2009 PAW (Picture a Week)

In 2008 I did my first PAW (see 2008 PAW).

Here's the second round...


Week 1 (12/29/08 - 1/4/09)

As I reported towards the end of last year's PAW (and elsewhere), I've recently picked up my film cameras again, after a couple-year immersion in digital. I certainly expect digital to continue to be predominant in my photography world, but film will again get its chance at the plate. And so it is that I lead off this year's selection with a shot from a roll of chromogenic black & white.

This was at The Tombs, a bar near the Georgetown campus I used to frequent back in the day. (Leica M6, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH, Kodak BW400CN rated at 400)



Week 2 (1/5/09 - 1/11/09)

An image within an image. This was taken at the International Motorcycle Show in Washington, DC. I found the artistic backdrop to the custom bikes here actually more interesting than the bikes themselves. There are a handful of other images from the show under 'Motorcycling'. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0, iso 1250, 1/45 at f4)




Week 3 (1/12/09 - 1/18/09)

Another bit of self-reflection. This is an image that represents part of my Sunday evening PAW ritual. After dumping my week's worth of images into Adobe Lightroom, I go through a couple quick editing iterations, flagging those that make the short list. Those then get some minor editing and are then output into a small web gallery. I then open them up in Firefox and make the final selection. After that it's over to Dreamweaver, where the PAW and main pages on my website get updated.

This is what last week's selection view looked like. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0, iso 160, 1/30 at f2)



Week 4 (1/19/09 - 1/25/09)

As a writer myself, I've long been fascinated in all the ways in which writers get down their words. I myself compose mostly on a computer - in recent years on my beloved MacBook Pro - but that's a relatively new option. For most of the last couple of millennia writers had to make do with some form of pen, ink, and paper. Well, I've recently become interested in fountain pens. Over the last month I've picked up a couple, along with several different inks - and am enjoying them immensely. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 6400, 1/1000 at f3.2)




Week 5 (1/26/09 - 2/1/09)

I spent a couple hours at Starbucks, writing and taking a few pictures. That's my M6, freshly loaded with a roll of Tri-X, on the table. I took the shot with my M8. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0, iso 160, 1/250 at f4)





Week 6 (2/2/09 - 2/8/09)

Hooter's had a photo shoot at Patriot HD for their national calendar. I took my Leica and grabbed a couple shots myself (available light, as usual, in constrast to the strobes that the pro photographers were using). (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/90 at f1.4)





Week 7 (2/9/09 - 2/15/09)

I periodically walk around old-town Warrenton, looking for photo opportunities. And so it was that Saturday night found me walking the chilly streets there. Not much in this shot here - just the statute of John Marshall (legendary Statesman and the longest-tenured Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in history) next to the courthouse. But I like the light illuminating it from the bottom, with the quick fall-off as you raise your eyes toward his head. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 1250, 1/60 at f2)




Week 8 (2/16/09 - 2/22/09)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, as an adjunct to my writing I've become interested in fountain pens this winter. Here's the nib of one of my pens, taken with my Nikkor 60mm macro lens. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 6400, 1/200 at f18)




Week 9 (2/23/09 - 3/1/09)

Another macro shot. This is of my 13-year-old Omega Speedmaster, a la "The Moon Watch" - the model certified by NASA for use in space and subsequently worn by the Apollo astronauts during the missions to the moon. During high school I dearly wanted this watch - I'd always stop and gaze at the one in the window at the mall. Alas, the $300 they wanted for it might as well have been the moon! Fast forward 25 years. The confluence of a broken Seiko and a happenstance sale on Omega watches at a local jewelery store led me to finally get that watch I'd always wanted. I've worn it every day, ever since. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 2800, 1/250 at f8)




Week 10 (3/2/09 - 3/8/09)

The ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard. Despite my recent interest in handwriting and fountain pens, the keyboard remains a mainstay for just about any kind of communications these days. I have long said that the single most useful class I took all during high school was typing (now usually called "keyboarding", a term less colored by gender bias). This is my beloved MacBook Pro, taken while sitting down at Starbucks writing an article for Sport Rider. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 6400, 1/160 at f16)




Week 11 (3/9/09 - 3/15/09)

My M8 has been at Leica's New Jersey service facility the last couple of weeks, having its shutter upgraded. Since this is the camera that normally goes with me just about everywhere, I very much missed it. It was a happy day earlier this week when Ginny sent me a text message that "your camera is here".

Here's a quick grab shot while waiting for my Latte. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 640, 1/60 at f4)





Week 12 (3/16/09 - 3/22/09)

I ride my motorcycles all winter, subject only to the roads being clear of snow, ice... and salt. This winter was a tough one with salt covering the roads for long stretches of time - forcing me to hibernate my bikes more than I normally do. So I was particularly happy to see a moderately nice (sunny and temps in the 50's) weekend, following the good rain we got earlier in the week.

It was especially nice getting out on my Harley Road King. This shot is as it points down my driveway. I had forgotten my tire repair kit and air pump and so stopped the bike and walked back to the shed to retrieve those. Walking back, I kind of liked the image of the bike with the gravel road stretching out into the distance in front of it. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 200, 1/800 at f5.6)




Week 13 (3/23/09 - 3/29/09)

As Sunday afternoon drew to a close I had all of... zero shots for the week. So I grabbed my M8 and went down to the local Starbucks. I bought a latte and a bottle of water and sat down next to the window. This girl was sitting outside talking on her cell phone. I picked up the Leica, manually set the focus to eight feet, set the aperture at f4 to give me a bit of of slack... and fired off a single, quick frame. The vertical bands are from the blinds on the window. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 320, 1/90 at f4)




Week 14 (3/30/09 - 4/5/09)

We finally got some warm enough weather this week that I was able to break out my chaps, leather jacket, summer-weight gloves, and shortie half-helmet rather than the Aerostich suit, electrics, and full-face helmet I've been wearing since last November. What a pleasure to ride without bundling up!

This shot was taken at one of my favorite stopping places, on one of my favorite roads. The house has been abandoned for years (don't ask me who laid in the recent supply of wood or why they would put it there) and I've stood there many a time wondering about the family that must have lived there years ago. The house sits adjacent to a beautiful green meadow and there's a little creek - the phrase "bubbling brook" comes to mind - about fifty feet to my left. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 200, 1/640 at f5.6)




Week 15 (4/6/09 - 4/12/09)

I took my R1200GS out for a few hours on Easter. While stopped for a water and fig newton break, I took a shot of the famous BMW roundel. I like the way the background fades into fuzziness, with the sharpened roundel towards the right in the image, lending a sense of dynamism. Kind of like rear-curtain sync when shooting flash. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 200, 1/320 at f5.6)




Week 16 (4/13/09 - 4/19/09)

This was from the Fodderstack 10K (see the main page for details and links to other images). A race like this is full of personal stories, vignettes, and little bits of drama. I can't think of anything cooler, though, than a father running it with his little daughter. They'll both remember it for a long, long time. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 70-200/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/400 at f5.6)




Week 17 (4/20/09 - 4/26/09)

I went for my first HOG (Harley Owners Group) ride this week, having just recently joined the local Fairfax, Virginia chapter. The ride was lots of fun, taking us over some great roads to and from the Antietam battlefield, and I was impressed both by the general competence of the riders and the terrific job done by the road captains. The riders were a diverse lot and everyone was as friendly as could be. This was one of the gals in our group. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/1250 at f4)





Week 18 (4/27/09 - 5/3/09)

I awoke Saturday morning to a soft overcast - the rain forecast to be with us the whole weekend had not yet started - and so I decided to head into DC and see what I could find. I loaded my car with a couple of Leicas and my Nikon D3 and drove the 50 miles east.

Our Capital city is full of picture-making possibilities. None are more evocative, though, than the Vietnam Memorial. It has always been one of my favorite places. This was a simple shot, albeit one I think captures much of what that wall represents. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS, iso 200, 1/4000 at f2)




Week 19 (5/4/09 - 5/10/09)

As might be apparent from my Finance page, I'm not very sanguine about our nation's longterm economic prospects. I read a lot of books on economics. Here are a couple from the darker side. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/2.8 AFS Micro, iso 6400, 1/8 at f11)






Week 20 (5/11/09 - 5/17/09)

Your kids grow up, leave home, and get involved in their own things - something that's wonderful to see. But you miss them and you treasure those times when you get to see them again. Here, Ginny and I met Josh at Borders. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.8 ASPH, iso 160, 1/45 at f2)





Week 21 (5/18/09 - 5/24/09)

I'm a couple days late posting this week's selection because I was away on our annual Memorial Day Chicken Run motorcycle trip. This is a shot of Ashley shooting a game of pool while we were waiting to be seated for dinner Sunday night. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 1400, 1/250 at f1.4)





Week 22 (5/25/09 - 5/31/09)

Saturday's excellent HOG Chapter ride wasn't enough to sate my riding desire, so I took the Road King back out again on Sunday. Coursing through western Fairfax county, I stopped at St. Mary's Church - built in 1858 by Irish immigrants and the oldest Catholic church in the county. It's picturesque like many old churches are (and, alas, few modern ones). Here's a statute of a young nun praying at the altar of a Buddhist-like shrine. The shrine itself - the shelf in the background - actually had photos and cards and letters to those who have passed on. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70 2.8/AFS, iso 200, 1/800 at f4.5)




Week 23 (6/1/09 - 6/7/09)

We had a mini family get-together this weekend and we had the boys and the girls together for the first time. That's Jenni, Josh, Jason, and Chelsea, from left to right. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 160, 1/500 at f4 or f5.6)





Week 24 (6/8/09 - 6/14/09)

Ok, it's Sunday afternoon, I'm out riding the Harley and wondering what I'm going to do about this week's PAW. As I have exactly... zero images for the week. Clearly I've been slacking. A few minutes later, while stopped at a traffic light, I happen to glance down and notice the metal "Red Wing" tab screwed into the sole of my engineer boots. And so was an idea born.

I had my tripod with me, but although it can get down pretty low, I knew it couldn't get down that low. So I just laid my Nikon directly on the pavement, with my gloves stuffed under the lens to keep that level. Since I couldn't get down low enough to use the viewfinder, I used Live View to compose and focus. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 1250, 1/250 at f5.6)




Week 25 (6/15/09 - 6/21/09)

< Smile >

It was a beautiful summer evening. What better time for a few drinks at Mollys? (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS, iso 6400, 1/160 at f2)






Week 26 (6/22/09 - 6/28/09)

I like this shot both because it's of my favorite motorcycle, and because despite it being shot in color, it mostly renders like a monochrome. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/800 at f5.6)






Week 27 (6/29/09 - 7/5/09)

Warrenton, like countless towns and communities all across America, celebrated the 4th with a parade. It wasn't much - no fire engines, no cop cars, no marching bands, no floats, no pretty young women waving from open convertibles. I'm not sure of the reason for the spartan presentation. Mostly it was just a bunch of kids bicycling or walking behind a lone motor officer. Oh well, I suppose it's the thought that counts. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS, iso 200, 1/8000 at f2)





Week 28 (7/6/09 - 7/12/09)

One of the characteristics of photography I have long enjoyed is narrow depth of field. It has its place, of course. And it can easily be overdone. But it definitely gives you the opposite of the everything's-in-focus picutures that most of the world with their point-and-shoot cameras end up acheiving.

Here, I was out for a ride on my Harley, stopped at a church to take a few pictures, and just happened to glance down at the logo on my front fender as I was getting ready to put my camera away. I had a 60mm macro lens mounted and that led me to envision this shot. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/f2.8 AFS Micro, iso 200, 1/500 at f5.6)




Week 29 (7/13/09 - 7/19/09)

No kid ever grows up thinking he's going to end up living on the street. Alas, that's the sad result for more than a few. This was around 6:10am, with the city still mostly quiet and dawn just breaking into full light.

There, but for the grace of God... (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 1250, 1/8 at f8)




Week 30 (7/20/09 - 7/26/09)

My Leica goes with me everyday to work. And occasionally I'll take it out during my walk at lunchtime and see what's to see. This was of some local fellows playing 5-minute speed chess in the little mini-park at Dupont Circle. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 160, 130 at f8)





Week 31 (7/27/09 - 8/2/09)

As I mentioned in my blog, I've recently pulled my bicycle out of the shed and begun to give it a workout. Or, rather, it's giving me one! Here's my bike after a morning ride. The Brooks saddle is made in England, by a small company that is over 150 years old. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 1100, 1/250 at f4)






Week 32 (8/3/09 - 8/9/09)

This is a shot of the short-gauntlet summer-weight deerskin motorcycle glove I've used for many years. I use it on all my bikes, but most especially on the Harley. And, no, it's not some sort of beige or gray color. Believe it or not it actually started out jet black and the dye has slowly been leached out of it by long hours in the sun. You can just see a couple spots of remaining dye on my index finger and the base of my thumb. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 60/f2.8 AFS Micro, iso 320, 1/250 at f5.6)





Week 33 (8/10/09 - 8/16/09)

This is Charlie, our wonderfully israscible (he takes after Ginny) tabby. He's a tiny little fellow, but has the heart of a giant. He's fearless to a fault, taking on just about anything that comes into our yard. Ginny and I joke that he's the reincarnation of Zuri, our first Rhodesian Ridgeback. I'm half convinced that's not a joke.

It was Sunday afternoon and I had nothing for this week's PAW. So I went inside, put my 200/f2 on the D3 and came back outside where Charlie was. I liked the lighting on this one. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2.0 AFS, iso 200, 1/400 at f2)




Week 34 (8/17/09 - 8/23/09)

Instead of riding or reading or shooting or taking pictures or any of the other things that usually occupy my time on the weekends, I was at home on Sunday doing a few "chores". There's more in my blog (http://jeffreyhughes.net/wordpress/2009/08/23/when-it-rains-it-pours/), but the long and short is that I was wielding a chain saw cutting down a large tree limb which came down Saturday afternoon; while at the same time we had some guys over re-roofing our house. So they got the nod for my subject this week. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 280, 1/250 at f5.6)




Week 35 (8/24/09 - 8/30/09)

Charlie gets the nod again this week. This was a shot on Saturday morning, as Charlie walked to the corner of our back deck and settled down to do what he does best... nap.

I really hadn't planned on using it - I even went into old town Warrenton on Saturday night to try and get something a bit more interesting. But one of my rules in this PAW is to use the image I like the best, even if it's redundant or boring or trite. And this is the image I like the most. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS, iso 200, 1/6400 at f2)




Week 36 (8/31/09 - 9/6/09)

A shot from this weekend's Chicken Run. I think the picture says it all! (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/320 at f4.5)






Week 37 (9/7/09 - 9/13/09)

This is Spencer, my niece's son, enjoying a video game. He's a delightful young man! (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 6400, 1/125 at f2.8)






Week 38 (9/14/09 - 9/20/09)

Ok, once again I go all week and take exactly zero images. On Sunday I ride down to see my folks and although I carry a camera with me, again don't take any pictures. I get home right on the cusp of darkness. I'm tired, hungry, and have less than two hours until my bedtime. What to do?

Ah, well, there's always the shot of the Harley before it goes into the shed. I actually kind of like it. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 6400, 1/8 sec at f2.8)




Week 39 (9/21/09 - 9/27/09)

There's nothing particularly unusual about this photograph except for where it was taken: atop Mt. Washington. That alone gives it the stuff for this week's pick. That's a pretty rarified location, one I won't likely be back to anytime soon.

These were some of my motorcycle pals after our ride up that amazing peak. More images from that trip can be seen here. And, yes, I'm a couple days late posting this week because I was away on that trip. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/400 at f8)




Week 40 (9/28/09 - 10/4/09)

High contrast scenes can be challenging, exceeding the dynamic range of sensor or film; and injecting a harshness into the image which is not flattering to many subjects. Here's an example where it worked out well - helped in no small part by an exemplary lens. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/2 AFS, iso 200, 1/3200 at f2)




Week 41 (10/5/09 - 10/11/09)

I've always loved West Virginia. Not just because of the beautiful countryside and terrific motorcycle roads. But also because the people who live there are among the friendliest I've ever encountered anywhere. And despite oftentimes not having much, they exhibit a whimsy and a humor that I find heartening.

This is a a shot I've wanted to take for years. We've passed the spot numerous times on our bike trips but, alas, were always heading somewhere and never stopped. This year I was traveling alone on day one, and so determined to finally capture this long-laughed-at image. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 360, 1/250 at f4.5)



Week 42 (10/12/09 - 10/18/09)

Yes, the ubiquitous Starbucks. What more to say? (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 1250, 1/45 at f8)





Week 43 (10/19/09 - 10/25/09)

One of the things I love about this time of year are the colors. Between the turning of the leaves and harvests like this, it's a visual feast for the eyes. This was a quick snap during a 2-minute lull in some pretty heavy rain. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 160, 1/45 at f8)





Week 44 (10/26/09 - 11/1/09)

The world has changed. At least for our little family. Here is the newest addition. More words can be found in my blog here. And more images can be found in the gallery here. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS, iso 200, 1/500 at f2)





Week 45 (11/2/09 - 11/8/09)

His name is Jasiri. That's Swahili for "fearless". Which is exactly what he is.

More images can be found here (a different gallery from last week) (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/320 at f1.4)





Week 46 (11/9/09 - 11/15/09)

Another one of Jasiri. A new puppy does that - they demand much of your attention. That's a joy, of course. There aren't many things in this world better than a puppy!

Here, Ginny just got home from running the Richmond marathon. Jasiri and I were outside playing and he was happy to see her pull up. (Leica M8, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH, iso 320, 1/1500 at f1.4)




Week 47 (11/16/09 - 11/22/09)

Mort Kunstler, the renowned civil war artist, was at the courthouse in Warrenton this week, signing prints. I had my Leica in hand, of course, and so captured a handful of images. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 1600, 1/60 at f2)






Week 48 (11/23/09 - 11/29/09)

I stopped by the Mall on a whim, after dropping Josh off at Reagan National. I had my Leica with me and when I got out of the car I first thought to drop my 28 Cron or 35 Lux in my pocket. There's certainly enough stuff down there to warrant a wide-angle. But, shrugging, I decided to just keep it simple. The 50 Cron would do.

Indeed it did. It was crowded and I slowly worked around from the right of old Abe to his front, taking half a dozen frames. This one was easily my favorite. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 320, 1/60 at f5.6)





Week 49 (11/30/09 - 12/6/09)

We had our first snow of the year on Saturday, and this was a shot from our kitchen, looking out midday - halfway through the storm. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 160, 1/125 at f5.6)

A couple more images can be found in my blog... http://jeffreyhughes.net/wordpress/2009/12/06/first-snow/ )





Week 50 (12/7/09 - 12/13/09)

Quite literally a quick, happy hour at The Black Rooster with a couple of friends from work. I had my ubiquitous Leica with me. (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH, iso 2000, 1/60 at f1.4)






Week 51 (12/14/09 - 12/20/09)

As I mentioned in my blog posting here, we experienced a very serious snow storm this week. I went outside around midnight, after everyone else had gone to bed, and the snow had finally stopped, and took a couple of quick frames. On the left side of the deck you can get an idea of how much snow we got. The largish shadow on the right is our covered ready rack where we keep about 1/2 cord of wood. It comes in very handy on days like this when our regular wood pile is under two feet of snow! (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH, iso 400, 1/60 at f2)




Week 52 (21/21/09 - 12/27/09)

Ginny has made most of the ornaments that grace our annual Christmas tree. That tree was very much abbreviated this year - consisting of just the top four feet or so, set several feet off the floor, atop a cabinet - to keep it away from Jasiri. But Ginny made it look nice. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 800, 1/60 at f1.4)




It's hard to believe, but another PAW is in the books. Having now done this for two years, the one conclusion I can draw, the one thing that is unequivocally clear after having done this for 104 weeks - is that my original intent to have the PAW force me to shoot more has, alas, not been realized.

But hope springs eternal. And, so, with a new year upon us there will, yes, be another PAW. We shall see what 2010 brings...


And with the year behind us, here is a little video of some of the outtakes from 2009. It's in Quicktime format, which is available as a free download (Windows or Mac) from Apple, here

2009 PAW Outtakes