Isolation presents a challenge for photographers. We are distant from many of the people who inspire us, or who are often the subjects of our photos. Faces are masked. The streets seem sparse, unfamiliar, or even otherworldly. But this isolation also presents opportunities to view our neighborhoods in new ways, experiment with different styles or techniques, meet up with friends online, and reconnect with nature. The 20 local photographers featured here embrace these opportunities.
The first shot was taken at Dyke Marsh.
My next 2 shots were taken at Huntley Meadows.
While we have been locked down, sheltering in place at home, something jarring, and wonderful, has been happening around us. The light has been a tad brighter, the sky bluer, the flowers a bit more colorful, the birds a bit chattier, and the wildlife more adventurous. Watching the naked trees in our backyard become fully clothed in their summer green apparel has been meditative, and shocking–it happened so fast! Doubtless, many of us would not have noticed these changes except for the pandemic lockdown. Although the case and death counts still seem to be rising, spring’s dance of birth and renewal reminds us that, inexorably, life will out.
I am trying to document ‘life in the time of COVID’ through various series of images, taken in and around my neighborhood during daily walks. I’m interested in catching how people and behaviors are changing — at least temporarily — during these times.
(Website: micheleegan.com, Instagram: @micheleegan2)
I was attracted to the image of the older couple sitting behind a baseball fence. I could imagine that they are grandparents who would normally be cheering on their grandkids; instead, they were sitting quietly, looking at pristine but completely empty field of play.
For those shops that remain open, masks, lines, and distancing are all de rigueur. I’ve found that people’s acceptance of these constraints varies from store to store, with some customers fairly good natured (or perhaps resigned?) while others seem tense and irritable.
Restaurants have taken a big hit; some are closed completely; others are only offering carry-out or delivery. I was peeking into this particular restaurant, when I spotted the chef preparing a dish, behind a veritable barricade of tables and chairs, placed between the entrance and the counter to protect workers from undue contact.
I purchased a 150-600mm lens and took it out on the back deck, where I was treated to a crow chasing off much bigger birds, like a juvenile bald eagle and a vulture. The crows have a nearby nest and have no love for the big birds. The sound of a crow hitting a vulture in mid-air is quite entertaining.
(Instagram: @smallcraft, Flickr)
Scanography has held an allure for me for several years with its extremely narrow band of focus. It is a strange form of macro photography. Over the pandemic, I’ve been combining my occasional beachcombing with abstracting glitch techniques and scanography.
This was an event that happened on April 21st, where nurses came together to protest the unsafe conditions and lack of personal protection equipment maid the coronavirus pandemic in front of the White House. I came to support and thank the nurses and photograph the event.
But, occasionally, color seeps in…
I’ve been photographing birds and their offspring all spring. I am very lucky to have two owlets nearby that I am able to photograph as they grow up into adult owls. Also, I have been photographing three young hawks in Rock Creek Park. In the photo below, they are just finishing up their meal and one of them still has a bit of it sticking out of its mouth. Lastly, I have a robins’ nest in my yard with three babies.
I took each picture in Rock Creek Park DC.
Some photos taken at the National Mall during lock down.
(Morgan’s 500px site)
I usually do a few photo shoots with friends and models each month. That’s been impossible with the social distancing measures. Instead, I’ve taken the opportunity to reconnect with folks that have moved out of the DMV and try to shoot remotely with them. This was my first attempt with my friend Jennifer, who moved from Virginia to Oregon a few years ago.
My kiddo has been a saving grace during the pandemic. No matter how terrible things are in the greater world, his life is centered around living in the moment and looking everywhere for adventure. We found this culvert near our home in Gaithersburg and he had to explore it.
With calling hours closed in DC, bouquets of remembrance whither inside a local columbarium as there are no graveside visitors to attend to them.
A terrific map to help you plan your next walk is Greater Greater Washington’s A new map shows where DC sidewalks are wide enough to socially distance. It notes that “It’s immediately clear that most residential areas of town have overly narrow sidewalks, often six feet or less in width. In fact, Downtown DC and the National Mall are some of the only places with a high density of sidewalks greater than 12 feet in width.”
So though some parts of the National Mall can get a bit too crowded (like the Lincoln Memorial, aka everyone’s stairmaster), most of the Mall is just fine for socially distant walks. Last weekend we visited the mallard family near the World War II Memorial.
For the fourth installation of Photographing while social distancing (as well as my second submission), I packed my trusty dusty Ricoh GR 3 and snapped while out and about.
When I was working remotely. Captured a silhouette of Katelyn while she was on a twelve hour mental health awareness stay at home convention. While I didn’t stay for the full duration, “Mental Health Awareness Con” was very amusing to witness for someone not in the field. Based on the composition, it should be obvious I was well beyond CDC’s recommended 6 feet distance while sneakily depleting her assortment of snacks.
A supplies run at Target. Just like my last submission, parking garage window views allow for me to slow down a bit and find solace in these tense times.
This image brings me back to me to my childhood. I used to receive Redskins players cards from Arlington County police officers in this neighborhood and a recent trip shows how much has changed. The subject is a house that’s going under teardown and definitely the first thing neighbors see. Unlike my drive home from work, joggers, strollers, dog walkers and folks coming back from dinner curbside pickup runs all had masks and kept their distance.
Almost every morning at dawn since shelter in place began, I’ve taken a walk on the National Mall. There is a quiet, dedicated team of groundskeepers who work during those early morning hours to ensure that America’s Front Yard is clean and maintained for guests — even in the midst of a pandemic.
There are so many changes in the city during this pandemic. One of the changes that I’ve been recording is how different that downtown looks at night. Here are some of the office buildings which used to be brightly lit but are now largely dimmed.
(Website: victoriapickering.com, Instagram @vpickering)
I watched a robin building her nest and started to visit the nest after gestation period for robins to catch photos of any baby robins that might appear. This week I finally saw the four offspring and have been going to take photos as they grow. This is at about 5 or 6 days with developing feathers, eyes opening, and side eye from mom.
On the bike ride to the robin’s nest I saw a lone protestor walking on the mall. While I do not know what his cause is, he was walking with purpose. I love nature but miss the large gatherings, events, and protests this city generates.
These photos were taken in my neighborhood of Petworth in Washington DC. Our daily evening walks around the neighborhood are a highlight of the day, and strangely exciting, almost as though we’re exploring a new city. During these walks, I have discovered streets, alleys, corners and facades I’d never known before or paid any attention to.
(Instagram: @arpixa, Flickr)
All images copyrighted to the photographer.