Warmth on a Cold Night

This past weekend, I participated in the DC Shootoff, a four-day photography workshop for military and civil service photographers throughout the federal government. The event featured presentations by several well-known photography professionals, as well as useful workshops that dealt with best practices and workflow management.

My favorite part of the weekend was the 24-hour shoot off contest that challenged the assembled photographers to interpret a specified theme, however they saw fit, in 3-5 frames. This year’s theme, “warmth,” was drawn randomly from dozens of ideas submitted by conference participants.I chose to interpret this year’s theme through color temperature, relational dynamics and the spaces between subjects. I did so by taking my camera to the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C. and looking for people in situations that felt “warm” to me.

The following shots are the results of my late-night adventure. My package didn’t win any prizes at the workshop, but the exercise was valuable nonetheless, helping me to hone my shooting and editorial skills, particularly when focusing on a very specific theme.

24mm @ 1/30, f/2, ISO 1600
The warm glow of a fireplace window takes the edge off a winter smoke break outside The Fireplace, a popular LGBT bar in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C.
24mm @ 1/30, f/2, ISO 1600
24mm @ 1/20, f/2.8, ISO 800
A happy couple wards off the late winter chill in Washington D.C. by cozying up to one another in a Dupont Circle bus stop.
24mm @ 1/20, f/2.8, ISO 800
19mm @ 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 1600
Revelers rush to their destinations in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C., seemingly oblivious to one of the city’s hundreds of homeless residents sleeping on the sidewalk.
19mm @ 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 1600
85mm @ 1/60, f/2, ISO 6400
As drinks begin to flow, a genial chat between strangers evolves into a hearty conversation in a Dupont Circle bar in Washington D.C.
85mm @ 1/60, f/2, ISO 6400
14mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600
Last call at bars along Washington’s U Street corridor means an influx of business at Ben’s Chili Bowl, one of the District’s famous late-night diners.
14mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600

Check out more of my high-resolution photos from the shoot off in my photostream on Flickr.

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