Bikes, Beer and the Arts: 2013 in Photos

“Find a city
Find myself a city to live in.”
Cities, The Talking Heads

In 2013, I didn’t travel to anywhere exotic. I didn’t have any great adventures. I didn’t experience anything particularly unique.

But I was in a city  – adventure came to me. Photowalks, film festivals, performance art, burlesque, comedy, music and biking all could be found in Washington, DC, the city I have a love/hate relationship with. I experienced as much as I could, capturing every moment with my iPhone or DSLR.  Here are my favorite photos from the year, featuring bikes, beer and the arts.

Fun with Flickr

I have really mixed feelings about Instagram. While it’s a great social network, I hate how it shrinks pics down to little squares. I was glad to use the upgraded Flickr mobile app, which provides all sorts of adjustments and filters for iPhoneographers (my favorite filter? Brooklyn).

iPhone 5

The battery may not last all day, and it may drop calls, but as a camera, the iPhone 5 really excels. It’s a tremendous improvement on the iPhone 4, offering massive qualitative improvements and new features like panoramas. It’s so good that I used my “real” camera (a Canon Rebel) less and less.

Bikes, Bikes and More Bikes!

I love a good road trip. But I hate driving in DC. When I come back to the city, there’s a moment of joy as I drop off the rental car and ride away on my foldy bike – it’s pure freedom. With new bike lanes and bike sharing, cycling has exploded in Washington. I’m happy to contribute pics to WABA and other biking advocacy organizations, because it’s a culture that I believe in.

Food and Drink

When Klout said that I was an expert on beer, I knew that I had a problem. What selfies are to some people, pictures of food and drink are for me. Eating, drinking, taking pictures – that’s just about perfect for me. Coffeeneuring (where you bike to seven coffee shops over seven weeks) gave me a great excuse to ride about town taking pictures of cupcakes.

Photowalks and Communities

Photography in 2013 has a social component that’s impossible to resist. It’s not just liking pictures on Facebook, it’s meeting people in the real world. Washington has some great photo communities including InstantDC and Exposed DC, where you can explore the city with fellow photogs.

It’s Art

DC has a strong performance art scene, and that’s not just Congress. From the streets of Rosslyn to the Penn Quarter, the arts flourish in Washington. I not only viewed art, I participated as well, as a judge for the DC Shorts Film Festival.

What’s Next

“Human contact: the final frontier.”
Comic Book Guy, The Simpsons

Last year, I said that my photographic philosophy was to surrender to serendipity. I like wandering around the city taking photos. In 2013, I used my iPhone so much that I forgot that I had a real camera – a Canon Digital Rebel. In 2014, I’d like to take more photos with my DSLR and work with people, on a project like Humans of New York or #BikeNYC

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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