of the frequent walks we take loop around the Capitol. I’ve always loved this specific view of the Library of Congress and have photographed it several times, but never with so few people.
I sent my camera out for repair just before we locked down and it’s now being held hostage. So my photos are all a bit fuzzy with the camera I’m using, but that kind of matches my head these days. I shoot during my daily 5 pm outing with my husband. I call it our Sandy Walk, as I misheard him saying “sanity” the first day. Sometimes it’s distressing to see how much life is still on the streets, knowing it translates into illness and death. (IG: @marcislindsay)
Sign of the times. (Morgan’s 500px site)
I’ve heard that during times of great uncertainty, you should focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. For me that advice translates to (finally) practicing some form of meditation daily, eating more intentionally, and getting ‘away from the things of man’ (with camera in hand, of course.) (Cynthia’s website)
On a recent hike near my house I started following this little fellow. He was aware of my presence, but not concerned. Then he darted up the backside of a nearby tree. When his head popped out again it looked like he was saying, “I see you seeing me.” I’m finding that by being forced to pull back and slow down I, too, am really seeing others and I see them seeing me.
Having no kids, my husband and I never worried too much about planning meals in advance, nor even thought about groceries until we basically ran out of everything. Even the actual act of grocery shopping was more inspiration than list driven. In short, we never gave groceries much thought. But now, we must decide on grocery requirements at least a week in advance. And when picking up the food, I experience a mixture of anxiety, empathy, and gratitude. I hope after this shelter in place is over, I will forget the anxiety, but remember the empathy and the gratitude.
As my access to the world—at large—has decreased, I’m trying to focus more on the world of opportunities in the little things all around me.
In this zip code, the majority of households do not have a car, but most of the public street space is devoted to cars and car storage. Sidewalks can be so narrow that it’s hard to stay physically distant, if even two folks try to pass each other. I’m grateful to the community members who got so fed up that they took matters into their own hands, creating this awesome Pandemic Expanded Sidewalk. And am thrilled that Mayor Bowser will finally expand some sidewalks officially!! (Angela’s IG: @angelaon)
This block of East Capitol Street was car-free last weekend, so community members enjoyed the safe walking and biking!
On a normal warm April Sunday, this spot would be packed with kites, tourists, and picnics. These days locals use the National Mall, with its relatively open spaces, for physically distant exercise.
All of these photos were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a great experience to only walk two blocks from my apartment to the Four Mike Run Park in Arlington and capture all the beautiful wildlife. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for three years and didn’t take the time until this month to notice the variety and abundance of wildlife in the area. They offer a sense of excitement and adventure close to home. (James’ IG: @james_nelson_jr; James’ website)
Bubba’s weekly IG video chat with his uncle. (Van’s IG: @meeestermang)
This was a food run where I had to pause and soak in the urban landscape and accompanying vegetation.
View from second floor at work. Whereas I’m usually frustrated with Fairfax County denizen’s inability to parallel park (in such huge spaces no less), this was a more a peaceful scene to gaze at.
(Kelly’s IG: @flipflopcaravan)
Staying in isn’t easy for me. I am not endangering others and I am not going to many places other than the obvious: food, gas, pet food etc. I am however making it to some of my secret/sacred places to make work. I’ve recently decided to shoot film again and these are all from the last week. They are all shot on either 35mm or 6×6 medium format. All are at home, at a restaurant for pick up, or at a special uninhabited place where I like to shoot. Getting out and making work is what keeps me sane. In this time where I as a working photographer have zero work, appreciate the ability to get out and just make work without boundaries or without pressure.
(Thomas’ IG: @tompetzphoto; website)
With my favorite subjects (performers and protestors) no longer available, I’ve been taking a closer look at the natural world. (IG: @vpickering)
Alexandra and Nichola, ages 7 and 9 in our tree house on Capitol Hill.
(Ellen’s Capitol Hill Tree House Story Blog)
While I have been staying at home over the last several weeks, the highlight of every day is the time I spend walking and photographing. I am blessed to live in a place where I can safely walk staying six feet apart from my neighbors. These walks have offered me the opportunity to challenge myself to see my familiar surroundings in a fresh way, to meditate on the shelter that home provides and to open my heart to spring, which is as splendid as ever. (Sarah’s IG: @sarah.g.raymond)
It all started with trying to find one photo from several years ago. While searching digital files, I was noticing old photos of random locations in DC and wondering what they looked like today. I pulled a few dozen old photos and started using my allowable “essential exercise” time to bike to locations and retake photos of the same area. So far I’ve posted close to 40 comparisons on Instagram (@kareneramsey with the tag #pandemicphotoproject) and have some more in the queue. It has been interesting to see, even in a short amount of time, how many changes there are at a given spot. Some changes like tree and vegetation growth can be subtle but some are pretty stunning with replacement of low rise buildings or empty lots with new high rise ones. While this did not start out as a deliberate project to work on during this pandemic, it has become something I will continue for a while. And if anyone else wants to join me, I’d love to see how your DC has changed over time.
I took these photos during a walk in my neighborhood of Petworth, in DC. I am thankful to be able to walk around during this time of social distancing. Streets are generally empty, the store fronts are mostly shuttered, but there are a few open shops — grocery stores, restaurants for take out, and the occasional passerby, often in a mask. I like the vibrancy of colors on these streets, as though they are defying these dark times. (Arpita’s IG: @arpixa)
As I’ve been trying to find ways to still go outside yet socially distance, I’ve found myself going to places early in the morning or during the week so that I can appropriately socially distance. It’s been a delight to be out, and I keep finding myself taking photos of birds. (Stacie’s IG: @estaciedc)
Rather than looking for artistic shots, I was thinking more from a photojournalism standpoint, about photos that say “this is how life is different.” The first one is on the grounds of Lake Braddock SS here in Virginia. It shows high schoolers getting together but respecting the guidelines for social groups. No more than six people—check! 10 feet apart—well, their cars are parked about 10 feet apart with the trunks open and everyone staying in their hatchback—check! (Joe’s 500px site)
The second one is outside Giant where they had an employee loading groceries for anyone who had called in a grocery shopping list—and he was wearing gloves.
The third one is inside Giant—and empty shelves!
All images copyrighted to the photographer.