Photowalk Meet at the National Gallery of Art and Union Station

If you’re a photography hobbyist (or any hobby really), then you need to check out “Meetup“, a website that show all local get together spots based on your favorite hobby.

I signed up for a meet up at the NGA (National Gallery of Art) earlier last week, curious about the experience, but unfortunately the weather turned for the worse.

The weather was pretty much crap (freezing rain, cold) but a handful of people came to the meet, mostly with DSLRs and their kit lenses, but one or two people had full-frames like the Canon 5D Mark III (attached to a 50mm 1.4).

The person that organized the meet basically had everyone introduce themselves and then sent everyone on their way to do their own thing.

Not very “groupy” about this photo meet, but I didn’t care…I attached my Sony Zeiss FE 35 f/1.4 and took off on my own.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

The ground level of the new East Wing of the museum

The new East Building houses the Gallery’s collection of modern and contemporary art. The renovation was recently completed, which added 12,250 square feet of new exhibition space within the existing footprint of the building, including two tower galleries and a rooftop terrace for outdoor sculpture that overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue. The number of works on view from the collection has increased from 350 to 500.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

View from the 2nd Floor

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

View from the 3rd Floor

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

3rd Floor Walkway

I don’t know anything about art, but the new addition to the museum afforded them new acquisitions from the Corcoran Collection and recent gifts from the Collectors Committee, Virginia Dwan, Agnes Gund, the Hakuta Family, the Al Held Foundation, the Patrons’ Permanent Fund, Arnold and Joan Saltzman, Victoria and Roger Sant, Deborah and Ed Shein, as well as artists Glenn Ligon, Jenny Holzer, David Novros, Kenneth Snelson, and others. (I’m literally reading this off their site)

They’ve also included photography, works on paper, and media arts exhibits in addition to painting and sculpture tells a more expansive story of modern art. They also added two new staircases and an elevator that permit easier access to all levels of the building.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Doesn’t look like a woman to me…

The original plan for the East Building began in 1968 — on a site set aside by founder Andrew W. Mellon in the 1930s for the Gallery’s future expansion. The cultural significance of modern art was on the rise, and the Gallery had begun to acquire works by living artists, therefore you don’t have to dead before becoming a famous artist. A very morbid prerequisite.

Their historical collection dating back to the twelfth century is displayed in the West Building.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

One crazy thing I’ve experience in the museum was the backpack rule:

“For the protection of our artworks, suitcases, large umbrellas, large bags, and large backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Smaller backpacks and bags are permitted, at the discretion of the museum’s security officers, if they are hand-carried. Backpacks may not be worn on the back, but must be carried on the side, under the arm, or on the front of the body. These limitations help us protect the artworks from accidental damage.”

I had one of the security people ask me to sling my backpack over one shoulder instead of using both.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Defeats the purpose of a backpack if you can’t use it slung over both shoulders.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Amazing stairwell

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Around noon, I took a trip upstairs to their Terrace Cafe and got some brunch that consisted of coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a piece of toast, and a cup of fruits. All at a cool price of $15 – what a rip.

It was also the perfect place to finally meet up with Oliver since our several attempts in the past ended failure, either due to scheduling or commute.

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Oliver’s new E 35 f/1.8 lens will be useful today indoors

First part of photography 101 consisted of the following:

  • Manual Controls
  • Exposure Triangle
  • Composition

We tried to get through as much as we can for the 1.5 we had until my 2:00pm meet at Union Station, but I think Oliver got some of the basic understanding down.

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Oliver working the exposure and composition

I had to leave the museum to make it to my next event on time, so Oliver and I walked over to Union Station.

When we arrived, Oliver left to explore on his own and decided to meet up later.

I on the other hand met a group of friendly enthusiasts of all ages.

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The purpose of this event was to better understand Black and White photography and when it’s the best time to use it.

We also went over why it’s good to use this type of photography:

Distractions

Black and white allows you to begin to think about the key elements (lighting, composition, elements in and out of the frame) that you might otherwise not focus on as much when you’re thinking about making colors work together, or pop.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

You’ll See Light Differently
What you lose from not being able to capture beautiful golden hour light, you’ll gain back in focusing more on the direction, quantity and quality of light around you. Learning how to read and play with different elements of light in this way is a fantastic skill.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

It Helps Emphasize Emotion

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

The Timeless Quality From Black And White

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Anyways – after a long day of taking photos, Oliver and I trekked over to Capital City Brewing  and met up with Jillian for dinner.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

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See you guys next time…

 

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