The Story Behind the Image
(Blizzard - Washington, DC)
It was springtime and I
was headed to Washington, DC. Packed with appropriate clothing
for the season and my photo gear, I was anxious to create some new
images. However once I arrived, a late snowstorm rolled in and my
"appropriate clothing" soon became inappropriate. In fact,
calling it a snowstorm is an understatement, it was a blizzard!
It was cold but it
hadn't started snowing yet and so I decided to go out that evening to
photograph. As I walked to the National Mall it started snowing
heavily and soon the Mall was completely abandoned. I was literally
the only one out that evening. It was eerie being in the middle of
the city and yet it was so quiet that the only sounds I could hear
were the crunch of my shoes and sound of snowflakes hitting my face.
I was so poorly dressed,
with only a hoodie and no hat or gloves, that my hands were soon
frozen and I feared frostbite. But as I prepared to return, I saw
this scene and just had to have it. However the image was easier
envisioned than executed as my hands were numb and failed to respond.
It was painfully difficult to work the camera controls, but I was
able to get this one shot which I called "Blizzard."
I immediately started
walking the several miles back to my hotel but soon realized that I
could not make it without thawing out my hands and warming up.
Unfortunately it was late and no stores or buildings were open but
one. I saw what appeared to be a government building with a large lit
lobby and security guard. I had no choice but to go in and hope they
would take pity on my situation and allow me to warm up.
I entered the lobby of
the FDIC and fortunately the guard who was to my right was
preoccupied, so I went to the left to shake off the snow and recover.
But after only a few minutes the guard discovered me, and apparently
thinking I was a homeless person, headed my way with a loud
"Hey! What are you doing in here!" It wasn't really a
question, but an accusation.
The guard was large and
I was clearly no match for her! I tried to explain my plight but she
would hear nothing of it and I was soon escorted back out into the
blizzard by the scruff of my neck. Fortunately those few minutes of
stolen warmth were enough to sustain me and I did reach my hotel
without losing any fingers.
I'm sure glad that I
went out that evening and that I stayed long enough to pursue this
image. It's a very subtle image and viewing it on a monitor just
doesn't do it justice. I'm sitting here looking at it as I write and
wish that you could see the print also, it's printed on Premier
Platinum Rag which has the most wonderful platinum sheen that makes
the highlights sing!
P.S. Here is a
self portrait taken earlier that night, before I had walked over to
(Self Portrait at 20 Degrees -