We asked local photographers to share their depictions of the DMV in our time of social distancing. Their tactics for taking photos under the current constraints were clever: some took pictures from their cars or balconies, while others captured moments from a safe distance with long lenses. But even better than their social distance strategies were the photos themselves. A few photographers took their inspiration from the natural world. Other were witnesses to eerily empty streets, parks, and playgrounds. But even at a distance, some managed to capture moments of human connection.
(Mar’s IG: @acevedonikonpics)
Red-winged Blackbird with reflection, taken on 3/27/2020 at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA. I was lucky to capture this male red-winged blackbird searching for food. The reflections of the bird and the wood make for an interesting photo.
- Left: Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginica), taken on 3/26/2020 at Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA. The coming of spring in Northern Virginia is solidified by the blooming of Virginia Bluebells! The full bloom anticipation of this single stem is evident in the unopened, purplish buds that will soon be a sky blue hue.
- Right: ‘White’ Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginica), taken on 3/29/2020 at Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA. The coming of spring in Northern Virginia is solidified by the blooming of Virginia Bluebells! Virginia Bluebells are most commonly a sky blue hue when in full bloom, hence its name. If you’re lucky, however, you can find some plants that have all pinkish flowers or even the more rare all white blooms.
Mark Alan Andre
I’ve had a serious case of FOMO without being able to be out in nature as much as I would like to. This sunset viewed from my apartment balcony gave me a great chance to capture some images. (Mark’s IG: @markalanandre)
My shots are from Huntley Meadows within the last week and a half.
(Teresa’s IG: @tbryant13)
Croaking/Singing Frogs: Water is still when not croaking/singing (left); water ripples from the vibration of the croaking/singing (right).
(Joe’s IG: @joeflood)
Thomas Circle: On a typical day, Thomas Circle is bustling with pedestrians on their way downtown while vehicles fight their way through traffic. Not anymore. The only people out are dog-walkers and traffic has almost completely disappeared. In the background, a new mural is being painted by Miss Chelove, providing hope for the future.
- National Gallery of Art (left): With gyms closed, Washingtonians have sought other venues to stay in shape. The steps of the National Gallery of Art are the new stair master for the city.
- McClellan’s Retreat (right): The Union general was famous for retreating in the face of danger. But DC’s bars and restaurants are fighting to adapt to Coronavirus restrictions. A change in the law has allowed them to offer cocktails to-go.
(Gina’s IG: @ginagenis)
This is an image along the Riverwalk which is on the Washington channel in SW. I walk here for fresh air because it is next to my home and a large enough space to social distance. I was attracted to the angles and texture on this worn-out barge.
- Left: The Anthem
- Right: Social distancing in front of the Capitol
(Roland’s IG: @millibenthic)
The Bike Handle: I took this photo because of the water droplet. Few people were around to use the bike because of social distancing, and the rain.
- The Lone Runner (left): I took this because I was surprised she was out there! I thought the entire Mall was closed, but there were a few runners out there. It was odd to see just one person dwarfed by the space of the Mall, and its buildings, in the middle of the day.
- Woman in the Red Jacket (right): I took this one because it’s unusual to see one person so alone on Independence Avenue in the evening. Also, she stood out against the muted green of the bushes and trees, the dull brown of the mulch, and the the dull color of FAA.
With my usual subjects — humans — out of bounds for the duration, I thought that macro photos of flowers would be a safe choice.
(Miki’s IG: @mikijourdan)
- Left: Objects Are Smaller Than They Appear
- Right: Fly’s Eye View
Every spring I am blessed with the opportunity to watch an owl couple as they prepare for their owlets to be born. Mama owl basically never leaves the nest. She spends all of her time sitting on the eggs and actually rarely even peeks out of the nest. Papa owl is always nearby and spends his time hunting, sleeping, cleaning himself and even occasionally stretching. Sometime in the next few weeks the owlets will poke their fluffy heads out of the nest for the first time and they’ll see me standing there with my camera. (Rob’s IG: @osoikame)
All photos were taken from the driver seat of my car. The photos were taken from driving around Washington the last two weekends.
(Morgan’s 500px site)
Did you know that American University’s campus is an accredited arboretum? Since students have been sent home, we had the whole campus almost to ourselves for a cherry blossom stroll.
(Angela’s IG: @angelaon)
The kids are out of school for the rest of the year. Since we live in a high rise, my focus has been trying to get them out at least once a day to burn energy. These are all taken in and around Crystal City, Arlington.
(Julie’s IG: @juliepeasephotography)
During this time of social distancing, it becomes hard to really get out and work as a photographer. I’ve been finding that when I go out and walk to get some exercise, my brain has begun noting all sorts of things to shoot around me so I have started carrying a camera, even when walking the dog. Whether they be a plain old flower or a river landscape, the opportunities are endless! (Thomas’ IG: @tompetzphoto; website)
Finding tiny pops of joy in working on spring planting. (Victoria’s IG: @vpickering)
Biking streets and alleys, I saw a couple taking photos in Crispus Attucks Park last Saturday. I yelled over that I had my camera and could take photos as I had the 55-300 lens on and would not need to be within 10 feet. We took a few quick snaps, they yelled over their email, and I sent them some photos later. Physical distancing while being social seemed appropriate as love continues in the time of Covid-19 with Zoom weddings. (Karen’s IG: @kareneramsey)
Quick bike rides down to the now fairly empty mall are how I’m getting fresh air and exercise. On April 1, I decided to look inside Union Station to see the impact of closures. The dark roped off hallways, lack of travelers bustling about, and tents in the main hall are a somber reminder of where we are right now.
This was during a walk in my Petworth neighborhood. There were people around, but only a few and a general sense of loneliness. While at first glance, it might have looked like just a deserted day, the knowledge of Covid-19 was hanging thick in the air like an invisible threat. A few people were in masks, and others mostly trying to avoid any passersby. Disturbingly, there were some youths though who were carrying on as normal (not in the photos). (Arpita’s IG: @arpixa)
(Kevin’s IG: @wolfkann)
Arlington School Board member Barbara Kanninen reading her children’s book to an Arlington kindergarten class.
- Left: Sad salon closed sign.
- Right: Empty Arlington playground closed due to virus.
All images copyrighted to the photographer.