2015 PAW (Picture a Week)


My 2008 PAW is here

My 2009 PAW is here

My 2010 PAW is here

My 2011 PAW is here

My 2012 PAW is here

My 2013 PAW is here

My 2014 PAW is here


When I began this PAW (picture a week) project seven years ago, the primary goal was to shoot more. The thinking was that the requirement to publicly post a picture every week, selected from the pictures taken that week, would prompt me to carry my camera with me everywhere and thence take more pictures. Well, the first did in fact come true - I immediately began carrying my Leica with me pretty much everywhere I went. But not the second. I quickly discovered that having a camera with you doesn't necessarily translate into taking pictures. Especially when most of what you're doing is trudging back and forth to work. But that was okay. I still enjoyed the framework of having to post an image every week.

As we head into 2015, the singular change for me is no longer having to worry about going to work - as I quit my day job in 2014. My goal now is to spend a lot more time on photography. Given that, given that I can do photography pretty much any day I want, I'm changing my PAW rule(s) once again. For 2015... there are no rules. I will continue to post a picture every week, as in the past. But it can be any image I like, from any point in time. I still expect most images will be those taken during the year. But we'll see.



Week 1 (12/29/14 - 1/4/15)

For my first selection in 2015, I'm choosing one of my last shots from 2014. I love everything about this picture. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 320, 1/250 at f0.95)






Week 2 (1/5/15 - 1/11/15)

A picture in front of the White House on a sunny winter afternoon. I liked the rather spartan view - there normally are a bunch of people hanging off the fence - and the angular light. (Leica M, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 200, 1/3000 at f4)







Week 3 (1/12/15 - 1/18/15)

I came upon this piece of artwork while wandering around an obscure gallery in Old Town Alexandria some months ago. I was struck by the curious object, its name, and what it represents. (Leica M, Summicron 50/2.0 APO, iso 800, 1/500 at f2)







Week 4 (1/19/15 - 1/25/15)

This delightful little 2-year-old girl was busy opening up this cabinet and, one by one, removing the clean and folded washcloths it contained. I loved the look of I-know-I'm-being-a-little-bit-bad-but-it-sure-is-fun when caught in the act. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 1250, 1/125 at f0.95)






Week 5 (1/26/15 - 2/1/15)

Six months before the Leica Store DC opened its doors - the first such Leica store in North America - Leica Akademie visited the nation's capital and conducted a street shooting workshop just a few blocks from where that store would eventually begin wecoming visitors. I like to think of Leica's presence that cold November weekend as a prelude, laying down the store's DNA in advance of what would become one of DC's favorite photographic institutions. (Leica M9, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 1600, 1/500 at f2)






Week 6 (2/2/15 - 2/8/15)

This image, taken at Peter Turnley's apartment in NYC (at a street photography workshop), has always been one of my favorites. (Leica M9, Summicron 50/2.0, iso 1000, 1/1000 at f2)






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

On the left is my uncle, Berry Hughes, 5th Marine Division. He fought on Iwo Jima. On the right is his brother, my dad, Lem Hughes, 1st Marine Division. He fought on Okinawa. Not pictured is the youngest brother, Henry Hughes, who served in the Navy and who died a few years ago; and the older brother, Lucian Hughes, who was in the Army and who was killed outside Saint Lo a few weeks after D-Day; and the older sister, Francis Hughes, who died many years ago. Of the five Hughes children of that family, who saw and experienced and did so much, only my dad remains. Uncle Berry died last night.

The greatest generation, indeed. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 320, 1/500 at f4)






Week 8 (2/16/15 - 2/22/15)

It's not so apparent in this image, but this was a chilly, wet, foggy day. Old Town Alexandria. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 APO, iso 320, 1/1000 at f4)







Week 9 (2/23/15 - 3/1/15)

Into the eighth year of this PAW, only once or twice - some years ago - have I ever included a shot made on film. I figured it was time to shake that up. So this week I pulled out my Leica M6, my Bronica RF645, and my Bessa III (the latter two medium format cameras), loaded some film, and had some fun! We also had two snow storms this week. This shot, the morning after the first of those storms, was a 6x7 medium format picture (ergo, the nearly square aspect ratio). (Voightlander Bessa III, 120 Tri-X @ 400, developed in HC-110 (dilution B); exposure not recorded)






Week 10 (3/2/15 - 3/8/15)

DC's Chinese New Year celebration is always a fun event. There are lots of interesting street scenes as folks either get ready for the parade, or are there just to enjoy the happy vibe. I was there, wearing two cameras (one film, one digital) with friends of the DC Leica Store and was happy to get several images that I like. This was my favorite. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 apo, iso 320, 1/1000 at f2)






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

Hopefully the snowstorm a couple days ago, and the single-digit temperatures last night, mark the last of hard winter for this year. We're all ready for spring. But even as we greet that most magical of all seasons, it seems appropriate to at least give a nod to the one that is giving way. I shot this picture a few weeks ago and it seems to depict very well what winter is like here in Virginia. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 apo, iso 320, 1/250 at f11)






Week 12 (3/16/15 - 3/22/15)

I frequently grab a camera, jump in my pickup truck, and just go exploring. That's what I was doing when I encountered this abandoned house down an unnamed dirt road a few weeks ago.

Dissolution is part of life, of course. But when I come upon a scene like this I can't help but wonder how things once were. I imagine the family that surely once lived there. The kids who played in the yard. School and work. Struggling to pay the bills. The bedrooms where homework got done in the evenings and where dreams were dreamt at night. The kitchens where countless meals were shared. The love and the quarrels and the sickness and the joy. All the mundane, pedestrian things that we all take for granted as we go through our lives, not realizing that, maybe, they were the most important things of all. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 apo, iso 320, 1/350 at f8)





Week 13 (3/23/15 - 3/29/15)

I captured this image - the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at Harpers Ferry, WV - on a chilly, late-December morning. A red filter helped to darken the sky and the water. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 320, red filter, 1/125 at f16)






Week 14 (3/30/15 - 4/5/15)

With the promise of spring finally in the air, after a long and trying winter, I thought it would be appropriate to share an image from warmer weather. This is a shot of model Evaa Kay from last August. One of my favorites from that day. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 320, 1/1500 at f0.95)







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

This is an image I've shot many times over the years, from different angles, in different light, in both color and black and white, and with both digital and film. I like this version, made a few weeks ago. (Hasselblad 500C/M, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, 120 Tri-X @400, HC-110 (dilution E); exposure not recorded)







Week 16 (4/13/15 - 4/19/15)

So I'm down in Warrenton late Saturday afternoon walking around with my Hasselblad. Black and white film. Tripod. Hand-held meter. The whole old-school thing. I've got a couple frames left on the roll and I'd really like to develop it that night, so I'm reluctant to leave until it's finished. I set up the tripod below the Courthouse and as I'm framing my shot, a well-dressed young couple walks out onto the steps. Before I know it, there are half a dozen couples. I quickly fold up my tripod and start walking closer. Turns out it's prom night and the young folks are there having their pictures taken by their respective parents and friends. I finish off the three shots from that roll and quickly load another. As I'm shooting, my phone rings. It's Ginny. "Can you come home and take some pictures of Sam and Jesus?" Of course. It's their prom night, too. Hurrying back to my truck, and thence home, I didn't have much time. Certainly not enough to set up a backdrop or strobes or softbox. So we made do with some simple evening shots outside. Ended up being perfectly fine. A lovely couple! Here is one of my favorites from the set. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 320, 1/1500 at f2)






Week 17 (4/20/15 - 4/26/15)

Few Fauquier residents have been as iconic as Col. Mosby. Truly a legend in his own time. Loved and respected by most. An admiration enhanced by the fact that most of the men in his command came from the area.

The yankees hated him, both because he bedeviled them and because they felt the way he waged war was unfair. Lee, originally against allowing Mosby's partisan command, later came to have enormous respect for what he did.

One can imagine the conflicted views of many residents when, after the war, Mosby became friends with Grant and - even worse - joined the Republican party. An attempt was made on his life, down at the old Warrenton depot. Mosby once described hell as being a Republican living in Virginia. (Hasselblad 500C/M, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, 120 Tmax 100 @ 50, Rodinal 1:75; exposure not recorded)





Week 18 (4/27/15 - 5/3/15)

The real art in this picture is, of course, the mural. That was painted by Bryon Peck, my wife's cousin. Byron has made a career out of creating these large, magnificent murals and his work can be seen in numerous places in and around DC. This particular scene is at 7th and Q Streets, NW. (Hasselblad 500C/M, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, 120 Tmax 100 @50, Rodinal 1:75; exposure not recorded)






Week 19 (5/4/15 - 5/10/15)

Bright, sunny days, although glorious for most things, are my least favorite kind of day for taking pictures. Give me a cloudy, dark, gloomy day any time. But for everything there is an exception, and this week's selection makes that point. This shot was taken during a late-morning stroll through The Plains. I've walked by the old train depot a bunch of times, but never stepped across the tracks to see what it looked like from that vantage point. I knew instantly that I had something. (Hasselblad 500C/M, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, 120 Tmax 100 @50, Rodinal 1:75; exposure not recorded)






Week 20 (5/11/15 - 5/17/15)

The White House is ground zero for every kind of political protest you can imagine. And the press is frequently there to cover it. Here, a young lady is being interviewed, even as other young people - presumably on school field trips - stand in the background. (Leica M, Summilux 35/1.4 asph (ver 1), iso 200, 1/3000 at f4)






Week 21 (5/18/15 - 5/24/15)

The days are getting longer. The pleasant warmth of spring is quickly morphing into something extra. Summer approaches. With that in mind, I thought this picture, iconic of that most special of seasons, was appropriate. (Leica M, Summicron 50/2.0 apo, iso 200, 1/750 at f2)






Week 22 (5/25/15 - 5/31/15)

Downtown Washington, DC always has lots of stuff going on. Here, a young street musician plys his trade. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 320, 1/1500 at f0.95)






Week 23 (6/1/15 - 6/7/15)

Two of the most remarkable women I know. Sarah and Margaret. Lovely souls. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 apo, iso 320, 1/1500 at f4)







Week 24 (6/8/15 - 6/14/15)

"Nice camera! I used to shoot weddings with that."

"Back in the day, huh," I reply, smiling. The fellow has a wife and kid in tow and hurries on. I turn the corner. To where the guy with the garage with the Triumph in the bay lives. There's usually a friend or two of his there, their stuff parked out on the street... and there is today.

I walk up to the Shelby and take a meter reading. Then step backwards until the 80 Planar can see the whole car. The man I hear talking a few feet away steps suddenly around to my side and smiles and we start chatting. About fast cars and fast bikes and work and cancer and time. In ninety seconds we have the world sorted. The stuff that matters. The stuff that doesn't. I keep staring down at the ground glass on the Hasselblad as we talk. That lovely little window into the world that I so love.

"Come back next weekend," he says, as I motion to leave. I've got a print for him. Maybe I will. (Hasselblad 500C/M, Zeiss Planar 80/2.8, 120 Tmax 100 rated at 50, Rodinal 1:75; exposure not recorded)






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

Last year I went into DC for the first time to photograph the annual PRIDE (gay, lesbian, and transgender) celebration. To say there were some interesting street scenes is an understatement! This year's reprise did not disappoint. This image is of a flamboyantly gay young man being challenged by an equally passionate young religious advocate (actually, to be accurate, it was more the other way around). I like the juxtaposition and the obvious tension. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), yellow filter, iso 320, 1/750 at f4)







Week 26 (6/22/15 - 6/28/15)

Were I still working a day job, I would have missed it. Docked at my favorite port, for only a couple of days, in the middle of the week. When I read the news I knew I had to go.

This is The Hermione, a replica of the tall ship that brought Lafayette to The Colonies in 1780, thus ensuring the success of the American revolution. When I rounded the corner and saw the masts and the sails rising high into the sky, I was instantly smitten. Such drama!

I brought two cameras, one color, one black and white. I like this one best. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), yellow filter, iso 320, 1/1000 at f8)






Week 27 (6/29/15 - 7/5/15)

Ginny has taken Jasiri, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, to this park in northern Fauquier many times. Yesterday evening, I went with them for the first time. (Leica M, Summicron 28/2.0 ASPH, iso 200, 1/4000 at f4)






Week 28 (7/6/15 - 7/12/15)

I love shooting with my Hasselblad. But the big, clunky medium-format SLR is not exactly the cat's meow for street shooting. The slow, measured process it imposes - the source of much of its beauty and vitality - makes it difficult in fluid, fast-moving situations. That said, when you're on the street and stuff is happening you use what you have. This picture was from an impromptu street performance a few weeks ago in old town Warrenton. (Hasselblad 500C/M, Zeiss Planar 80/2.8, 120 Tmax rated at 50, Rodinal 1:75, exposure not recorded)






Week 29 (7/13/15 - 7/19/15)

I shot this image a few weeks ago with my Hasselblad. I like that version. But I like this one a bit more. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50 APO, iso 1600, 1/500 at f8)






Week 30 (7/20/15 - 7/26/15)

This week's selection is a reprise from week 18. That shot was with my Hasselblad, on film. This one was with my Leica Monochrom, on digital. They're very similar - emphasizing how well medium format film and high-end full-frame 35mm digital can work together. I like them both. In this shot I particularly like having captured a silhouette of the hostess, in the bottom of the frame. And, as in the previous picture, most of the credit for this shot goes to Byron Peck, the artist who created the mural. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 APO, yellow filter, iso 320, 1/1000 at f4)






Week 31 (7/27/15 - 8/2/15)

One of the pictures from this week's visit to Warrenton by Fox 5 News (the rest can be seen here). When I took the shot I had little idea it would my favorite of the day. But I like several things about the image - the historic, old building; the unusual perspective, with people on the roof, and their exuberant happiness. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), yellow filter, iso 320, 1/4000 at f2)






Week 32 (8/3/15 - 8/9/15)

This was a simple found image, back in an alley, on one of my strolls through DC a couple weeks ago. Beyond the obvious attraction of the picture on the poster, I liked the less obvious connotation(s) of the lettering on the wall and the mystery of what's going on in the other window. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 APO, iso 320, 1/750 at f4)






Week 33 (8/10/15 - 8/16/15)

And so it was that I got to play wedding photographer this week. Jeff and Nicole had a lovely outdoor wedding on a beautiful summer afternoon here in Fauquier County. After the ceremony, before the reception, we whisked the couple away for a quick 45-minute portrait session at several different places on the beautiful Airlie estate. One was the bench under this tree. As the couple walked up the hill - a fair hike in long dress and heels - Nicole happily shed her shoes. Instantly envisioning this shot, I bent down and framed the picture, waiting for the couple and attendant to reach the tree. It's one of my favorite shots from the day. (Leica M, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), iso 200, 1/2000 at f2)






Week 34 (8/17/15 - 8/23/15)

Yes, letters matter. For lots of different reasons. Self awareness. Self confidence. An entre into the literacy that hopefully helps guide us into a better place. Lots of reasons. And there's nothing finer than a young child who embraces all that. (Leica Monochrom, Summicron 50/2.0 APO, iso 640, 1/500 at f2)







Week 35 (8/24/15 - 8/30/15)

Compositionally, this image leaves much to be desired. But I love it for its colors, ranging from vibrant to subtle, its texture, and the feeling it evokes. I like looking at it. (Hasselblad 500C/M, Zeiss Distagon 50/4.0, iso 100, CFV-50c, exposure not recorded)







Week 36 (8/31/15 - 9/6/15)

I think artistry is innate in human beings. And it doesn't wait for some particular age to show itself. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 12,500, 1/350 at f0.95)






Week 37 (9/7/15 - 9/13/15)

I like this image because of the light and because of the obvious joy this lovely little girl is feeling. Not an easy image to get - medium format, handheld, with a 150mm lens. But it worked out. (Hasselblad 500C/M, Zeiss Sonnar 150/4.0, Portra 160 at box speed, exposure not recorded)







Week 38 (9/14/15 - 9/20/15)

Durbin, WV features a steam-driven locomotive that harkens back to the original days of railroads, such a predominant part of life during the last half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. This image was taken a couple weeks ago, during one of my motorcycle trips. Using a Leica Monochrom with a Noctilux (with a 6-stop neutral density filter so I could shoot wide-open) is what gives it the soft, glowy feel. Something akin to the large format photography that mostly would have been used to render trains like this back in the day. (Leica Monochrom, Noctilux, iso 500, 1/180 at f1)






Week 39 (9/21/15 - 9/27/15)

Another image from the PRIDE celebration in DC a couple months ago. I probably should have posted this earlier as it is probably my favorite picture from that day. It's the juxtaposition that makes it. (Leica Monochrom, Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH (ver 1), yellow filter, 1/1000 at f8)