Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rocket Bar

Rack : The Rocket Bar : Penn Quarter : Washington, D.C.

A departure from my usual fare today: pictures from a pool hall. I took these during a blogger meet-up a few weeks ago and liked how they turned out. I played with a few of them, obviously, but I shot all of these without a flash. They aren't what I would consider high-quality, but I like their grittiness. (What I didn't like, was the guy who wasn't paying attention to where he was walking and almost knocked an entire pint of beer off a table and into my shoes as I was exiting this Penn Quarter watering hole.)

Seems some things never change. We're all still hanging out against the wall, waiting for the
cute boy or girl to ask us to dance. Or in this case, I guess, to buy the other a drink?

The Rocket Bar was pretty low key, as far as I could tell, until the Capitals hockey game let out. Then there was a line out the door. As one of the bloggers in our group, who also happens to be a restaurant manager, stated as we were leaving, "This is an okay location, but I wouldn't stand in line for it." I wouldn't know about that, but I did enjoy the photo opps.

The dude on the far left in the hat looked like Hugh Jackman.
I wonder if he can sing and dance like him, too? I should have asked.


Six ball, off the right side, off the top, and into the center left... Or not.

Continuing my 100 Strangers series, the four guys playing a rack in the photo above were intrigued by the fact that you could take pictures inside in low light without using a flash. They were a polite bunch and even struck a pose for one of the pictures I took. Unfortunately, it looks corny, so I've omitted it here.


Tomorrow: I pay tribute to seven photographers who inspire me and tell you five things I've learned as a result of looking through a lens for the last year.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential


The Artful Eye said...

I like the gritty quality of the photo on top. It has a magazine like quality. My other favorite, the last colorful pool table shot. Lots of wonderfully compatible vibrant color.

Happy New Year!!!! I think I'm saying this on every post. Awe what the heck.I'm hopeful.

Debi said...

Although I don't comment as much as I should, I do always read your posts (well, at least I always look at your photos). One of my new year's resolutions is to try harder, much harder, about commenting.

I really love the top photos and I'll tell you why. They are almost virtually the same shot, taken by the same camera, and by the same photographer -- but what different "readings" they give! The first is gritty as you say. The second is social. They convey the same thing composition wise -- hanging out against the wall, coats still on -- but take such a different spin on it. Amazing, really.

Happy New Year! 2009 here we come.

Bob Crowe said...

These may be better pictures because you didn't use flash. Photography isn't just about slick and pretty. I think the best photography comes the visual impact of an image. That can be made with a large format film camera, ten thousand dollars of studio lights, a Holga or honest shots like these. This is very good work. Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff in 2009 - best wishes for a happy new year.

D.C. Confidential said...

Andrea: Thanks! I kind of thought the same thing about the first photo: I could see it in some trendy magazine. (I wish I could remember who had the red purse. It was someone in our group.)

Debi: I have the same resolution! Thanks for your feedback. I kept trying to figure out what made those two photos--which are so similar--so different in terms of feeling. I think you've hit the nail on the head!

Bob: It's taken me a little while to warm up to these photos. I took them in late November and am only now liking them enough to post them. You're right that some of the best pictures often don't involve the fanciest equipment or most ideal setups. I think that's what I finally appreciate about these!

Dusty Lens said...

Excellent job! Indoors is very tough with the low light, and without the all too obtrusive tripod. Pop up flash is bogus, I never use it until now. If you have a flash hot shoe on your camera, this works quite well. No, it's not as good as an external flash, but this device allows us to now use that way too harsh pop us flash. http://www.amazon.com/Gary-Fong-Puffer-Flash-Diffuser/dp/B0011000R6

Virginia said...

These are a step out for you and that's what we all must do in order to get better and find our "voice" or style or just whatever the heck we like! I am off to look at Rob's diffuser. Hope springs eternal. Just what I need, another gadget for my hopeless, crappy pop up flash, but I'll look.

D.C. Confidential said...

Rob: Thanks for the equipment recommendation! Flash is also a problem on my camera (a Canon A630) because it's side-mounted. When I shoot with the longer lens on the camera, the flash is blocked and I end up with photos half in and out of flash. As a result, I'm trying to figure out low light photography without using a flash. One of these days, I'll upgrade to a grown-up camera.

VJ: This was definitely a step out of my normal venues, but a lot of fun. The added benefit is that smoking is banned in all bars and restaurants now, so it's actually kind of pleasant to go and hang out with friends for a few hours. I don't come home smelling of cigarettes. (Now beer in my shoes? Well, that's another matter entirely!)

Lucy said...

I love the self portrait. Great photo. In the short time I've been photoing *:)* I have found that out...that I can see pictures before they are taken. Crazy!

Maya said...

Ooh, that last shot is awesome! I'm glad you informed the boys that you can take shots without a flash. ;-)

D.C. Confidential said...

Lucy: Isn't that a great gift to have! I love your photos of Arizona. (I need to do a better job of leaving you comments on your blog telling you that. New Year's Resolution #247...) ;-)

Maya: Thanks! I had a couple more that would have been really, really cool, if they'd turned out, but alas, the exposures were too long. Still, it was fun to try this out.