Monthly Archives: January 2010


Dog in Doorway, Georgetown, Washington DC

I stood there for a minute or two taking pictures. The dog never came down off the porch to check me out, never barked. He or she did look my way with momentary interest when I exclaimed “What a good puppy!”

Because it SNOWED today…

…we’re going to have a little reader poll here at Something Beautiful.

I photographed these tree roots at Dumbarton Oaks the other day. One of these images was rendered in grayscale directly from the RAW file in Lightroom and then adjusted. The other was tweaked in Silver EFX.

Can you guess which is which?
And, in any case, which do you prefer?
(Please look at large versions rather than thumbnails to decide.)


Tree Roots



Tree Roots

I find that preferences in black & white vary tremendously, and that people are quite passionate about how they like their monochrome images structured. I await your responses with great interest!

Update: A version using Aperture, processed 1/30/2012.

Roots, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC

Vine Growth Chart

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC

This vine is ready for spring and another growth spurt.

Suddenly, A Crowd Had Formed…

Everard's, Georgetown, Washington DC

…at Everard’s in Georgetown.


Howard Zinn
Photo taken 7/30/2006, at my father’s 85th birthday party in Boston, MA.

I am heartsick with sadness. I just learned that Howard Zinn died yesterday.

Most people know him as the author of A People’s History of the United States, or they remember his name because of the movie Good Will Hunting. I knew him as a family friend, wife to warm and wonderful artist Roz (who died two years ago). He was kind, fierce, brilliant, eloquent, tirelessly energetic, generous, charismatic, and also soft-spoken and modest in personal conversation. I looked forward to his visits to DC, when he would often invite me to join him at his speaking engagement and sometimes include me in dinners with the lefty literati.

Not many people are able to reach and change minds, and to speak with fearless passion about the issues that matter. I didn’t always agree with Howard, but I deeply admired his commitment to justice and peace. I was lucky to know him and I will miss him.

Read an obituary here.

A Winter Garden

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC

Dumbarton Oaks garden is one of my favorite places in Washington. To be more accurate, it’s one of my favorite places anywhere. For awhile, when I first moved to DC, I went there every fair-weather Sunday to sit on a bench and read the paper in beautiful surroundings.

I thought I remembered that the garden was off-limits to visitors from November to April. I either misrecalled or the policy has changed. I went waltzing in this afternoon; not only was it open, but nobody was taking admission fees either.

I intend to renew a more intimate acquaintance with this glorious spot.

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC

An Old Love

Great Falls, VA

Back in the day, all I ever shot was black and white. I developed it myself. I printed it myself. In a darkroom. With all the stinky chemicals. Yes, I dodged and burned. I toned. My darkroom had no ventilation and no running water and was at the opposite end of my apartment from the bathroom (and the tub in which I washed the prints). Big, beautiful, 16″ x 20″ prints they were.

I was, if I may say so, a very good printer. I had mad skillz. But after a few hours in the darkroom, my pee smelled like fixer for days. It’s a wonder I still have my original liver.

So I don’t really miss the darkroom, except for a vague, wistful nostalgia. And now, with the advent of shooting RAW and “developing” through post-processing in Lightroom, I feel that I’m returning to my roots albeit in a modern, digital way. But I’m nowhere near having mad skillz.


In Knots

Plastic wrap in tree.

This is not technically a great photograph. And surely no one would imagine I’m in favor of plastic pollution in trees. But still: this was beautiful, blowing in the breeze.

Because it’s raining again…

Tail Light

…I am driven to find the silver lining in the clouds. Or, as the case may be, the green metallic flake lining.

Great Falls

Great Falls, VA

Sure, I took pictures of the rapids. I’ll probably post at least a couple of them here at some point. But I wanted to show you this one as an example of how sometimes even though you do everything technically “wrong,” it works out anyway. (As usual, bigger is much better.)