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We announced the Fotoweek winners at the end of April. Two of the themes, Spirit of Funk and Spirit of DC scream summer. Since it’s unbearably hot outside, it’s summer in DC. We gave the winners a short questionnaire to help give us amateur photographers some helpful hints when we’re shooting this holiday weekend. Keep shooting and stay hydrated.

Eli Meir Kaplan, winner of the Spirit of DC Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

Six years.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

Being an introverted person I feel very awkward in front of the camera and would have a hard time acting naturally.

How often do you shoot on film

It’s been a while. Right now I’m only shooting digital but have definitely thought about it.

What will you NEVER photograph?

An iPhone mirror selfie.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

I’d photograph an outdoor DC event or portrait series. The Funk Parade would have been awesome! It would also be cool to do a portrait series of DC cab drivers.

Beamie Young, 3rd place in the Spirit of DC Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

40 years.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

I would rather not be the subject; I like being behind the camera.

How often do you shoot on film?

I shot film and worked in the darkroom for many years and vowed not to go digital…, I am completely digital now and love it! I never want to go back.

What will you NEVER photograph?

Aside from pornography I am open to shooting just about anything. I avoid places that may put me in danger, but I am admire and respect Photojournalists who put themselves in harms way every day.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

Each photo shoot is an ongoing exploration of our world regardless of the camera type. I would find something interesting wherever I was at the moment.

Insana Collins, 2nd place in Spirit of Funk Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

All my life, but 6 years professionally

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

I absolutely hate being the subject, unless it’s for teaching purposes.

How often do you shoot on film?

Never. Ever.

What will you NEVER photograph?

This is a great question. I will probably never photograph pornography or dead bodies.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

I would shoot around DC with a disposable camera. Possibly random street fashion.

David Scavone, 3rd place in the Spirit of Funk Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

Since 1977, so 37 years. Picked up a camera senior year in college and photography saved me from law school.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

I really don’t like being the subject of photography. Totally uncomfortable in front of the camera. I know which end of the camera I belong on.

How often do you shoot on film?

Haven’t used film in about 7 years, so never now. Don’t even own any film camera’s and really don’t miss it at all. No nostalgia for the “good ole days” of film. Love the control of digital capture and processing.

What will you NEVER photograph?

Another person’s pain.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

I’ve taken a real, non disposable camera in some pretty strange places, so I can’t think of a where but maybe just in general in the rain on the beach ….

Oliver Szeto, winner of the Cherry Blossom Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

Around 3 years — mostly for pleasure, field trips, vacations or anything beautiful in my eyes.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

Never been the subject, but I imagine it could be empowering.

How often do you shoot on film?

Never tried.

What will you NEVER photograph?

Depends on the situation — things that are too mundane or boring; things that have legal consequences, especially if the pictures get into the wrong hands;

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

Having an iphone camera these days is like having a disposable camera with you , always…
It really depends on my mood — i’m a pathologist/physician by practice and I find beauty in cellular morphology and sometimes I like to take pictures of cellular elements and architecture when I feel inspired at work. Or I may see something beautiful on my walk to and from work, and may snap a photo here and there. So it just really depends on the moment and my mood.

Kevin Miller, 2nd place in the Cherry Blossom Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

For the image that won it was around 1/40 of a second. But for real I’ve enjoyed taking pictures for about the last 17 years or so. However my interest and amount of time spent doing it really took off when I purchased my first DSLR (Canon Rebel Xti) about 7 years ago. The camera has never been far from me since.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

I don’t mind being in front of the camera, but I rarely am the subject of the photo. When I do find myself in front of the camera I’m usually making some weird face or photo bombing someone’s shot.

How often do you shoot on film?

Lately never. I think the last time I used film was around 2000. A major part of photography I enjoy is the touch up/enhancing of the image. It’s satisfying to see how the image originally looked become what I had envisioned it to be when taking the photo.

What will you NEVER photograph?

No matter how hard I would try I probably will never be able to take pictures of my funeral. Other than that if it gets in front of my camera and I find interest in it I’ll be snapping away. Oh, and maybe a country music concert.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

I think it would be fun to do some crowd sourced images. Maybe leave the camera in a public place with a note on it instructing to take an image an pass it on. Maybe have certain criteria they must accomplish. Might be fun to see what the random creativity of people can come up with.

Michael Kandel, 3rd place in the Cherry Blossom Photo Contest

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How long have you been shooting?

More than six years.

How do you feel when you’re the subject?

I prefer to be behind the camera – and I consistently judge the photographer when in front of one (if not overtly, then under my breath). I’d venture to guess that I’m in good company!

How often do you shoot on film?

I have a couple of old school Nikon F cameras which produce some classic looking images, but generally shoot digital as clients prefer it. There’s usually a film camera handy when I travel, or roam around the city though.

What will you NEVER photograph?

I’ll photograph almost anything. But if someone tried to hire me to shoot a child birth, I’d probably turn it down. It’s a miracle and all, but some things should be left to the Mom and Dad.

If we gave you a disposable camera, where and what would you shoot?

I’m fairly comfortable putting my gear in harms way, but if given a disposable, I might give them a break and shoot La Tomatina. It’s a festival in Spain that essentially revolves around a giant food fight, exclusively with tomatoes. That might be a good place to utilize a disposable.

 

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