DCist Exposed: Who Are These People?

Opening night at DCist Exposed
Opening night at DCist Exposed 2013

What does the brave new world of photography look like? It looks a lot like the DCist Exposed show wrapping up this weekend at Long View Gallery.

In an era when digital images are ubiquitous, and everyone has a cellphone camera, what does it mean to be a photographer? Is a photographer someone who has expensive gear? Someone who works for pay? A person who understands ISO and exposure?

We are all photographers now. This is liberating and terrifying all at once. It’s liberating for millions who can now use inexpensive cameras and free apps to pursue their artistic vision. And it’s terrifying for anyone who hopes to make a living at this trade.

You can see the results in DCist Exposed. I’ve been in the show twice myself and think it’s a great celebration of photography. You can learn a lot from the show. It offers the opportunity to look at familiar landmarks in a new light.

I’ve seen the Capitol a million times but never from the terrace of the Newseum like this photo from Victoria Pickering. Another familiar landmark is seen in Memorial Day by Gary Silverstein.

But the show also offers off the beaten path looks at the city like the abstract lines of Hockney by Jim Darling and river speed by Bryan Bowman.

Running Around the Tree by Eric Purcell is my favorite from the show.

What fascinates me about DCist Exposed is that it’s done by ordinary folks. The show is not curated by a Gallery Director and populated by the obscure work of pierced art students. It’s a scene unknown to local art mandarins, leading an Atlantic magazine columnist to sniff, “Who are these people?”

Instead, the curators are people who have day jobs in government and the photos come from lawyers, web developers and other prosaic professions.

And that’s why the show is such a success. Like the DC Shorts Film Festival (which I’m also involved with), DCist Exposed is a show open to all with a populist sensibility.

Organized, curated and promoted by amateurs with cameras, the future of photography looks a lot like DCist Exposed. Go see it.

DCist Exposed: March 25 – April 7, 2013
Long View Gallery
1234 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
Wednesday-Saturday 11-6
Sunday 12-5

DCist Exposed Wants Your Photos

media storm
Media storm - 2012 DCist Exposed Photography Show

DCist Exposed is looking for photos of our nation’s capital for their annual show at Long View Gallery. The deadline for submissions is January 9 and the show will be in March of next year.

If you’re a photographer, it’s a great event. I’ve had photos in the show twice. The opening night parties are always packed and it’s a thrill to see your work framed and hung in a gallery. Plus, you get to meet lots of other photographers and learn how they do things – that’s been the best part for me.

So, what is DCist Exposed looking for? Well, check out DCist to get an idea of what their photo editors like. I’d say that they look for gritty, non-touristy and unusual looks at DC.

The photo above was in the 2012 show. I think it got in because it’s a different look at a familiar landmark. I took it during the post-earthquake inspection of the Washington Monument. There’s a strange symmetry between the antennas of the TV trucks and this iconic structure. I made it black and white to make this obvious. And if you look carefully, you can see a figure at the top of the Monument, rappelling down as he checked for earthquake damage.

Below is my photo which was in the 2007 show. There’s a nice contrast between the playful girl and the graffiti. It’s innocence in an urban environment.

rose runs
Rose runs - 2007 DCist Exposed Photography Show

So pick out your best three photos and submit to DCist Exposed today!

Party Report: DCist Exposed Photography Show

party sceneLast night was opening night for DCist Exposed, a gallery exhibit of some of the most interesting photos from around the Washington region. Read my FAQ to learn more about this interesting show which, by the way, runs until March 27 at Long View Gallery.

After hanging out there for a couple of hours, drinking beer and talking to photogs, what did I learn?

  • Long View is almost too cool to be in DC. It’s enormous, sparse and separated by historic Blagden Alley by just a glass garage-style door. Last year, it played host to the opening party of DC Week too. One drawback: only two little bathrooms in the back, not ideal for large crowds served beer.
  • I cannot tell the difference between the various varieties of Yeungling that they served last night.
  • Giving the photogs and DCist staff name tags was an excellent idea. You could easily spot the show’s participants.
  • From Samer Farha, one of the show judges, learned that Mpix was a good place for prints and Apex in Virginia was a great place for framing. We both agreed: insanely expensive to print at home.
  • Brian Mosley informed me that you don’t have to go too early down to the Mall on July 4th to get a shot like this. I find this hard to believe.
  • Art lovers bought photos on opening night, including this classic shot of a stunned-looking Mayor Fenty. The photographers don’t know who buys their pics.
  • Selling tickets in advance was a brilliant idea. No fire marshals and there was plenty of room for everyone.
  • Heather Goss, who started DCist Exposed, has about five different jobs. But not to worry, she’s apparently a machine.
  • People liked my line in the FAQ I wrote for the Pink Line Project about the DCist commentators being a “riotous crew of misfits.” That’s me literary background.

Be sure to check out these great photos of the night from Vincent Gallegos. Can’t wait til next year!

Update: more great pics from DCist!