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12.VideogWork.Downtown.WDC.25may06 | by Elvert Barnes
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News Videographers At Work . Downtown . Farragut North . Connecticut Avenue and L Street, NW . WDC . Thursday evening, 25 May 2006 . Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography


Since the first snow storm in December 2005 I have often photographed this intersection of downtown DC, in the late afternoon or early evening, when folks are milling about. Most who are heading home from work.


On more than one occasion I have encountered this same crew of news gatherers. And on some occasions have captured them, at work. And in action.


This was the first tikme that I would observe the femalee at the camera, as the man who I have observed many times before, appears to instruct her.


I love these kind of pictures that captures a moment in time ... that can not ever be again.


On this particular day, 25 May 2006, and as been the case over the past two weeks I was testing and trying out the different white balance settings. This picture was taken in the Automatic White Balance (AWB) setting.


When taking this series of pictures andd, in particular, this close-up, I'd reflect on the fact that this is the first time that I hve observed a female videographer ... at work ... at least, in association with main street media.. I, of coruse, have encountered many who are associated with alternative media.


As I walked away, from this photo session, I'd remember the young white gril that I had observed last Sunday, in Freedom Plaza, who was the first female that I had observed skating. Not only Freedom Plaza but throughout my skateboarding project that I would start in the summer of 1992.


In fact, the first time that I had observed a female with a skateboard was two or three weeks ago whe nI was just departing from the 2006 WDC Youth Pride Rally in Rock Creek Park. At which time, a lesbian would walk down the hill, strutting with a skateboard.


I ran over to her, saying, that I had been capturing skateboarders in WDC since 1992 but that she was the first female that I had ever seen, with a skateboard. She said that she was one of a very few. And now that she is older she can't or will not do some of the tricks that she use to. I asked if I could photograph her.


She said yes. When taking the pictures of both female skateboarders, the first at the Youth Pride Festival and the second at Freedom Plaza, I'd have a similar feeling as I did when I took this this series of pictures of the female camera person.


And that feeling has to do with the racism that I have expereinced as a black photographer. And sometimes news gatherer.


It is not that I don't like taking pictures of white women or white girls ... but, as a black man ... I have to be careful of photographing white females, because, in the past, it has always been my experience, that they or others watching me will create some problem, for me, that did not exist.


And while I understand and can empathasize with the sexism that females may expereince, at work, or at play, they (white or black) are not as respectful of me, as a black man.

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Taken on May 26, 2006