• Dispatches,  Nature

    Dispatches: Meet the desert’s ‘ugly duckling’ at Joshua Tree National Park

    As the legend goes, Mormon pioneers gave the Joshua tree its name because it reminded them of the Old Testament prophet with his arms outstretched to the heavens. Those Mormons were most likely suffering from heat-induced delusions. In nature’s beauty pageant, the homely Joshua tree walks away with Miss Congeniality. They’re in a word, ugly — resembling the unfortunate offspring of a cactus and a palm tree, without the stateliness of a palm or the intimidating presence of a cactus. Yet, as unattractive as they might be, no plant in the 800,000 acre Joshua Tree National Park is as important to the fragile desert ecosystem. The Joshua trees play a…

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  • Uncategorized

    At 100 years old, the National Park Service is looking marvelous

    To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, we asked members of the DC Focused photography community to share their favorite image and memory from a national park. Of course, some of our members were quick to point out that the NPS does far more than manage America’ 59 national parks. It also oversees many national monuments, historic places and, of course, the National Mall here in D.C. While the images are stunning, what we love about these photos are the memories they evoke and the emotions associated with them. To the men and women who help protect and preserve our shared heritage, thank you…

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  • Events,  Festivals

    Up, up and away at the Flying Circus Airshow

    The weekend weather wasn’t the greatest for hot air ballooning or aerial acrobatics in vintage aircraft but the DC Focused meetup group made the most of its outing to the Flying Circus Airshow and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Bealeton, Virginia. Luckily, we made it out on Saturday morning, as Sunday’s show was canceled because of  low clouds, wind and rain. See more photos here.

  • Events,  Monuments, Memorials, Statues

    DC’s Pokémon hunt draws hundreds to National Mall

      The hunt for the not-so elusive wild Pokémon hit the National Mall on Saturday, as hundreds of fans of the mobile game came out for a massive PokeWalk. Players split up into three teams and walked the Mall on the trail of Pokémon. Our DC Focused Photography Meetup group was there to document the action.  

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  • Meetups,  Sports

    Rain, soggy field can’t stop the DC Breeze

      The DC Breeze romped their way to a lop-sided 28-14 victory over the Montreal Royal on a dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon. While the conditions weren’t terrific, it didn’t keep some of our die-hard Meetup members from coming out to shoot the Breeze, one of two professional ultimate frisbee teams in the DC area. The 6-2 Breeze currently stand in 2nd place in the American Ultimate Disc League’s East Division. They play their home games at Galludet’s Hotchkiss Field. [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]…

  • Celebrations,  Festivals,  Music

    Let the beat funk you up — music festival is big part of parade’s fun

    The Funk Parade is sort of a misnomer. While a raucous parade down U Street is certainly the eponymous moment of the day, the day-long event is as much free music festival as it is parade. The bands played at 12 stages and performance areas during the day and 15 venues into the night — and DC Focused photographers were at most of them. Be sure to check out our Music Project for bonus coverage. Featured image © 2016 Jeffrey Morris. Chelsey Green © Clif Burns The Ron Holloway Band © Zack Lewkowicz Reesa Renee © Sean Kennedy Lucky So & Sos © Rob Cannon Nappy Riddem © Joe Newman Funk Ark © Zack…

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  • Arts,  Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Music,  Parades

    On this day, it was the District of Funk

    U Street was all about the funk on Saturday — music, dancing in the street, drum lines and tens of thousands of people turning out for the all-day party and music fest known as the Funk Parade. The festival of funk took over the U Street corridor, as old and new DC came together to celebrate the city’s cultural heritage. The Mayor of Funk Town was even there throwing beads to cheering constituents, walking just a few hundred yards ahead of parade participants carrying a gigantic, inflatable joint. The parade slogan, after all, was “roll your funk.” Spread along the corridor from the Howard Theater to 14th Street, the festival included…

  • Arts,  Events,  Meetups

    Paint Jam Comes to Rhode Island Ave.

      “We are Hip-Hop in all its forms,” says Words Beats & Life, a non-profit arts and educational organization. Last weekend, the Hip-Hop form on display was the mural. Since its founding in 2000, artists working with Word Beats & Life have created thousands of feet of public art around the District, including major installations in Storey Park and Edgewood.  On Saturday, the Fine Lines Paint Jam came to Rhode Island Avenue NE, with dozens of artists leaving their marks on a 900 foot concrete canvas just off the 500 and 600 blocks. With art unfolding before one’s eyes, it was the perfect time for a photo meetup. Several DC…

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  • Events,  Music,  Protests

    Celebrating Prince’s life and music with an impromptu U Street dance party

      [nectar_dropcap color=””]O [/nectar_dropcap]ne of my favorite things about living in a city like Washington are the spontaneous celebrations, protests or memorials that happen around big, emotional events. So, it was fitting that after Thursday’s news that Prince had passed away, people would gather to remember the legendary musician who gave us such amazing music over parts of five decades. But the hundreds who showed up at the corner of U and 14th streets didn’t come to mourn his passing as much to celebrate what his music meant to them with an impromptu dance party. It was cathartic. As the organizers wrote on Facebook: “We need to sweat out these tears!”…

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  • Featured,  Meetups,  Nature

    Spending a chilly weekend with Assateague’s wild ponies

      Camping out on Assateague Island National Seashore in March is always a roll of the dice. You might end up with great spring weather … and you might end up under a foot of snow. The recent DC Focused outing to Assateague probably fell somewhere in between. Temperatures dipped into the 40s but the windchill made it a lot worse. Still, we were there for the ponies and they didn’t disappoint. The 48,000 acre National Seashore is on the Maryland coast, just south of Ocean City, and about a two and half hour drive from the district. From the National Park Service: “Human activities also exert a strong influence Assateague’s natural…

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  • Cherry blossoms

    Our giant, expanding 2016 #CherryBlossomsDC Roundup

      The cherry blossoms are back, which means it’s time once again for our super-sized cherry blossom photography roundup. Better than last year? You be the judge. But one thing that we will say based on the great contributions to the DC Focused flickr pool is that, perhaps (just perhaps), the reports of flickr’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Want to join the fun? Add your cherry blossom photo to our flickr pool. And be sure to check out the DC Focused Guide to Cherry Blossoms. [Updated: 1:10 a.m., March 30] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line”…

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  • Protests

    Donald Trump pays the District a visit; DC is not impressed

      Protestors at the annual AIPAC conference are nothing new. This year, however, there was the added element of the not-quite-yet presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump making his first visit to the District this year. But unlike most of his campaign stops where he whips his supporters into a lather, Trump got a mixed reception from the bipartisan pro-Israel lobby group. There were no major disruptions reported during his speech as has often happened on the campaign trail. Instead, the protests happened outside as a small group of protestors waved signs and chanted as conference goers made their way into the Verizon Center. [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line”…

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