In and Out of The Studio

Learn how to swim in your ocean of digital images

Why do this…

There has been an explosion of digital photography and photographers, both amateur and professional, over the past few years. For digital photographers the focus is the creative and artistic aspect of their work, and this is as it should be. The very nature of digital photography, however, allows for the creation of thousands of images that need to be managed. Digital asset management (D.A.M.) is at the core of my business model. There is a real need for individualized services tailored to the specific needs of the amateur, semi-pro and pro photographers who want to focus on creativity rather than managing files.

How I can help…

Here’s how I've been helping photographers and what I can offer you:

Individualized tutoring at your home or office, or in my studio.

Tutoring Basic to intermediate Photoshop skills tailored  to what you need to know.

Tutoring Basic to intermediate Photoshop Elements skills tailored  to what you need to know.

Set up and training in the use of Adobe Lightroom.

Using Adobe Bridge to its full capacity.

D.A.M. for the photo entrepreneur.

The initial consultation is free either by phone or email.

This is Harvey

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

This is Harvey

I met Harvey on a busy morning outside the China Town/Gallery Place metro station in Washington, DC. He was lying on the sidewalk propped up on one elbow asking for spare change. It is worth noting that this image was taken on a warm Spring day with temperatures in the 70s, so Harvey's winter parka and hat tended to put people off a bit. Harvey says he's been homeless on and off for about 15 years. This most recent period of time has been for more than 2 years after losing his job with a construction company that did demolition work. Harvey is not very forthcoming with the details of his life and won't talk about family or what factors may be keeping him on the street. One thing that is for certain is that he is terrible at panhandling inspite of the large amount of pedestrian traffic walking by. He did make one comment that may shed some light on his mental state. I asked him how the panhandling  was going and he said that, "people are afraid of him because of his previous job with the demolition company." "When I tell them I used to blow up buildings they get afraid." Harvey was agreeable to having his photograph taken in exchange for a food voucher and a bottle of water. Inspite of his odd appearance and very close proximity to hundreds of passersby, Harvey is indeed invisible.

This is John

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

This is john. A homeless man living on the streets of Washington, DC for by his estimate, the last 15 years. I saw John sitting on a sidewalk bench at 13th and H Streets which is in the middle of busy downtown DC. He had no shoes, his socks were filthy from walking and his feet were swollen. He said that someone had stolen his shoes at the shelter where he slept last evening. John alludes to other medical problems that he needs to have tests for but is fearful to do that as he doesn't trust hospitals. John has no belongings other than what he is wearing and is really bad at panhandling as he doesn't interact with passersby, relying instead on the hope that they will approach him. He says a woman stopped by earlier and said she would bring him some shoes. I hope for John's sake this is true. At least warmer weather is upon us and being on the street is not so life threatening. John agreed to this photograph in exchange for food voucher and a bottle of water.

This is Dennis

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

This is Dennis

This is Dennis

Dennis is a homeless man who has been living on the streets of Washington, DC for as long as he can remember. When asked how old he was he thought it might be around 50 or 60 he wasn't sure. I've seen Dennis around the city on a number of occasions over the past year or so. He has always been too busy to talk with me, usually panhandling or selling newspapers he's reclaimed and repurposed from the recycling bins. This morning he was just standing quietly, panhandling and listening to an old transistor radio which he found someplace or another. Dennis told me he had an appointment coming up with a caseworker to look into a permanent housing placement with an organization known as Pathways to Housing. This would be a real life changing event for Dennis. I am very familiar with Pathways and hope that they and Dennis can be a good fit. Dennis went on to say that this past Winter was especially hard for him as he almost passed out from the cold and would have frozen to death had someone not alerted the police who took him to a hypothermia shelter. Dennis rightly observes that being homeless is no place to spend your old age years. Dennis agreed to this photograph in exchange for a food voucher and a cup of coffee.

This is Russell

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

This is Russell

I found Russell lying on the sidewalk near Union Station in Washington, DC. It was before 9:00 AM and he was just waking up after having spent the night sleeping there with just two ratty blankets and the clothes he has on. Russell may be mentally ill as it was very difficult to get him to focus on a conversation. I know his name only because another homeless person nearby told me he was known as Russell. I asked how long he had been living on the streets and he just smiled without saying anything. I managed to communicate my interest in taking his photograph in exchange for a bottle of water, a bagel and a granola bar. He stopped his incoherent conversation long enough for me to make this photograph.

This man and many men and women like him are a living testament to the failure of the city government to provide for the least fortunate of it's citizens. Now that we are through the harsh and bitterly cold Winter nights, the city no longer activates the hypothermia shelters and the aggressive outreach to shelter folks like Russell tapers off.  Were it not for the good will of the various not for profit organizations and church groups, I shudder to think of what would become of these folks. The good news from this past Winter is that no one died from exposure to the cold. The bad news is that the homeless/mentally ill population is larger than ever. Spring will be here soon, along with the cherry blossoms and herds of tourists. These are the predictable constants of Washington, DC. Sadly so are "The Invisible Ones."

This is Nicole

Another Installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

Nicole is a 30 something woman who has been living on the streets of Washington, DC for about two years. She has no family in the area and describes having a learning disability although she is not clear what that is exactly. She does say it caused her great difficulties in school and has interfered with her finding work because she has trouble learning things. I met Nicole in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where she was panhandling. As you can see from the photograph she is wearing at least two winter coats as she spends the majority of her time outdoors except at night when she sleeps at the Federal City Shelter which she says is a dangerous place but it's better than freezing to death. Nicole is a friendly and outgoing person so she does well enough panhandling to get money for food. When I told her about the Invisible Ones project, she said, "That's me, like a ghost." She agreed to allow me to make this photo in return for a food voucher.

This is Barbara

Another Installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

I met Barbara in the main entry hall of Union Station the day after the New Years holiday. This is normally a busy travel day with people coming and going from their holidays. I mention this because Barbara had staked out a place for herself on one of the large benches along with all of her belongings contained in several trash bags. She was having a loud, animated conversation with herself which effectively kept virtually everyone at a distance. Not being put off by such things, I sat down next to her and said good morning. Barbara was able to focus long enough to tell me that she had been living on the streets for only about two years and that she previously had a job as a seamstress at a local dry cleaning shop. She said she had to quit when the heat and the chemicals form the dry cleaning cause her to have "brain problems." She went on to say that the Dr. wanted her to take medication for this but she refused and is not now under any treatment. Our conversation was difficult in that Barbara was hearing voices, benign voices but inside her head nonetheless. She went on to say that she sleeps at the Federal City Shelter which is nearby, then comes to Union Station for the morning. The remainder of the day is spent wandering around the Capitol Hill neighborhood panhandling. I persuaded Barbara to sit still long enough for this photograph in exchange for a breakfast at McDonalds. She was not interested in dining at the restaurant so she took her meal to go.

Barbara is one of many homeless, mentally ill people on the streets of Washington, DC. Her symptoms are obvious to anyone who passes by but not so severe that she is likely to get into trouble. It would seem that panhandling for Barbara is difficult at best making her even more invisible.

This is Anissa

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

Anissa is a 30 something woman who has been living on the streets of Arlington Virginia and now Washington, DC for the last five years. When I met her she was sitting on a plastic milk crate at the intersection of 27th and K Streets. This particular spot is well known to the homeless as it is a very busy commuter thoroughfare. Anissa tells me that she also sleeps under the overpass where we are standing unless it's really cold, then she will use some of her panhandling money to get a cheap room in a SRO hotel. She tries to avoid the homeless shelters as she finds them to be dangerous places. Anissa came to be homeless following a divorce proceeding because she was unable to maintain the marital home and soon exhausted the settlement money. At one time she was training to be a veterinary technician but never finished her education. She had no other job skills and no prospects because she is homeless. Drugs, Alcohol and mental illness do not seem to part of the problem as best I can tell.

Anissa is an affable and friendly woman who is able to make enough money panhandling to survive on the streets. When I told her about the Invisible Ones project she just laughed saying, "Honey, you have no idea how invisible I can be out here." She's certainly right about that.

This is Curtis

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones of Washington, DC"

When I first noticed Curtis, he was having a conversation with someone who was giving him a bag with what I thought might be food or other supplies. It's not uncommon for generous benefactors to help out select street people in that way, especially those they pass by everyday. As it turns out Curtis had received a warm jacket, a hat and gloves which he is wearing in my photograph. Needless to say he was having a good day considering he is living on the street. Curtis has only been in DC for a few weeks, coming from Richmond, VA where he was in jail for 120 days on a trespassing charge. He told me that he wasn't doing anything more than what he was doing now, sitting on the street panhandling. Apparently the police in Richmond are on a campaign to clean up the tourist areas and the homeless are being removed. Upon his release he decided to relocate rather than risk getting incarcerated again. Curtis is originally from Arkansas. he became unemployed and headed East this past Summer looking for work. His savings soon ran out and he became caught in the spiral of homelessness and chronic unemployment. He plans to spend the Winter in DC and perhaps head back to Arkansas in the Spring. He is hoping to save enough panhandling money to get a bus ticket. Unlike some homeless folks, Curtis says he can take care of himself in the shelter where he sleeps. The trick he says is to make it clear that people shouldn't mess with you. 

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