• Events,  Street Photography

    A look back at the Memorial Day spectacle

    On a balmy Memorial Day weekend, I ventured to the crowded throngs near the Lincoln Memorial. Part of my curiosity for this year’s events were directly linked to the political climate, looming elections and other dynamics I wanted to investigate for myself. I ran into a courteous ex-service man and his bride, a number of bikers who obliged to my requests to take their photographs, people with interesting and catchy slogans on their t-shirts, as well as people crowded to see the Rolling Thunder display. It was a colorful day best best illustrated through black and white. All images © 2016 Nana Gyesie.  His work can be found on his website, flickr and Instagram. 

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  • Featured,  Parades,  Street Performers,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    Of funk and urbanism: An ode to Jane Jacobs

    I went to the Funk Parade; part of the cadre of official photographers. I have recently been inspired by urban theorist, Jane Jacobs, the original proponent of organic urban renewal and sidewalks in the city. To me, Jane should be a street photographer’s hero. Her ideas on urban design were on my mind when I arrived at the parade. Besides seeing the parade, I was mostly interested in what people were doing, how they were interacting and why they were there. My somewhat Felliniesque take on the parade was not helped by the fact that I had Skepta’s ‘Konnichiwa’ and Radiohead’s ‘Burn the Witch’ on heavy rotation. Here is to…

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  • Featured,  Street Photography

    The 24-hour Project: Washington DC

      I remember feeling like I had become a bonafide street photographer in 2015 after spending nearly 24-hours on the streets of Washington DC taking pictures and posting one every hour to Instagram. This was for the annual 24 hour project hatched by Renzo Grande and Sam Whittier, New York and California based street photographers. I decided to stretch my endurance again this year on March 19th, for this year’s 24 hour project. I was the ambassador for Washington DC, and one of nearly 2.800 registered participants in more than 103 countries. The purpose of the project is always to document the human condition. Once again, I spent 24 hours on the…

  • 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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  • Protests,  Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    The mediating power of the American flag: A localized observation of Nepali geopolitics

    On a wintery mid-morning on November 22nd, a group of Nepalese protesters organized by self-described Greater Nepali-American community gathered near the White House to protest what they described as India’s blockade of the border with their country. One unidentified protester suggested that the impact could potentially decimate poor people in Nepal. Importantly, this same unidentified Nepali stated that the impact of the border blockade meant there was no transportation of gas, fuel and food from India to the landlocked Nepali. There were approximately 300  protesters, yet I noticed a counter protest organized by a group representing the Madhesis, supposedly a marginalized group which suffered brutalities at the hand of the…

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  • Street Photography,  Street Portraits

    A week in mystical DC

    This week has been quite fascinating! I attended a Slavoj Zizek lecture at the New York University campus near 13th Street in NW [actually, I was not allowed in because they ran out of space]. I decided to wait outside so I could have a chance encounter with Slavoj Zizek. While waiting, two ladies, both named Chelsea, came and stood next to me for a cigarette break. We engaged in conversation, and it turned out they were both PhD students, just like me. One of them had a tattoo of Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) on her inner wrist. It struck me because she was not African-American!! A paradigm-shifting moment for…

  • Dispatches,  Street Photography

    Dispatches: The streets of Istanbul

    During the month of April of this year, I spent eight days in Istanbul, my second time to this enchanting city. I was mainly there for a residency for my graduate program but made a decision to spend a lot of time exploring the streets of the city with my camera. A week before I departed Washington DC for Istanbul, I connected with an Istanbul-based street photographer named Kerem Nasipoglu and we planned to meet when I arrived. On my second day, Kerem and I connected over espresso and shared our mutual admiration for legendary street photographers, such as Gary Wingorand, Martin Parr and Ara Guler. After that, Kerem showed me…

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  • Monuments, Memorials, Statues,  Street Photography

    Deluge II by His Noodly Appendage

      We were drawn to this photo because there’s something raw, not only in the way it’s underexposed, composed and processed, but in the moment that it captures: A tourist getting caught in a sudden downpour. Flickr user His Noodly Appendage was biking home past the Lincoln Memorial when the thunderstorm seemed to come out of nowhere. “Suddenly, everyone is sprinting to the broad white steps to shelter under the marble columns with Abe,” he said. “Every race, creed and nationality sharing a sustained ‘whoo!’ every time the thunder crashed close overhead. Lightening danced behind the Washington Monument until the heavy rain obscured that too.” Featured image, Deluge II by…

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  • Street Photography

    Memorial Day, Union Station by Jordan Barab

      On scorchers like today, we salute the summer tourists. No matter how irritated we might get with them standing on the left side of the escalator or blocking the door to the train, we can’t help but salute them for dragging themselves around town in this heat. Summer tourist, this Bud’s for you. Featured photo, Memorial Day, Union Station by Jordan Barab, is part of the DC Focused flickr pool.

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  • Events,  Street Photography

    Silent Disco Rocks Dupont… Quietly

    Have you heard about the new dance craze? Well, heard may not be the right word in this case. Last Satuday, Dupont Circle played host to a silent disco, an event that calls on participants to download a prearranged music mix, put on their headphones, and dance their hearts out. It’s fun for the dancers and amusing–in a different way–for onlookers, who don’t get to hear the songs that inspire all the moves. When I went to photograph the silent disco, I went sans headphones while shooting, which made the scene rather surreal. Only once did I get hint at the contents of the dancers’ soundtrack, as everyone shouted “Hey-Hey-A-Hey!”…

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