A Must-Do: FotoWeekDC

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the FotoWeekDC Thumbnail Exhibition – large-scale contact sheets with every entry to this year’s FotoWeekDC Awards

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably have heard that FotoWeekDC kicked off on Friday. I did something photo-related each night of this (gorgeous) weekend, and I have to say that it’s been one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had here in DC in a while. There’s something so honest inspiring and energizing about photography, and the interesting, well-dressed people who enjoy it. This weekend was a visual-stimulation smorgasbord, and it’s just as much about the art on the walls as it is about looking at the people there in the gallery with you. Everyone is looking.

So if you missed out and haven’t done anything FWDC yet, definitely head over to FWDC Central – 5 galleries scattered along M Street in Georgetown. I was completely transfixed by National Geographic’s Dreams in Color (at FWDC Central 1), a set of 22 never-before-exhibited images done in Autochrome, an early, and complicated, color film process that made use of potato starch (!). The resulting images have this dreamy, otherworldly quality that you simply cannot achieve any longer with current techniques. These are seriously amazing and a must-view. I wish I’d taken some photos of them!

Some other images from FotoWeek Central. You have to be sure to stop in to Central 4, which features dozens of amazing photography books that you can look through for as long as you want (I always feel guilty doing this at bookstores):

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Last night I ended my evening at Fight Club (see #9 on this excellent list of FWDC things to see), a gallery/indoor skateboard rink tucked in a (nice, well-lit) alley near the Convention Center. I was blown away by the quality of much of the photography here. Amazing photos from David Alan Harvey, and a series of silver-tinged black & whites by Chris Bickford, whose After the Storm series focuses on the water and culture of the Outer Banks, where I spent many amazing summers growing up.

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Couldn’t resist snapping a photo of one of my favorite sharp-dressed gentlemen friends, Lukas Smith (r) with his friend Scott. And our shoes.

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There are a zillion things to do this week aside from these two venues. Check out Michael Sullivan’s roundup, and see the Burtynsky show at the Corcoran (shameless plug), which is insanely surreal and freakishly beautiful, all in a I-can’t-believe-these-are-photographs kind of way.

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