“Photography is everyone’s medium,” says Theo Adamstein, founder of FotoWeekDC, “especially because everyone carries a mobile device.” The annual festival, running Friday through Nov. 10, celebrates this egalitarian art form, where Instagram and Ansel Adams comfortably coexist. The centerpiece, FotoWeekCentral, transforms the courtyard at the National Geographic Museum into an immersive exhibit of award-winning work by professionals and amateurs alike. Dozens of other FotoWeekDC and partner events take place throughout the city, encouraging attendees to look up from their smartphones so they can stop and smell the photos. Walk by the Holocaust Museum next week and you’ll see haunting photos projected on the exterior. Visit a 25,000-square-foot office building in NoMa to focus on local photographers. Or lose yourself in artist Tre’s dream-like painted photographs at Touchstone Gallery. “I run around to probably five or six events a night,” Adamstein says. You could do that, too — but if you don’t have time, here are some sure bets.
Head to the Holocaust Museum any weeknight next week to see Greg Constantine’s haunting photographs projected onto the building’s exterior. (Specifically, the wall facing 15th Street SW.) His work exposes the dire conditions facing the Rohingya, a stateless people who lack basic human rights. Ayessa, above, fled to a displaced persons’ camp after her husband and brother were killed last year.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW; Nov. 4-8; 6-10 p.m.; free; 202-488-0400. (Smithsonian)
Both the spectacle and behind-the-scenes moments of modern politics are on display in this show, featuring the winners of the nonprofit’s first national political photography competition. Revisit the 2012 election through the lens of the journalists who captured moments big and small, like the above shot of a campaigning Mitt Romney by Joe Raedle.
Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St. NW; through Nov. 22, open weekdays,8 a.m.-6 p.m., free; 202-347-7978, hemphillfinearts.com. (Metro Center)
For the magazine’s 125th anniversary, curators looked back on stories from the past decade and noticed that some of the most powerful ones had been shot by women. The 11 female photojournalists honored in this exhibit “are doing stories in some instances that only they can do,” says Kathryn Keane, vice president of exhibitions at the National Geographic Society. Stephanie Sinclair, for example, had access to the women’s barracks of Yemen’s female counterterrorism unit, where she photographed this lieutenant on patrol, above.
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW; through March 2014, daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $11; 202-857-7700. (Farragut North)
It’s 3 a.m., it’s raining and you want to see art? Head over to National Geographic and you’ll be surrounded by 7-foot panels filled with prize-winning photos, such as Wendy Sacks’ “Child Love,” right, and Skip Brown’s “Summer squall line — Annapolis.” Unlike previous years, when the main exhibit was in a warehouse-like space, the winners of FotoDC’s competitions will be displayed in a temporary outdoor gallery, mounted on weatherproof material and lit up at night.
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW; Fri. through Nov. 10, free; 202-857-7700. (Farragut North)
More to See:
‘Different Distances — Fashion Photography Goes Art’
This exhibit at the House of Sweden features images that blur the lines between fashion photography and fine art.
House of Sweden, 2900 K St. NW; through Dec. 8, Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. & Sun., noon-5 p.m., free; 202-536-1500. (Foggy Bottom)
‘FotoNOMA: The District Experience’
A curated selection of local photography talent is on display at this signature FotoWeek event.
51 N St. NE; Sat. through Nov. 10, weekends from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and weekdays from noon-6 p.m., $3-5, fotonomapass.eventbrite.com. (NoMa-Gallaudet U)