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Greg Embree: Photographs

Washington at Night

On exhibit at the Cherrydale Branch Library, Feb. 2 – May 1 2017

Titanic Memorial

Titanic Memorial

Greg Embree Artist statement:

Washington in the depths of night, especially in the rain or snow, has a visual appeal that few experience. These photographs aim to convey that appeal to a broader audience.

Why did I shoot in black and white? I took my first night photographs of Washington in color. I realized early on that shooting gray buildings at night, often with snow in the scene, provided few traces of color, and that these traces added nothing to each picture except distraction. I also realized that black and white shots of Washington at night conveyed a purer expression of a scene’s composition and a crisper evocation of the monumental dimension of our city’s visual allure. The nation’s capital at night, to my eye, is a setting made for black and white photography.

I have noted on the wall plaques the date I took each photograph. I did so because these scenes-­like all things-­exist in the dimension of time, the slippery element that photography tries to stop. In a certain sense, it succeeds. As long as my photographs exist, the ice skaters next to the National Art Gallery will be forever young, enjoying each other’s company on a damp January evening in 2013. The Avalon Theater, whatever its future, will remain a thriving neighborhood enterprise on a bitterly cold evening in 2015. My photograph of the White House in 2014 will forever depict the home of a first family living in the building with monumental grace.

With these images, I hope to have captured a few places and moments of Washington in the early 21st century-­some monumental, some modest, but each reflecting its own grasp at eternity.

Want to buy something you see on our walls? Artists contribute 20% of sales made during their exhibit to the Friends of the Arlington County Public Library, to help support Library programming.



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