2012 PAW (Picture a Week)


My 2008 PAW is here

My 2009 PAW is here

My 2010 PAW is here

My 2011 PAW is here

And here on this page is my fifth year of this PAW...


Week 1 (12/26/11 - 1/1/12)

Every year the small town I live near hosts a "First Night" celebration on New Years Eve. I've come to enjoy those little celebrations. And I've grown to expect that my first PAW image of the year will probably come from it. This year I debated whether to use my 35/1.4, as I have in years past, or my Noctilux. Focusing in the dim light can be a real challenge and the 35 is a faster handling lens. The Noct, of course, is a stop faster and is what I've used all year for my nighttime excursions - and half my daytime excursions as well. In the end I chose the big, fast Noctilux. Ironically, the image I chose here was more of a set piece - and had little to do with the New Years Eve celebration happening up and down the street. The photographer was using a DSLR and conventional zoom lens (ergo, slow; ergo, the need for a tripod) to shoot the front of the small diner. I focused, composed, and then waited for a couple of pedestrians to walk into the frame in order to give the image the balance I envisioned. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 2000, 1/60 at f1)






Week 2 (1/2/12 - 1/8/12)

It's strange... I've gone down to Old Town Alexandria many times to take pictures - as it's a very rich venue for street photography. And I've likewise made many visits to Old Town Warrenton - including countless nighttime strolls. But I've never gone to Old Town Alexandria at night. I suppose the distance just made it seem a bit far to go, that late. Well, on Saturday night - following a day that remarkably reached the low sixties - I decided to go down there. I'm glad I did. It was even more fun than my typical afternoon walkabouts. The temperatures remained, if not balmy, unseasonably comfortable. It was a fine hour or so I spent walking from darkness to light and back to darkness.

This shot here, of a lovely girl having dinner with her date, was simply a bit of serendipity. It was the second of two shots. The first - which I also like - was of her smiling at her gentleman friend. Then she turned and glanced my way, and I was able to get this one. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 2500, 1/125 at f1)






Week 3 (1/9/12 - 1/15/12)

The security guard sidled up to me. "Are you a pro?" he asked, glancing at my Leica. I smiled at him. "No, just a fellow who likes good light," explaining my lack of flash. This was a moment from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 1000, 1/125 at f2)







Week 4 (1/16/12 - 1/22/12)

This was a shot of a couple of young fans at a Caps vs. Islanders game. Although certainly not the DSLR-plus-long-telephoto one normally expects to see at a venue such as this, I managed a handful of shots with my diminuitive Leica and 50mm prime lens. I liked the simple composition of the two girls, juxtaposed against the vertical sense of falling-away in the background. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 1000, 1/90 at f2)





Of note... this week I passed the 10,000-image mark on my Leica M9. (The actual frame number for this week's selection was '10,003.') That works out to right at 385 frames per month over the 26 months I've owned the camera. Or just a bit under 100 images per week. That gives a pretty accurate portrayal of my actual shooting pattern. Unlike many digital photographers, I deliberately refrain from 'machine-gunning' my subjects. I tend to shoot very much like I did (and do) when shooting film - with a fair degree of reflection. That's not an indictment of those photographers who go out for an afternoon of shooting and come back with 500 or 1000 images, many nearly duplicative of each other, but that's not a style that has ever attracted me. I mention it only because one of the frequently-cited 'disadvantages' of digital photography is the promiscuous collection of numerous images.

It need not be so.





Week 5 (1/13/12 - 1/29/12)

I drive past this every morning on my way to work. And every evening on the way home. Today, I stopped. (Leica M9, Noctilux, 6-stop neutral density filter, iso 160, 1/350 at f1)








Week 6 (1/30/12 - 2/5/12)

My mom died this week. So instead of posting an image from this seven-day period, I decided I would rather post this image from last summer, taken at my son Josh's wedding. Mom was already struggling back then (she was in a wheel chair and on oxygen), but I have always been touched by this quiet moment between her and Ginny (my wife). (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 160, 1/25 at f1)








Week 7 (2/6/12 - 2/12/12)

"After their Mother died they carried life more gently and left an empty space for the birds and other creatures..." (Leica M9, 35 Summilux ASPH (ver 1), iso 800, 1/250 at f2)








Week 8 (2/13/12 - 2/19/12)

I guess most homes have a stairwell similar to this, where pictures of the family are hung. I like this one because of the lines, the geometry, the lighting, and the elements at the top. (Leica M9, 35 Summilux ASPH (ver 1), iso 800, 1/180 at f2)








Week 9 (2/20/12 - 2/26/12)

A found shot at our annual Trout Unlimited chapter fly fishing show - angling being another passion of mine. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 800, 1/750 at f1)








Week 10 (2/27/12 - 3/4/12)

A casual observer watching a chess tournament would be struck by how quiet it appears. Row upon row of tables with contestants just sitting there. They'd be wrong, of course. Those who understand the game can easily see the chaos, the savagery, and the pyschic drama which abounds. If chess were a blood sport you'd need a fire hose to wash the room between rounds. This image was from the 44th annual Virginia State Chess Open. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 800, 1/500 at f1)







Week 11 (3/5/12 - 3/11/12)


I drove down to Old Town Alexandria on Sunday. Walking down the street from where I parked my truck, I came upon this gloriously restored MG. The bright sunshine was super contrasty and for once I knew it would give me the kind of light I wanted - blocking up the shadowed background and letting the car live by itself. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 160, 1/4000 at f4)







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

A classic bar scene captured on my Saturday evening walkabout in old town Warrenton. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 2000, 1/60 at f1)








Week 13 (3/19/12 - 3/25/12)

This year, on my annual sojurn down to the Tidal Basin to shoot the cherry blossoms, I spent as much time photographing the photographers as I did shooting the flowers themselves. As in this one. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/750 at f2)







Week 14 (3/26/12 - 4/1/12)

A quiet moment captured, in the midst of an otherwise energetic family get-together. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 800, 1/750 at f1)








Week 15 (4/2/12 - 4/8/12)

An image found in the mostly-rural county where I live. Technically, there are numerous things wrong with this picture. But in spite of the blown highlights- actually because of them - the light emphasizes the crosses, injecting a hint of mystery. I thought it was apropro as an iconic Easter image. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/4000 at f2)








Week 16 (4/9/12 - 4/15/12)

It was a pretty day, so I rode the Harley down to Old Town Alexandria. I like this image because all the people are either doing or reacting to something different. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/350 at f4)








Week 17 (4/16/12 - 4/22/12)

I stopped by old town Manassas for an art exhibit given by Ginny's art instructor (she's taking a class in oil painting). When I turned from the car and looked back at Town Hall, I was struck by the dramatic lighting. I had the Noctilux mounted on my M9, as I was thinking of getting some shots inside the gallery. I hurriedly screwed on the 6-stop neutral density filter I had in my pocket, and quickly grabbed a couple frames. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 160, 6-stop ND filter, 1/500 at f1)







Week 18 (4/23/12 - 4/29/12)

Arlington Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial remain near the top of my list of local photography destinations. They are so rich with possibility I think one could never mine them dry. And so it was under overcast skies, with rain rolling in, that I made my first trip there in a couple months. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/180 at f8)








Week 19 (4/30/12 - 5/6/12)

I passed this young girl while wandering through Old Town Alexandria. I'm not sure what her deal was - she was heavily made-up, with lots of white powder set off by the red makeup and red lipstick on her face. Beyond being innately pretty, I was intrigued by the her dark hair and how her made-up face contrasted with her white dress and the white makeup she had applied to her arms and chest. Walking towards her, I raised my Leica and squeezed off a single frame, from what in this picture would be several feet to her left. Not satisfied with that, I walked in front of her, turned, and framed her against the white building, looking for that contrast to illuminate what otherwise would be an all-highlights scene. It came out pretty much like I hoped. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/3000 at f2)







Week 20 (5/7/12 - 5/13/12)

I captured the shot of this young woman on a lunchtime stroll down to Dupont Circle. And, yeah, I know I'm almost a week late posting it. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 160, 1/4000 at f2.8)








Week 21 (5/14/12 - 5/20/12)

I was struck by the plaintive, serious look of this beautiful little girl, sitting for her picture. Old Town Alexandria. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 160, 1/90 at f2.8)








Week 22 (5/21/12 - 5/27/12)

This is a shot of Wes, one of my motorcycle riding pals, taken one evening during our recent 3-day trip. (Leica M9, Summicron 75/2.0 ASPH, iso 400, 1/180 at f2)








Week 23 (5/28/12 - 6/3/12)

A found shot during my evening stroll through old town Warrenton. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 400, 1/90 at f1)








Week 24 (6/4/12 - 6/10/12)

This was a shot of a young news assistant in New York City, at the evening television broadcast from Times Square. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 1250, 1/500 at f2)








Week 25 (6/11/12 - 6/17/12)

During my recent trip to New York City, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge one rainy afternoon (without umbrella or rain gear - I had to carry my Leica under my shirt). Of the handful of shots I took during that wet escapade, there were two I particularly liked. This was my favorite. (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 160, 1/750 at f2)







Week 26 (6/18/12 - 6/24/12)

Back in the day - I'm talking a ways back, as in the fifties and sixties - the animosity between Harley-Davidson and Triumph riders was often unabashed. Not unlike the dislike that would later develop between Harley riders and those who rode Japanese bikes. When I saw this older gentleman on the Triumph give what can only be described as an intense look to the couple on the Harley, it made wonder if he he was holding true to his marque's honor. (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 160, 1/1500 at f4)







Week 27 (6/25/12 - 7/1/12)

A week of hundred degree weather and seems like everyone is tuckered! (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 1250, 1/125 at f2)








Week 28 (7/2/12 - 7/8/12)

On Friday night they closed down Main Street through old town Warrenton and had the first of their 'First Friday' celebrations. On the courthouse steps was a small band, doing their thing. This girl was the singer. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 400, 1/250 at f1)







Week 29 (7/9/12 - 7/15/12)

Taken down on the Alexandria waterfront. (Leica M9, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 160, 1/4000 at f2.8)








Week 30 (7/16/12 - 7/22/12)

Crazy, busy week and I didn't get out any. So I'll be using my first wildcard this year. In week 25 I mentioned that I took two shots I particularly liked while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a rainy afternoon. This was the second one. (Leica M9, iso 160, 1/500 at f2)







Week 31 (7/23/12 - 7/29/12)

I got this shot at the National Portrait Gallery. I liked the juxtaposition. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 160, 1/90 at f1)








Week 32 (7/30/12 - 8/5/12)

There is something very special about a small child. They are utterly without pretension or guile. And they respond to life - the simplest things in life - with an honest joy that is amazing and wondrous. (Leica M9, Summicron 75/2.0 ASPH, iso 160, 1/350 at f2)








Week 33 (8/6/12 - 8/12/12)

A found image during an afternoon stroll through old town Warrenton. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/1500 at f2.8)







Week 34 (8/13/12 - 8/19/12)

After a week away on my Harley, you'd think I'd have gotten a shot for my picture of the week there. Nope. This one was a simple shot captured on a brief Saturday night stroll around old town Warrenton, after I got back. (Leica M9, Noctilux, iso 1600, 1/125 at f1)






Week 35 (8/20/12 - 8/26/12)

The last processing of Kodachrome, at the last remaining lab out in Kansas, occurred at the very end of 2010. Kodak had ceased production of the film a year earlier. In the weeks approaching the processing deadline, I took seven rolls from my dwindling stock and made images with them. I did so knowing I would never again shoot with Kodachrome, the iconic film that had been my mainstay for so long during the early years of my photography. I dutifully sent those seven rolls off to Dwayne's, that lab in Kansas. Having received back the boxes of developed and mounted slides and knowing, once they were done, I would never again bend down over a light table and peer through a loupe at an unlooked-at batch of transparencies, I put them on the shelf. This week I pulled down the first box of those seven. (Leica M7, Summicron 50/2.0, Kodachrome 64 rated at iso 80, exposure not recorded)






Week 36 (8/27/12 - 9/2/12)

This week I was shooting black and white only. This image was from our 3-day Labor Day Chicken Run. More images from that trip can be seen here. (Leica M Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 8000, 1/500 at f1.4)







Week 37 (9/3/12 - 9/9/12)

A (cropped) image of another photographer at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (Leica M Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0, red filter, iso 320, 1/2000 at f2)







Week 38 (9/10/12 - 9/16/12)

I knew as soon as I saw this father and daughter I wanted to get a shot of them. I had a 35mm lens on my camera and so needed to move a few steps closer to get the perspective I wanted. I was afraid the moment would be gone - either the dad would move on or would see my camera and present some sort of disapproving countenance. Neither happened in the couple of seconds it took me to move in front of them. I got off two quick frames, this one and one vertical. The little girl's expression never wavered. (Leica M Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH, yellow filter, iso 320, 1/500 at f2)






Week 39 (9/17/12 - 9/23/12)

I first shot the Lincoln Memorial at night many years ago, on film. I remember how I loved the luminescent quality of the negatives I got back then. The Leica Monochrom gives a very similar rendering. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 3200, 1/250 at f1)







Week 40 (9/24/12 - 9/30/12)

I awoke early on Thursday - my normal time - in order to be downtown for a Leica-sponsored black & white photography workshop. With a couple hours in hand before the start, I stopped in this cafe for a much-needed coffee, just as the sun was coming up. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), yellow filter, iso 320, 1/1500 at f2)






Week 41 (10/1/12 - 10/7/12)

This pretty young woman was part of a 'First Friday' celebration in Warrenton. Beyond her natural beauty, I was quickly drawn to her quiet, demure pose and the contrast between the deep shadows and the storefront behind her. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 6400, 1/60 at f1)








Week 42 (10/8/12 - 10/14/12)

Our annual "Fall Foliage Tour" 3-day motorcycle trip into West Virginia (other images here) was largely rained out this year. While pretty much everyone else stayed back at the condo, I ventured forth on a short, hundred-mile adventure. While out, I stopped in Cass, where I captured this image of an old Shay locomotive. In the early 1900's, trains such as this would transport timber from atop the nearby mountain to the mill in Cass. Today, the restored coal-powered and steam-driven locomotive takes tourists to the top of the mountain. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 640, 1/350 at f4)






Week 43 (10/15/12 - 10/21/12)

A found shot during one of my street-photography strolls through Old Town Alexandria. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0, yellow filter, iso 320, 1/4000 at f2)







Week 44 (10/22/12 - 10/28/12)

I had stopped by the Leica Store in DC to pick up a new battery. As I left, I came across this scene half a block away. These fellows were trying to get the car inside the building - a makeshift art studio - where they were planning on using it as a prop. During the mini-drama that this grand idea (or less than grand, depending upon your point of view) prompted, a homeless fellow sat silently in the corner soberly watching the proceedings. One wonders what he made of all this. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0, yellow filter, iso 320, 1/2000 at f4)







Week 45 (10/29/12 - 11/4/12)

Okay, I'm using my second and final wildcard of the year. This is an image I took a couple months ago. I probably should have used it at the time, as it is one of the most innately powerful images I've ever taken. I came upon this couple while walking through Arlington Cemetery. I took one photograph from a vantage point above them, then continued walking down and around them, where I took this shot. Both images drip with emotion, but I like this one best. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0, yellow filter, iso 320, 1/500 at f2)






Week 46 (11/5/12 - 11/11/12)

While walking on The Mall in Washington, DC I came upon this pretty girl having her picture taken by what I assume was her boyfriend/husband. While they did their thing with their smartphone camera, I took advantage of the opportunity to grab a quick shot with my Leica. Mildly self-conscious at a strange man suddenly stopping to take her picture, her fellow lightened the mood with a "isn't she pretty?!" "She's very pretty," I replied, smiling at her. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, 6-stop ND filter, iso 320, 1/180 at f1)






Week 47 (11/12/12 - 11/18/12)

An image of Craig Semetko taken during his lecture and gallery opening at the Leica Store in Washington DC. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 800, 1/125 at f1)








Week 48 (11/19/12 - 11/25/12)

A six-day-old child is a miracle. I cannot begin to describe how deeply I enjoyed being around - and holding - little Risa this week. More images of her can be found in Risa's First Week. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 1600, 1/250 at f1)







Week 49 (11/26/12 - 12/2/12)

While wandering around taking pictures in Old Town Manassas on a chilly Saturday night, I came upon this ice rink where lots of people were having fun. These two lovely young ladies happily posed for me. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux 0.95, iso 1600, 1/60 at f0.95)







Week 50 (12/3/12 - 12/9/12)

I spied this fellow just outside the Starbucks down on Union Street in Old Town Alexandria. He was intently interested in the comings and goings as people walked in and out of the door. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux 0.95, iso 320, 1/180 at f0.95)








Week 51 (12/10/12 - 12/16/12)

This was the clash on board one during one of the middle rounds at the 2012 Fairfax Open, a local chess tournament. While not playing my own games I wandered around taking a few pictures. A few more images can be seen here. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux 0.95, iso 800, 1/250 at f0.95)







Week 52 (12/17/12 - 12/23/12)

Something of a reprise from week 49. Again, two pretty young lasses posing for me, even at the same ice rink. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux 0.95, iso 800, 1/60 at f0.95)








My Picture-of-the-Week weeks run from Monday to Sunday. No days are skipped. Because of the way the days/weeks aligned this year, there is a "53rd week" this year. Hence my "Week 52 1/2" here.


Week 52 1/2 (12/24/12 - 12/30/12)

A quiet Christmas morning, enjoying the company of Jason, whom we haven't seen in seventeen months. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux 0.95, iso 800, 1/125 at f0.95)





And so concludes my fifth year of doing a picture-a-week (PAW). I'm continuing to enjoy it and am already looking forward to year six. In the meantime, here is a (720p) video of some of my outtakes from this year's effort.

2012 PAW Outtakes, 720p


And for those of you with a very large, high-resolution computer screen, or using a high-def TV, here is a high-def (1080p) version. (Note this will not render properly on most current computer monitors).

2012 PAW Outtakes, 1080p