We asked photographers from the DC region to send in photos from the first few months of 2022, and we were amazed by the variety of subjects and perspectives. Some people went on vacations for the first time in a long time, while others stayed closer to home, enjoying the changing seasons in our city. Some took advantage of a pause in the pandemic to go to concerts and festivals. And, the crisis in Ukraine remains top of mind, with many people documenting the vigils at the White House. But we start with photos by Rimma Tsyhichko, a Ukrainian photographer who has contributed regularly to our site. She shares images of her city, Kharkiv, taken shortly before the Russian invasion.
[Editor’s Note: Rimma is from Ukraine and sent us photos from shortly before the war began.]
You know that on February 24th the war came to Ukraine. I had to leave Kharkiv because our beautiful city was ruined. These two photos are very important to me. I took them on February 21st during my walk with my camera. The first photo is the view from the observation deck. Pay attention to our Ukrainian flag. Its flagpole is the highest in Ukraine. Every day our local authorities check if all is well with it so the flag is flying over the city despite shelling and bombing.
In the second photo there is our riverbank, which is famous for very beautiful sunsets. I follow the news every day. Fortunately nothing has happened to it. People still come there when they have a chance.
I was fortunate enough to travel again! With an international flight, finally out of Dulles airport, I was on my way this month to Ireland and Scotland. Three years in the making with the two year pandemic delay, we were finally on our way! So we crossed the pond to land first in Dublin, Ireland and then on to Edinburgh, Scotland to cross the countrysides. With many landscapes, castles, and friendly folks in all the cities, I found my favorite spots back in the water!
First is the Irish Fern Falls at Blarney Castle gardens, followed by the contrast of the dramatic Kilt Rock cliffs fall in Scotland. What an amazing adventure! And we were so welcomed everywhere as some the first travelers to be able to come to these lovely countries.
It’s rare that I can see a full moon setting from my balcony in the morning, when I’m up and it’s not so bright you can barely see the moon.
(IG: setlistthief; Flickr)
Rachael (Price) and Vilray’s (pronounced VILL-ree) shared love of traditional jazz vocal music was on full display on a chilly Sunday night back in January at the Miracle Theatre. Singing into a single microphone could easily throw off many singers, but when they perform, they seem to be singing to each other just as much as to the audience. It looks and feels natural…and extremely intimate, like the audience is getting a peek into a shared secret.
But the music never feels like a nostalgia act, rather a Rachael and Vilray performance feels transformative, like, after flipping through the bins in a musty used record store, discovering an obscure old vinyl treasure that when played, sounds fresh and new.
Early Spring morning on the Tidal Basin waiting for the sunrise on our cherry blossoms.
I am so glad theaters and performance halls are open again. I’d missed photographing the performing arts, dance in particular, for the past two years. These shots were taken during the annual festival of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. It was great catching up with the performers and organizers — everyone of whom was thrilled that the curtains were rising again 🙂
This year I’ve been shooting live music again. It’s been a joy to behold the energy that only an in-person performance delivers. There is still some trepidation, of course, but I’ve put my trust in following the D.C. and U.S. COVID guidelines and hope that my venues do, too. Wet Leg hit D.C. on their first U.S. tour, absolutely packing 9th street’s DC9 nightclub. The band originally booked small venues, then had their first singles explode, followed by a performance on The Tonight Show. Some cities had to upgrade the room sizes, but D.C. stuck with the original plan, so the crowd of 149 patrons lucked out to see the charismatic act in an intimate room.
Human Country Jukebox has been a stalwart Wednesday night date at Madam’s Organ, on 18th Street. After over a year’s hiatus, and some COVID bouts within the band itself, they are back onstage blowing out classic country. Adams Morgan is very happy to welcome them back and so am I.
So far this year, I have mostly been photographing the change seasons. Springtime in Washington means cherry blossom season and I’d be remiss not to capture it.
Photos I’ve taken recently are of portraits of individuals who live small town of Williams, Arizona. Williams is a town rich with the stories and history of the Old West, pioneers and explorers, cowboys, and the Grand Canyon. The town, located in the beautiful Pondarosa pine forests at 7,000 feet and the grasslands of Northern Arizona, was founded by cattle and sheep ranchers in 1876.
By 1881, the population grew enough to rate a post office, and by September 1882, the railroad arrived in town. The town of Williams rapidly became a center for industry and the transport of goods from the ranches and logging in the area. With all of this industry also came the single, rowdy working men that many of these historic towns were populated by. To accommodate the wants of this group of men saloons, brothels, and gambling houses were established along “Saloon Row”, next to the railroad tracks on Railroad Boulevard.
The famous Grand Canyon Hotel opened for business in Williams in 1891. It was the closest hotel to the Grand Canyon at the time and hosted many famous guests. John Muir stayed four times. Other guests of note included Captain Black Jack Pershing and the King of Siam. Some of the original guest registers are on display in the hotel lobby for guests to view. Unfortunately, the hotel closed for business after three quarters of a century when the new Interstate bypassed Williams.
(IG: mikijourdan; Flickr)
The last public event that I photographed before the great lockdown of 2020 was Mardi Gras at The Wharf DC. This celebration was cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic, but made a joyful return this year.
The Rock- A-Sonics perform a set a the 19th Annual Buddy Holly Tribute/Winter Dance Party. The event was postponed the past two years during the dark times. The dance floor was packed and there was a celebratory atmosphere that life was returning to normal. This was not the first event I had been to this year, but the first that seemed to celebrate the return to normalcy. (From left to right: Eric Hurtt, Kim Reynolds, Willie Barry, Tommy Bowes, and Louie Newmyer.)
People standing with Ukraine at the White House on Febraury 20, 2022. When we all thought that 2021 is over and it cannot get any worse, it did. Slava Ukraini!
I was lucky enough to get a quick mid-winter warmup in January. I was a frustrated street photographer at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, but I caught this photo at the private beach on one side of the hotel — three men who happened to be there, and my daughter.
Like many of us, I’ve been to a couple of the rallies for Ukraine at Lafayette Park. Of the many photos I’ve taken, this is the one I think best sums up the way we all feel.
I saw this boy in the crowd at one of the rally’s at the White House. He looked sad and tired — almost shell-shocked. When kids are this age, you never really know how much they really understand of what’s going on and what’s been told to them by their parents. His expression challenged my belief. He knew what was at stake.
I saw this Ukrainian priest walking through the crowd, encouraging people and praying with them. Some people readily welcomed his blessings, some were standoffish. Just as I was about to turn away, a strong gust of wind blew the Ukrainian flag in front of him and the cross in his Klobuk (I think that’s what it’s called) was visible.
Off the coast of Virginia Beach, humpback whales and harbor seals are common in the winter and can be seen responsibly through a number of whale watching companies. I personally go out with Rudee Tours. I haven’t gone much this year, but I was able to rent a car and head out to Virginia Beach in February to see these leviathans (and mermaids, according to folklore about seals).
Every now and then a whale comes up and seems to watch you. It’s always an incredible experience to share space with these amazing animals. It is important to note that all marine mammals in U.S. waters are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and should be treated with respect. A great way to find an ethical whale watch operator is to go through a company that participates in the voluntary Whale Sense program developed by NOAA.
We were on a special seal watching trip and went far offshore to find these guys. The amazing thing about ethical whale watching is that often there are scientists on board collecting data on everything we see. Each whale has markings that are unique to them, like a fingerprint, and so the research collected gets placed in a large photographic catalogue to help ID individuals along their migration path. With the seals, we saw one being tracked by GPS through a non-lethal, non-permanent tag that had been placed by permitted researchers. It’s so exciting to see a scientific project taking place in real time — especially while drinking a beer on the boat in the ocean. For any “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” fans out there, the three harbor seals on the jetty instantly reminded me of the sirens — although admittedly they weren’t as good of singers.
Despite D.C. being relatively landlocked, there is ample whale and dolphin watching within four hours of D.C. In the winters, I primarily go to Virginia Beach, and in the summer I make the trek to Cape May in New Jersey through Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center. If you’re aching to leave D.C. to hit the beach, I highly recommend checking out ethical wildlife viewing and photography instead of spending that weekend in Ocean City.
My snapshot jaunts have been far and few this year. However, I did manage to trek down south to poke my head into some abandonments. My photos are of a shed as well as an old organ in a rather well preserved house. Generally, while exploring derelict properties, I tend to look for interesting facades and don’t always enter the properties. The overgrowth with the shed is its defining feature in an otherwise barren parcel of land.
In photo two, entry was mandatory because how cool is this organ? In case any clarification is needed, my definition of a well preserved abandonment is one without any vandalism. This one may remain that way because the trek through the forest was very uncomfortable.
One of the things I like to document is the people who keep the city running, especially given the unique requirements of a capital city.
Here are security personnel on top of the House side of the Capitol as President Biden arrives to address Congress on the anniversary of January 6th.
Here’s a worker cleaning the facade of the White House.
I’m from Chicago, where snow is just a hassle. The rarity in D.C. makes it a magic occasion to rush outside (and probably run into a fellow Instagrammer).
Artechouse is one of my favorite spots in D.C., and I was so glad to be back in the world after omicron put a damper on my holiday season.
A masked pedestrian and her shadow in the beautiful winter light at Gallery Place (a reminder that omicron was still a cause for concern).
D.C. Fashion Week #DCFWModel Yana Ziolkowski. Follow her on Instagram: @yana_usa_model