2017-1-21-womens-march-on-washington-lh-385Who?

Linda and Miranda

What?

Women’s March on Washington

When?

January 21, 2017

5:00 woke up

5:20 departed

7:00 arrived Vienna metro

plenty of parking, got right on train

people in train handing out pink pussy hats

got seats

8:00 arrived at L’Enfant Plaza, found a bathroom, walked to Mall and then towards Capitol. Crossed over at 4th and inched our way into the crowd.

9:00 in our spot—middle of intersection of 4th and Independence. We would stand there for five hours. Our only food was two granola bars each. No fluids. No bathroom.

2:00 Why wasn’t the rally over? We wanted to march, get food, sit down. Decided we would walk up Independence. (We later learned that the crowds filled the entire march route, so organizers rerouted/canceled the march part.)

3:00 Madonna appears. We are still trying to get out of the crush.

We listen while inching along Independence. More and more people are flowing in our direction.

3:20 We’ve broken out and are on our way to L’Enfant Plaza Metro. The entrance to the station is closed and we wander, looking for the other entrance, then join the crush walking down the escalator.

3:30 Amazingly we get right on the train with seats.

5:00 dinner at El Tio in Gainesville. First time in a bathroom since 8:00 a.m.

7:20: home.

Why?

Needed to know how to go forward, what to do. Not content with being just another white woman with the privilege of going back to my coffee-drinking, Netflix-watching, yoga-stretching, camera-clicking, computer-staring life. The whole election process was painful—I was obsessed with 528 projections for months before November 8. November 9 brought separate texts from each of my three girls that said, “I’m scared.” Those fears made me cry.

I wanted to shut off the news, disengage from my role as a citizen. And really, I sort of did. I reduced my news consumption, ignored the revolting, nauseous pronouncements from the president elect, and felt completely alienated from politics. I hid “friends” from my social media feeds who disagreed. Maybe politics was just a reality show I didn’t have to watch—tons of people don’t pay any attention, so why was I? Most things I deplore I have the freedom of ignoring. Maybe if I ignored this clownish, hideous, crass person now installed in my White House, he’d go away, or at least he’d disappear from view.

But I wasn’t sure. Some people can’t just ignore this spectacle. Whether they pay attention to it or not, there will be consequences. They are going to lose access to health care. They are going to be deported. They are going to lose the chance to become residents and citizens of the United States. They will go to war or lose friends and family members who do.  Their planet will be less habitable. They risk losing freedoms like marriage and reproductive control over their bodies.

But what to do?

I went to the march to find out.

I listened to every speaker for five hours, standing in one spot for four of those, babystepping my escape through a throng for one of them. By the end, the speeches sounded the same: My foremothers suffered and fought, LGBTQIA (what’s the I for?), climate change, Muslims, disabled people. One called for a black trans woman to be president. One WAS a black trans woman. There were celebrities and representatives from so many minorities —Muslims, Native Americans, a senator (I’m keeping an eye on her—Kamala Harris of California. I’m apparently not the first to suggest that she should be our next president.), the press, Jews, lesbians, rappers, actresses, Madonna, Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood, Naral, a little girl, an undocumented immigrant.

These were niche speakers, but they shared one message: An informed citizenry that acts makes a difference. That is the message I went there for.

Turns out the one white man who spoke at the rally gave me some very specific answers. Michael Moore, after ripping up the front page of the Washington Post, offered a to-do list and a phone number. “On Monday, call (202) 225-3121. Call your representative and your two Senators, and number one we do not accept Betty DeVos as our secretary of education. That’s day one. Make it part of your daily routine.” Sadly, he was interrupted on stage by Ashley Judd (according to my handy Wiki-Miranda-pedia, on whom I had to rely for information as there was zero internet at my location, Ashley Judd is a famous actress) and his mic turned off.

So I’m resolving to make calls to my congressmember and senators. And I’m going to stay informed by reading the whole paper, not just skipping to my favorite advice columnists.

Yesterday, I was part of a half-million strong crowd of people whose lives seem to them as rich and vivid as mine seems to me. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder for hours, and belly-to-back whenever an ambulance and its attending black SUV needed to squeeze through (Why? Were these really motorcades with celebs inside using ambulances as cover?) I went there to learn something and to teach something. I came home with indigestion, sore feet, an aching back, a sense of shame for even noticing these little pains and being so soft, and some resolve. Maybe by being there, I was a teeny part of history. Or at least, maybe I was inspired to become one.

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I was asked to photograph a photograph taken about a hundred years ago held in front of the same spot today, Dear Photograph-style. I checked out the website and thought that looked easy enough. But on my first trip out to the location – luckily, only a few steps from where I work – I realized there is a lot more to succeeding than I’d originally anticipated.

 

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Four more trips out to the spot, and I think I finally amassed some tips that should help others accomplish the same task.

  1. I use a full-frame DSLR camera. I didn’t try getting the shot with my iPhone, but there might be some advantages to doing so.
  1. Use a prime lens or choose a spot on your zoom lens and then leave it be. You don’t need to add zooming in and out to the mix. For the pictured photo, a 50 mm worked for me, probably because it mimics the angle of view of our eyesight, at least on a full frame body. It also focuses close to the lens and isn’t as bulky. And there is little distortion of the old photo at that focal length.
  1. Use a tripod and frame up the overall shot. Again, this just helps you minimize the number of variables, and since you’ll be using a very narrow aperture, you’ll need the protection against camera shake that will come with the accompanying slow shutter speed. You’re trying to find the angle from which the original was taken, but you’ll probably stand further back. Tighten the knobs and lock in the shot.
  1. Use aperture priority mode and set a small aperture so you can get the background as sharp as possible. Looking at the Dear Photograph website, I notice that the background is never fully sharp, and that is fine. Still, you wouldn’t want it to go full bokeh or what’s the point?
  1. Get to know your depth of field preview button. When I held the photo in front of my lens, the background was so blurry that I couldn’t line up the shot. But when I pressed the DOF preview button I could see the whole thing much better. I have a Live View option, but that didn’t work for me. Not only did that make the background look very bright and washed out, it also meant my face was too far away from the camera, limiting my ability to hold the old photograph in the right spot.
  1. So you’ll just hold the old picture in front of the camera, look through the viewfinder of the camera on the tripod while pressing the DOF preview button and adjust until the two photos are lined up. Remember you can adjust the photo by slanting it with one side or another tilted toward or away from the camera.
  1. When you think you have it right, snap a series of photos because your hand will shake.
  1. A little adjustment of lighting and contrast in Lightroom can help make the whole thing pop.

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Ever since I first saw this project posted online, I have thought it would be a fun one to do with students, especially if they were studying the science behind the pattern a swinging object inscribes in space.

I got my chance when I was asked to present a project for Woodberry Forest School’s photography club.

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I’m writing down the techniques used so that students may refer to these notes in case they want to experiment further.

Other helpful resources are:

http://digital-photography-school.com/a-fun-light-painting-project-parabolas/

http://www.diyphotography.net/create-geometric-light-painting-spirographs/

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2011/02/07/photo-ideas-shoot-creative-light-spirals-at-home/

You will need:

A very dark room. We used the school’s dark room.

A small flashlight.

Some string with a way to attach it to the ceiling.

Colored tape.

A dslr camera that can be set to manual

Some different colored gels with a rubber band to place them on the flashlight (the drama department gave us some extra light gels and scraps in different colors.)

A black piece of cardboard or a board covered with gaffers tape.

Camera settings:

Aperture: f/22

shutter speed: bulb

ISO: 200 (unimportant)

Lens: use your widest angle lens.

Focus: manual, set to approximate distance using the focus ring on the lens.

Procedure:

Hang the flashlight from the ceiling.

Position the camera on the floor facing up.   Use tape to mark the position and adjust as needed so the camera is directly under the flashlight.

Turn on flashlight.

Turn off lights.

Activate shutter, possibly with a timer delay so that the motion of pressing the shutter will not be captured.

Try a shutter speed of at least 30 seconds and up to four minutes.

Experiment by covering the lens with the black card and then rethrowing the flashlight in a different direction, covering the flashlight with a gel, or changing the length of the string. I think it might be interesting to add a spring to the string or change the length during the exposure. It might also be cool if you had a light that flashes on and off.

Photo Competition Information:

If there is interest, Woodberry students may participate in the AAPT photo contest. Up to fifteen from our school may enter. Please talk to me if you have a photo you’d like to enter. If necessary, we will have an in-school contest to select the best photos to enter into the competition.

See the rules here: http://www.aapt.org/Programs/contests/photocontest.cfm

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LindaHogan_FinalLogoBlack

new logo

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old logo

 

I liked my old logo, but I kept thinking that it would be much better to use my own signature.  I also decided to incorporate the three circles from the Hogan family crest.  Anna Grey and Miranda used the three circles idea to inspire the  tattoos they got this summer.  I wasn’t really up for getting inked, but I thought I could incorporate the idea in my new logo.

 

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inspiration

Thanks to the talented Ashley Denison for helping me design the new logo!

Dance is a big part of life at our house. With it comes beauty, and commitment, and stress.  So I invited some of my favorite dancers to blow off some steam!

See the rest of the shoot here.

 

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Anna Grey wanted me to take her picture in some of the beautiful ball rooms she found exploring The Homestead, where we took our family mini vacation this week.  She put on her beautiful maxi dress and we found some rooms with luscious decor and mirrors on the walls.

My idea was to get a shot of her from front and back by posing her in front of this big mirror.  But when I looked into the back of the camera, voila!  She was also in the table.  So we worked that idea for a few minutes until we got this cool portrait.  Anna Grey from every angle.

More here.

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It was so cold and clear tonight, I finally talked myself into heading out into the field behind my house with a camera and tripod.  I haven’t tried much night sky photography, so a quick survey of the internet gave me the pointers I needed.

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How I shot this photo:

1.  I used:  Nikon D600 with a 50 mm 1.8 lens, a flimsy tripod, a remote shutter controller, an iPhone to use as a flashlight and timer.  If you don’t have a remote, you could use the timer function.

2. Settings:  Manual exposure, set at 1.8 aperture and Bulb shutter speed.  Manual focus set at infinity.  ISO 200

3.  Exposure time.  I found out on the internet about the “rule of 600.”  My understanding is that to avoid capturing star trails, you should divide the lens’s focal length into 600.  So in my case, 600/50 is 12.  So I used a twelve second exposure, roughly.  I timed it on my phone, so it was not super exact.  The article where I learned about the rule of 600 also suggested shooting at least five identical shots and layering or stacking them in Photoshop or another astrophotography program, but I didn’t do that.

4. Post Processing:  I used Lightroom.  I cropped for a pleasing composition with the water tower.  There was a weird green reflection on the underside of the tower, so I desaturated that area and otherwise did my best to deal with that.  Then I played around with a lot of other settings.  The whole thing had an orangey cast from some houses in the area, so I took down the orange, and ramped up the blues and other colors to bring out some color in the stars.  I just generally did some extreme processing (blacks, whites, clarity, sharpness, contrast) until I liked the look.

When I was out in the field, I did not even see the water tower until I saw one of my shots on the back of the camera.  Then I decided that including the tower in my star picture would really show a sense of place.

I shot this picture of my daughter as she was waiting to go onstage at her dance studio’s final performance of The Nutcracker at Culpeper’s State Theater.  It was too dark, so I nearly deleted it in camera.  When I ran through the pictures in Lightroom, it almost got the X.  Then I thought, “I wonder what’s there?”   Take a look at what a few adjustments can do.

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bonfire cheerleaders

When you walk around with a camera pretty much attached to your hand, you get a lot of photo requests.  Everyone needs something photographed. Some photographers specialize, but apparently that isn’t an option for me.

Here are some of my recent photo adventures:

1. Many group photos, including Woodberry’s board of trustees, its prefect board, the math department teachers wearing hard hats, standing in front of the foundation of their under-construction building, attendees at a reception for a former teacher, fifty plus kids holding signs with the names of children affected by cancer for whom they were holding a fundraising dance marathon.

2. Photos of Paintings:  I shot all the paintings of Woodberry’s past headmasters so that the artist painting our retiring headmaster’s portrait can see them.

3. An incision so its owner could see what it looked like.

4. A musical performance.

5. A letter-signing ceremony for student athletes committing to play college lacrosse.

6. Ballet poses for an auditioning dancer.

7. Passport headshots.

8. A person climbing on an indoor climbing gym.

9. A family portrait.

10. A ribbon-cutting ceremony.

11. A blood drive.

12. A massive bonfire being built and the pep rally at which it was lit by torch-wielding students.

13. A timelapse photo/video of a Habitat for Humanity house being built.

14. A play rehearsal.