Continuing the theme of From Bustling to Bucolic: Learning to See Anew, below are the five images I selected to represent my early works.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Dawn
Located in West Potomac Park, just south of the National Mall, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is one of the newest monumental sculptures in Washington, DC. It was dedicated on August 28, 2011: the 48th anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Built of a extraordinarily pale pink granite from China, the memorial shines brilliantly white in the mid-day sun. I chose to capture the memorial shortly after dawn, when the sculpture appears golden in the first rays of a new day.
This is one of several “throwaway shots” I have taken that did not capture my heart upon immediate review, but which I have slowly grown to love over time. This was taken at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD on a sunny Spring day. One of the doors of the Roundhouse was open, allowing for delightful natural lighting on the Ma & Pa No.101, a 1937 Buick inspection car.
Asakusa Street Scene
Tokyo is nothing if not bustling, but it is also a city that is capable of rapid, almost astonishing, transformations. This image was captured near Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple). Located in Tokyo’s Taito ward, Senso-ji is Tokyo’s oldest temple and dates back to the mid-7th century. The temple grounds and surrounding streets are fantastically crowded with worshipers, tourists, and shoppers.
Except on Monday. On Monday many sites around Tokyo are closed, turning streets that twenty-four hours before were packed shoulder-to-shoulder into quiet boulevards. It is an amazing transformation to witness and provides a terrific opportunity to capture the “other” Tokyo that visitors may not otherwise see.
Jefferson Memorial and Sakura
In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted to the city of Washington, DC 3,000 cherry trees to symbolize the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. Each Spring the cherry blossoms (“sakura” in Japanese) explode in gorgeous shades of pink, bringing a much needed splash of color after a typically dreary DC winter. This photograph was a happy accident: unable to park in my usually spot on the west side of the Tidal Basin due to massive crowds that morning, I had park in the boondocks far to the southeast. My path to the cherry blossoms led me to the east of the Jefferson Memorial just as dawn was breaking and thus this image was born.
In 1868 Emperor Meiji moved the seat of government from Kyoto (the Western Capital) to Edo (the Eastern Capital, now Tokyo). The site chosen for the Imperial Palace was the grounds of the former residences of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Ote-mon Gate is the easternmost entrance of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful city gardens I have ever seen. The softness of the light and the solitary figure standing guard make this one of my favorite images.