Photo Post – Science Festival

Last weekend, DC hosted the USA Science and Engineering Festival. This was the fifth biennial event, which started life in 2010 as an overgrown science fair spread across the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue. I have a few images on Flickr from that year, as well as from 2012 and 2016. Not sure why I missed 2014.

Unfortunately the Festival has turned into a commercial showcase dominated by government contractors, federal agencies, and the military. And, of course, everyone was into STEM. Sorry, arts people. I only saw one reference to STEAM.

Even with the excessive weaponization of science, there were some interesting exhibits and fun sights mixed in. Here are a few images from my time in the two huge halls, with the full gallery here

Super VR
Many exhibits featured VR and this young man seemed to be having a good time with whatever was in this world presented by the US Air Force.

 

Playing
A cadet from the US Naval Academy helps this boy with programming an Ozobot.

 

Squids 4 Kids
An organization called Squid4Kids based at Stanford University brought, what else, a squid for all of us to touch. It’s just as slimy as it looks.

Driving Lessons
And at the Army’s huge space, this young man was learning how to drive one of their vehicles using what looked like a standard video game controller.

Photo Post – Maker Faire NoVA

Last Sunday was the 5th annual Maker Faire here in Northern Virginia and I was fortunate to be one of the official photographers for the event. The Faire has grown tremendously in a short time and this year moved to it’s new home at George Mason University. Below are a few images of people and exhibits spread among three buildings and two outdoor areas. More are in this gallery.

Robots

A line up of robots waiting to come to life.

Robot Kids

There was lots to attract makers of all ages.

Dismantle Space

One of the most popular areas of the Faire allows visitors to take apart electronic devices like printers and DVD players. Because everyone is curious about what’s inside.

Maker Faire Johnson Center

I also took some 360° images at the Faire and this one of the exhibitors in the Johnson Center at GMU. Click your mouse or tap your finger in the image and drag around to see more. More 360° photos are in this Flickr album.

Photo Post

Kathy and I had the opportunity to tour the greenhouses where the Smithsonian cultivates the flowers and plants used for exhibits and general decoration in all their museums. It was a wonderful way to spend a cold, windy afternoon. Below are a few of my shots. More of mine are in this gallery and Kathy’s much better work is on her site.

Apricots

I was working with a macro lens for the first time and very happy with the way these apricots turned out.

Orchid 2

I don’t know what this plant is called (it was in the orchid house) but I just loved the otherworldliness of it. For some reason it reminds me of a character in the film Beetlejuice.

Eye

I see an eye formed by the water puddled in the center of this plant.

Rubber Gloves

Always looking for the odd image, although I have to give credit to Kathy for spotting this one.

Photo Post

I’ve been past and around the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown DC many times but never really taken a good look inside the place. So I recently took a tour and, of course, brought the camera. Here are a few of the better images and more are in this gallery.

Penn Ave

The view down Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza towards the Capitol. The Reagan building is to the right.

Atrium

The massive atrium of the main building.

Woodrow Wilson

A portrait of Woodrow Wilson on a window in the center named for him. One of many discontinuities in a building named for Reagan.

Seats

I like the pattern in the seats of the auditorium. This is home of the Capitol Steps, a political satire group that started early in the Reagan administration. The irony is not lost.

Making Is More Than Robots and 3D

Punkin Chunkin' in Washington State

When you hear the word “maker”, many people think of 3D printing, robots, coding, and makeshift devices like that pumpkin’ chunker in the picture. But, as Josh mentioned in a webinar last week, we should also be including some more traditional creative activities in our thinking, like blogging.

I would also add photography.

When professional photographers talk about their work, they will often not use the phrase “take a picture”. Instead they are “making an image”. It may be a subtle difference, but more than a few pros I’ve read and heard insist that making better defines their process than taking.

Because great photos, ones that inspire and move people, don’t happen by just pointing a camera at the subject and pressing a button. They are made through artful composition, a skillful use of light, and making the best use of the available equipment.

I won’t claim that any of the images I’ve posted here, on my photo site, or on Flickr qualify as “great”. However, I’m working in that direction, through experimentation, learning from others, and lots of practice.

Just like any good maker.


The picture, from Photos By Clark on Flickr, is used under a Creative Commons license.