• Contests,  Drink City

    Cocktail Photo Contest Results

    Featured image by Beau Finley The first Drink City cocktail photography contest is over!  Thank you to all who participated – the variety of cocktails and photos submitted were truly inspiring.  As mentioned in the announcement, the winning photographers will receive a 2016 D.C. Passport.   Grace C. submitted several photos of vodka cocktails that look perfect for warm summer evenings.  Clif Burns teased us with four different cocktails in his submissions, including some classics as well as the resurgent Burmese drink, the Pegu Club Cocktail.  Rob Cannon opted for a highball, but pedantry aside, his photo of a vodka soda was too pretty not to include here. Without further…

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  • Contests,  Drink City

    Drink City Cocktail Photography Contest

     A cocktail, as Harry Croswell wrote in 1806, is “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.” And now that we’re heading headlong into electioneering season, it’s as good a time as any to imbibe a bittered sling at home or out.  But before your head is fuddled, take a picture of the cocktail that you or yours is about to enjoy.  Share your photo, along with a brief description of what it…

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  • Festivals,  Macro Photography

    To Do: Aquatic Flower Photography

    The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens hosts the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival on Saturday July 16, from 10 am until 4 pm.  The event is free to the public.  Located in Kenilworth along the banks of the Anacostia River, the park and gardens provide an excellent opportunity for photographing wonderfully beautiful flowers and birding opportunities. If you’re heading to the festival, make sure to bring the basics – water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a camera.  And if you have a telephoto lens, make sure to bring that, too.  Because the lotuses and water lilies are aquatic, getting close to some of them can be difficult.  But if you…

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  • Protests

    A March for Justice

    Featured photo by Joseph Gruber On Thursday, a little before 9 am, in reaction to two more killings of black civilians by police, two local activists, Robert James and Devon Trotter, got to work organizing a march.   As the day progressed, word of the March to End Police Brutality spread through social media and by word of mouth.  Local blogs helped spread the word.  By 6 pm, over 2,000 people indicated they would be attend.  By 8 pm, that number had grown to over 3,000. There’s a terrible sameness to all of this, bordering on ritual.  It’s usually a man, a black man, whose name we learn not because of how…

  • Events

    Snowbirds Invade

    Yesterday, around 12:25 p.m., the Snowbirds put on a short demonstration over the District.  The Snowbirds are Canada’s equivalent of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds; they’re a flight demonstration team that brings “thrilling performances to the North American public.”  A number of DC Focused photographers managed to take some fantastic shots of the Snowbirds’ two passes over the city.  Here are some of the best that were added to the DC Focused Flickr pool.            

  • Music

    In Memoriam

    A couple of weeks ago, I caught a series of experimental musicians at Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar, a favorite haunt in Adams Morgan.  The bands were playing a memorial party in honor of Jeffrey Prosser, a D.C. graphic designer and musician who died suddenly in April 2015.  Friends and family of Jeffrey attended and the vibe was of camaraderie and mutual support.  It was a beautiful night. Tag Cloud, a local drone musician, kicked things off with a thick and somber set. NarkotroniK, already profiled briefly on DC Focused, followed with dark dance tunes and keytar.   Shooting at Dr. Clock’s can often be a challenge given its minimal lighting…

  • Music


    NarkotroniK is an electronic band from Washington, D.C.  That’s both true and misleading.  Part performance art, part subdued dance music, they craft tunes that reference eerily familiar touchstones while subverting it all with no natural sounds.  The uncanny valley is a major part of their aesthetic.  They oscillate across it, representing a strange synthetic human approximation.   Over the past year, I’ve seen the band (once a trio, now a duo) play several shows.  Each one has been unique, vaguely unsettling, and featuring pretty interesting music, regardless of how you feel about a keytar.  I’ve photographed some of these shows as well as a practice at their space in Mt. Pleasant.    …

  • Featured,  Process

    Revisit: Panama, July 2011

    Revisiting old photographs for the purposes of processing (or reprocessing) can be more than a trip down memory lane. For me, there’s a lot of “oof, that is terrible” and “I knew to shoot in RAW, why didn’t I shoot in RAW?!” and the occasional “maybe I can do something with this shot.” As technology has continued its forward march, I have changed my editing methods and improved upon my editing. Sure, there are plateaus and maybe some (I hope shallow?) valleys, but revisiting old photos helps me see my progress, as well as areas where I can improve. Below, I go through three photos I took in July 2011…

  • Arts,  Featured

    Glen Echo Park

    Nestled between MacArthur Boulevard and the Clara Barton Parkway and only a five-minute drive from our nation’s capital, lies a little piece of local history and an active and vibrant artistic community.  Glen Echo Park serves as host to numerous classes, dances (including contra dances, as previously covered by DC Focused), and a monument to a rich local past.   The Baltzley brothers established Glen Echo thanks in large part to the fortune brought in by Edwin Baltzley’s egg beater patent.  The brothers purchased 516 acres in 1888 to build a large real estate development:  Glen-Echo-on-the-Potomac was to help D.C. rival cities on the Rhine like Cologne, Basel, Strasbourg, Utrecht,…

  • Metro

    The WMATA Spooktacular

    In honor of Halloween, during rush hour today, the Red Line featured a car with no interior lighting other than emergency lights.  I was surprised at WMATA’s unexpected Halloween cheer, but fortunately had a camera with me to document the eerie experience.  Had I known there’d be a special Halloween car, I’d have brought some spooky props and Halloween candy, to be eaten later of course.           All images ©  Beau Finley. You can see more of his work on his flickr page.  If you’d like, you can contact him; he doesn’t bite, even on Halloween: beaufinley at google’s email service.   

  • Architecture,  Arts

    The Workhouse

      Nestled among the hills north of the Occoquan River, a short drive out of D.C., lies the Workhouse Arts Center.  The Workhouse occupies part of the massive and sprawling former Lorton Correctional Complex, D.C.’s prison for nearly a century.  Formerly home to Nike Hercules missiles, force-fed and beaten suffragists, and many others (including Chuck Brown and Norman Mailer), the Workhouse now consists of galleries, a theatre, the Metropolitan School of the Arts, several artist studios, a small museum, and the Art of Movement. This past weekend, Jeff Gorrell, who has a studio at the Workhouse, gave a presentation on his artistic process.  Gorrell is a watercolorist who uses Yupo, a…