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 Louis

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

This is Louis

This is Louis

Louis was picking cigarette butts from the gutter when I met him on 1st Street NE in the trendy NOMA neighborhood of Washington, DC. He said he needed to be quick about this because the trash cleaners  would soon be along to clean up the street. So I walked along with him while he foraged for used butts. Louis thinks he's 65 years old but can't be sure as his memory has been pretty bad for awhile. He suspects that his years of drinking had something to do with that. He says that even after he quit drinking his mind was never the same especially after the explosion in his brain. It sounds like he was told he had a stroke of some kind which has left him somewhat impaired. His speech is almost inaudible and halting as if he can't find the word he is looking for.

Louis has been living on the streets or in shelters for the last 10 years by his account. Tragically he prefers sleeping outdoors because, "people will mess you up in those shelters." I asked Louis what he would do when Winter comes on in a few months. He was surprised to learn that it was already October. After he found a supply of cigarette butts he began his routine of panhandling which involved sitting on the curb and calling out to passers by that he could use a little help to get something to eat. As I watched for a bit it was clear that on this busy, weekday morning Louis was truly invisible to the herd of office workers clutching their phones and Starbuck coffees as they stepped over and around him to cross the street.

He gladly agreed to a food voucher in exchange for this photograph.

This is Dennis

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

This is Dennis

This is Dennis

I found Dennis on the East side of Union Station trying to sell copies of the daily edition of the Washington Post for half price. When I asked where he gets the papers from he says that if you hang out near the recycle bins at the metro stations people will give you their newspaper rather than throw it away. Dennis says that he and other homeless folks will then reassemble the sections of the paper and sell them at a discount. The business of reselling used papers is not that good he says but it supplements what he can make panhandling later on in the day.

Dennis says he has been homeless on and off for at least ten years. When he's not he's usually in a shelter or a SRO building. He is currently on the street. Dennis is a quiet and friendly man trying to get by as best he can. He is reluctant to say much about his past and I didn't press him for information as he was anxious to get back to hawking his papers. I sat and watched Dennis for about 20 minutes during which time not a single person gave him a second look during what is the busiest time of the morning rush outside Union Station. Dennis agreed to this photograph provided I bought a paper. I gave him a cash donation instead.


A correction from the "Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

This is Rachel who is now in the S.O.M.E. program in Washington, DC

An internal blog error last week caused a posting of the wrong photo. This the correct "Rachel" & her comment on the blog regarding her acceptance into the S.O.M.E. program. 

 

This is Michael - a year long retrospective

When I began "The Invisible Ones"  project over a year ago I decided that I would try to keep in touch with some of the individuals that have allowed me to photograph them for this project. This is no easy task as the nature of homelessness in Washington, DC is you have no fixed address. You can see the chronology of the previous photos by following the links below.

I first met Michael over a year ago in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC. He was sitting on a retaining wall in front of an apartment building. He could be heard long before he was seen as he was yelling at nothing in particular in a very loud baritone voice. It was virtually impossible to speak with Michael as he would not or could not stop yelling. Michael was quite mentally ill and clearly in need of mental health care. I told him that I wanted to take his photograph and would give him a few granola bars and a bottle of water in return. He didn't disagree so I got my photo and moved along.

I found Michael again in December of that same year several miles from his previous location in the NorthEastern part of DC.  He was every bit as psychotic and delusional as he was at our earlier meeting. Added to his thought disorder was an agitated behavior. He was running back and forth in front of a storefront under construction, putting his face against the window and yelling at no one in particular. There was a coffee shop nearby, so I bought a coffee to offer him as a way to interrupt his mania long enough to engage him. He at least stood still for a minute, took a few power bars and agreed to let me have a photograph. As with the previous meeting in the Summer, having a coherent conversation was impossible as Michael was off and running after drinking his coffee and gobbling down the power bars.

This is Michael - July 18, 2014

This is Michael - July 18, 2014

This was Michael on July 18, 2014. I found him on 19th & M Streets, South of Dupont Circle, again many miles from where he was in December. Things have changed for Michael, he is not overtly psychotic, he has gained weight and is now panhandling by politely asking passersby if they could help him out. I told him that I had seen him twice before in other parts of the city. He says that he can't remember yesterday let alone last year. I comment on his improved mental health and he just laughs uproariously. He will not say if he is receiving treatment of any kind. He does say that he lives in a small space behind a building nearby and makes enough panhandling to eat at least one meal a day. He worries about what he'll do when Winter comes. I gave Michael a few dollars for which he thanked me by shaking my hand and saying that he'll remember my name the next time he sees me. We'll see how that turns out.

This is Lester

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

This is Lester

This is Lester

Lester is a disabled veteran who served in the first Iraq war. He has been living on the streets of Washington, DC for the last five years having come to DC from upstate New York where he is originally from. In total, Lester says he has been homeless for 17 years. When asked about the nature of his disability Lester describes a collection of symptoms that in today's military would be categorized as PTSD. In the early 1990s the military was not so inclined to make that determination. I asked Lester where he slept at night and he pointed to a nearby homeless encampment under a bridge overpass. He stays there rather than the city shelters which he finds far too dangerous.

Lester carries a large cardboard sign that says, "Homeless USA Veteran, Your help is gratefully appreciated. God Bless You." He has located himself in the median of the Whitehurst Freeway as it exits Georgetown and becomes K Street going into the city. He is seen by a steady stream of car traffic as well as pedestrians walking to Georgetown. He says this is a pretty good spot as he already has three dollars and change and it's only 9:30 in the morning. It helps that Lester is friendly, affable and not at all threatening to passersby. He says he can only be out in the hot sun and exhaust fumes for a few hours and will have to find a shady spot later in the morning. Lester agreed to this photograph in exchange for a monetary donation.

While Lester is able to generate some money through his daily panhandling, given the huge volume of traffic and people who pass him by without noticing, he clearly qualifies as one of the invisible ones of Washington, DC