• Dispatches,  Nature

    Dispatches: A trip to the Faroe Islands

        If you’re anything like me, when I first heard of the Faroe Islands, I had to get to a map to figure out where they were. The small island chain in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is an incredibly beautiful place to visit. The 18 major islands are host to about 50,000 people. I spent the week, staying in the capital city, Torshavn, and then drove to all my other destinations. Perhaps the most special place that I visited was the westernmost island, Mykines. The island’s 10 permanent residents live in a small village that sits atop a rocky bluff overlooking the small harbor. The hike…

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    Dispatches: Colorful Explorations in Austin

    A long weekend in Austin paired with a rental bike was a fortunate break from DC’s streak of cloudy, rainy spring days. My explorations took me all over the city on little journeys to photograph a bit of Austin’s creative colorfulness. With a “major fun” recommendation from my trusty Roadside America app, Vince Hannemann’s Cathedral of Junk in South Austin does not disappoint. Hidden in his suburban backyard is Vince’s wonderful towering creation that he started building in 1988. You could wander through for days and continue to make new discoveries. When faced with the inevitable question of why, Vince’s basic explanation is the answer of a true artist with a…

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    Dispatches: The Marble Yard in Peshawar

      In 2008, I visited a marble supplier at an industrial park in Peshawar, Pakistan. On the way, we drove past abandoned refugee camps where Afghans fleeing the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan lived during the 1980s. The proximity of Peshawar to Afghanistan – just 60 kilometers away – and the cultural connections between ethnic groups on both sides of the border cemented these camps into the already hard terrain of northwestern Pakistan. I had flashbacks to television anchor Dan Rather’s war reporting on the CBS nightly news, watching with my father from our living room in Toledo, Ohio. I was probably too young to remember such a thing. But from…

  • Dispatches,  Featured,  Nature

    Dispatches: Death Valley National Park & The Alabama Hills

      [nectar_dropcap color=””]L [/nectar_dropcap]ast month, I flew out to Las Vegas for 3 nights of photography. It had been a long while since I took a trip dedicated to photography! As a new father, my world turned upside down and I found it to be much harder to spend extended time away from home. Every moment is so special and I find it hard to be away to miss even the slightest thing. But being out in the environment and doing photography helps me clear my head and mind when the rush of life overwhelms me. Taking the time to travel and explore is worth it for me. I had…

  • Dispatches,  Featured

    Dispatches: Just follow the Northern Lights to Alaska

      when one thinks of places to visit during the cold DC winter, Alaska is likely one of the last choices you would make. Heck, through January this year, the DC area had more snow than Anchorage, Alaska (as measured at Dulles International and Anchorage International, respectively). And what is there to see in Alaska in the winter months besides short days, long dark nights, and lots of ice and snow? Well, for one, and the ultimate goal of the trip I took, the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Beyond the wonder of the aurora though, there is something special about Alaska during the winter, especially for a photographer.…

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    Dispatches: Public Art on Philly’s Germantown Ave.

    A mere two-and-a-half hours from D.C., Philadelphia is worth a drive for the public art alone. The city has hundreds of murals, most of which were created as part of the Philly Mural Arts Program. Started in 1984 as part of the city’s Anti-Graffiti Network, Mural Arts reached out to graffiti artists and worked to redirect their efforts. Recently, my wife and I walked along Germantown Ave. in North Philly and admired its public art. In 2012, Mural Arts enlisted the help of Dutch artists Dre Urhahn and Jeroen Koolhaas to repaint storefronts spanning from the 2500 to the 2800 blocks of Germantown Ave. Working with 25 local painters, Urhahn…

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  • Dispatches,  Featured,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    Dispatches: A Blustery January in London

      Enroute to Accra, Ghana, I made a much needed stopover in London. One of my favorite cities in the world after Accra, Washington DC and New York. My endless fascination borders on social psychology, anthropology and, perhaps, some innocent voyeurism. It’s amazing — I get to use my trusty Fuji X-T1 and iPhone as the medium to “scratch my itch” in trying to understand how other people live, as a means to understanding my place in the world. These monochrome photos show what I saw from Regent Street, Green Park, Hounslow and other places. All images © Nana Gyesie.  His work can be found on Tumblr, flickr and Instagram.  Dispatches is our occasional look…

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    Dispatches: DC photogs document the Midwest flooding

      DC-area photographer Dimitris Manis was sitting at home watching the news of the devastating floods in Missouri and was struck by what he saw. Manis, who is from Greece and is a journalist by trade, was so moved that he decided on the spur of the moment to drive to Missouri to document what was happening there. So, he called Dwight Jefferson, another member of the DC Focused photography community, and the two made the 13 hour drive to St. Louis. From there, the pair followed the Mississippi River south, photographing the impact of the natural disaster. “The situation was crazy — dozens of houses and business surrounded by flood…

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    Dispatches: Roadside Americana in Bedford County, Pa.

      Bedford County, Pennsylvania is about 150 miles and 100 years away from Washington, DC. Its county seat, also called Bedford, is a charming small town that embraces nostalgia for days gone by. The Bedford Diner serves up the 2-2-2 breakfast special — that’s 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, and 2 pancakes for, you guessed it, $2.22. Running through Bedford is the Lincoln Highway. Also known as U.S. Rte. 30, the Lincoln Highway, dedicated in 1913, goes from New York to California, making it one of the earliest transcontinental roadways in the country. Bedford’s portion of the Lincoln Highway is strewn with the kind of roadside Americana for which…

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    Dispatches: Learning from watching Bill Cunningham

    As much as I love D.C., it is wonderful to be in New York City during Fashion Week, with all the creative street fashion on display.     And you can spot many of the most famous names in the fashion world, such as the iconic Anna Wintour of Vogue.       But what is really interesting is to get a chance to see the legendary New York Times fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham, at work. Of course he gets special access and deference due to his position and talent, but there are lots of things all photographers can learn from him, like: He goes everywhere You can spot him…

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    Dispatches: Finding artistic inspiration in the Great Sand Dunes

      Photography is a journey. You’re most likely a different photographer today than you were five years. Skills are refined. Styles evolve. Interests change. Navin Sarma talks about his journey as a landscape photographer in a recent post on his website. He says that journey is evident in these photos, which he took on a recent trip to Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. They reflect the maturation of his style from a landscape photographer chasing grand, dramatic scenes to a fine art photographer who concentrates on “lines and shapes, however large or small.” But Sarma says he couldn’t have gotten to this point without first having chased the images that…

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    Dispatches: Greece’s beauty shines through on the Aegean Sea

    As the story goes, the Aegean Sea was named after King Aegeus who drowned himself in its waters when he mistakenly thought his son Theseus had died at the hands of the Minotaur, the half man, half bull monster, which lived on the island of Crete. Today, the sea, which sits between the Greek isles and the Turkish mainland, boasts some of the most beautiful water and beaches in all of the Mediterranean. There’s a reason that some 25 million people visited Greece last year. Greece, which is about the size of Virginia, has more than 1,500 islands and 8,498 miles of coastline. “It’s a beautiful place and worth it to…

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