Tag: photography

Hiking at Savage Mill

I’ve been to Savage Mill in Savage, Md., several times before, but never as a hiking destination. I will definitely go back there again!

Savage Mill has a funky, old-timey vibe. It has lots of places for an after-hike lunch, including the Ram’s Head Tavern. According to Wikipedia:

“The Savage Mill is a historic cotton mill complex in Savage, Maryland, which has been turned into a complex of shops and restaurants. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is located in the Savage Mill Historic District. Buildings in the complex date from 1822 to 1916.”

The Savage Mill is close to Savage Park, which features a number of hiking trails. We hiked on some of those trails today. Here are some pictures from the day.

Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
Pansies at trail's end
Pansies at trail’s end

Washington, D. C., Cherry Blossoms, 2013

This year’s crop of cherry blossoms has come and gone, but they were oh, so lovely while they lasted. Peak bloom was expected to be late this year, but nobody seemed to anticipate just how late that would be.

Cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
Cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)

According to RestonPatch.com, the National Weather Service originally forecast peak bloom on March 23-30, and then shifted their predicted peak bloom dates to April 3-6. The Washington Post’s final prediction was for April 6-10. The dates kept shifting back because of an unusually stubborn cold spell in the D.C. area this spring.

I was at a conference in Baltimore during the predicted peak bloom days, and I was so worried that I would miss the blossoms. I needn’t have worried, though. This year, the blossoms started peaking on April 8, with the absolute peak on April 9, and I was there, camera at the ready, on both days.

Tourists, cameras in hand, attempt to capture of the beauty of the cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2012)
Tourists, cameras in hand, attempt to capture of the beauty of the cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2012)
So were thousands of others, all snapping away in an attempt to capture the ephemeral beauty of the cherry trees in full bloom. I’ve seen some beautiful photos others have taken of the same subject over the years, and I know mine don’t hold a candle to those. But, still… I want to share my photos with anyone who missed the blossoms this year and wants to take a look.

I want to say one more thing, and then I will just let you look at some pictures. If you’ve never seen the Washington, D.C., cherry blossoms for yourself, you really should put that on your bucket list. The experience is like strolling through soft, pink clouds under a clear blue sky. Add to that the warm sun and the gentle spring breezes — you couldn’t experience those if you gazed at a million photographs. As I said earlier, it’s kind of hard to predict when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom, so, if you’re from out of town, you should plan to stay in D.C. for at least a week. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do here while you’re waiting for the cherry blossoms to pop.

Jefferson Memorial, framed by blossoming cherry trees. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
Jefferson Memorial, framed by blossoming cherry trees. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
A couple poses for wedding portraits at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
A couple poses for wedding portraits at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
An artist captures the cherry blossoms in pastels. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
An artist captures the cherry blossoms in pastels. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
Ducks paddle beneath a flowering cherry branch. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
Ducks paddle beneath a flowering cherry branch. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
A stately old cherry tree shows off its spring finery. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
A stately old cherry tree shows off its spring finery. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)

After 35 years, news photo still resonates

Fire Escape Collapse, a photo taken by Stanley Forman on July 22, 1975, won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography in 1976. (Photo by Stanley Forman. Reproduced with permission from Stanley Forman, www.stanleyforman.com. ©)

An apartment fire broke out in Boston in July, 1975, and Stanley Forman was there to capture the event on film. One of the images Forman snapped that day raises questions that are still hard to answer, even after more than 35 years.

Forman called his image Fire Escape Collapse. It depicts a 19-year-old woman and her 2-year-old goddaughter in free-fall after the fire escape they were using broke away from the building.

Forman was employed at the time by the Boston Herald American. That paper published Forman’s image on Page 1 the next morning, and the image subsequently appeared in more than a hundred other newspapers, according to Louis P. Masur in his book “The Soiling of Old Glory: the Story of a Photograph that Shocked America.”

The fire was on Marlborough Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Masur’s book described the scene: “A fire truck rolled down the alley, its ladder extended. Forman climbed onto the bed of the truck, which gave him some elevation and a better angle.” The fire escape collapsed “just as the ladder came within reach,” Masur’s book said. Forman kept shooting as the woman and the girl fell. “He took one last shot and looked away as the bodies hit with a thud.” The woman died, but the child survived the fall.

The controversy and its outcome

The questions — and the controversy — surrounding this picture are about whether it’s OK to publish a picture of a person who is about to die.

In a 2005 interview published by BBC News, Forman said, “I was never bothered by the controversy. When you think about it, I don’t think it was that horrific. The woman at the time was not deceased; we didn’t show a dead person on the front page. She did die, which is a horrible thing.”

In a phone interview, Masur said that the editorial staff of the Boston Herald American probably didn’t think about the consequences when they decided to publish the image — they just knew they had a great image on their hands. But in the days that followed the photo’s release, the paper was accused of taking advantage of a private moment. “The main issue is one of voyeruism,” Masur said. The image was shocking because it “captured someone in the throes of dying. That remains a certain type of taboo in American journalism.”

The immediate reaction was mostly negative. In an essay about the photographs, Nora Ephron cited examples of reader comments at the time. One reader called it “cheap sensationalism.” Another called it “a tawdry way to sell newspapers.”

However, a sizable number of readers supported the decision to publish the image. In an email, Forman referred to a poll published by Thomas Keevil of the Costa Mesa (California) Daily Pilot, in which readers voted 60 to 40 in favor of running the image.

Forman’s Web site says that the publication of the image ultimately had a positive effect, because it “led to the passage of new fire escape legislation across the country.”

The photo

Masur said there was something “macabre but beautiful about how the whole scene was framed. There aren’t many photos that capture that kind of moment.”

Tom Beck, chief curator at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at UMBC, said that the photo represents an era that “was the pinnacle of photojournalism in many respects.” Beck said, “It’s kind of like a mirror in that we can see ourself in that picture. You can imagine what it must feel like to be falling… that’s a powerful way to relate to a photo.”

Listen to Beck describe the image

Note: See the Credits page for attribution for the loudspeaker symbol used on this page.

Scenes from a winter day at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, was a cold, cloudy day at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Md. But despite the chilly weather, a lot was happening along Pratt Street, in front of Baltimore’s National Aquarium.

As a beginning photography student, I thought the Inner Harbor would be a great place to take some photos for a class project for my Digital Storytelling class at American University. I was not disappointed. Below are the six photos that I felt best captured the principles we learned in our first class session:

  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Color
  • Timing of the moment
  • Subject-to-camera distances
  • Environmental portrait/personality

Composition

Dennis Martini waits for his child to get off the school bus for a visit to the National Aquarium, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. I chose this photo to illustrate the principle of composition. The image has three layers, with Martini in the foreground, sea grass in the middle, and a city building behind it all. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Lighting

A seagull sits on a bench on the pier in front of the National Aquarium, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. I chose this photo to illustrate the principle of lighting; I like the way the reflection of the buildings shimmer in the water of the harbor. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Color

Newspaper boxes line up along Pratt Street in Baltimore, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. I chose this photo to illustrate the principle of color; the boxes' vibrant colors form a bright contrast against the drab, gray winter sky. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Timing of the moment

A pigeon strides purposefully away from the photographer on the plaza in front of the National Aquarium, Thursday, Jan 20, 2011. There's just something about this little guy I found very appealing; I felt like I had captured a moment in his very busy little life. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Subject-to-camera distances

A pedestrian walks in front of the sign for the National Aquarium, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. I chose this "overall" shot because it helps to set the scene; it shows the National Aquarium's geographic location (on Pratt Street in Baltimore, Md.), and it helps to give a sense of how cold it was that day. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Environmental portrait/personality

Alexander Keys walked across the plaza in front of the National Aquarium and allowed me to take this photo, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. I hope this photo captures the personality of this wonderfully polite gentleman, who so generously allowed me to capture this close-up portrait. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

The wrap-up

So, what did I learn from this assginment? I learned that it’s not that easy to translate what your eye sees into a photo that can communicate your vision to someone else. I also learned that you have to take a lot of photos to get a few that you can use. I took more than 100 photos just to get the six you see here!