Yesterday afternoon a big storm swept through Reston. The skies went dark at 4:30pm, and the trees bent sideways. We watched from our window as the heavy rains hit the lake. The whole thing blew over in about 15 minutes.
What we didn’t know was that less than half a mile from our house, the storm was tearing up our neighbors’ homes. The Washington Post reported that at least one tornado touched down in the Reston area, although Fairfax County denies that it was a tornado. When I saw the damage that had happened to our neighbors’ street, I was inclined to believe the Washington Post. Something very tornado-like touched down on South Shore Road here at Lake Anne. Several houses and cars were crushed by huge fallen trees, and debris was everywhere. The whole area was chaos.
Mike, Danny, and I took a walk through the area last night, and again this morning. A street that we know well and love has been ravaged by this storm. We can’t believe how fortunate we were to be so close to the worst of the storm, but unaffected by it. Our entire street is just fine. I wish our neighbors on South Shore were so lucky.
On Sunday I photographed the Reston Sprint Triathlon for Reston Patch. I got up at 5:30am and walked over to Lake Newport pool, stopping first to enjoy the sunrise over the lake. When I got to the race site at 6:30, it was already packed with excited people who were getting their race numbers written on their bodies.
It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many healthy, fit, and motivated people. The participants ranged in age from 13 to 80!
This photo assignment came at a great time in my life, with my newfound love of running and racing. Every time kids tackled their parents at the finish line, I choked up like a fool. It was so much fun to witness. I found myself forgetting any journalistic objectivity and cheering for everyone as they ran past. If only I could swim and owned a racing bike, I would consider entering the race next year. For now, I’ll stick with running and photographing.
My technical strategy for these photos was fast shutter speed and AI servo focus. You can see the photo gallery on Reston Patch here, or click through to see them here:
The Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer
March 6, 2010
Yesterday I photographed this fun and inspiring charity snowshoe race with Kay Beaton. It is an annual Susan G. Komen event sponsored by Tubbs snowshoes, where racers run or walk around the Nordic Center in Frisco, Colorado. About 2,200 racers turned up in pink clothing, costumes, wigs, or tutus, and raised over $80,000 for breast cancer research.All day I alternated between laughter and tears. What a brilliant way to raise money for charity and to show support for those affected by cancer. Also I want to take a moment to say for my millionth time that I love Colorado. It was such a great day yesterday.
The Four Corner Feud roller derby tournament
February 22, 2009
The final bout of the tournament on Sunday night featured Denver’s Roller Dolls against Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak Derby Dames. It was exciting that the first- and second-place teams were both local! Denver won the final bout, making them the tournament champions.
Technical info: I took these photos with a Canon 5D and a 135mm f2 lens. For most of the photos, I set it at 1600 ISO, 1/640, f2, AI Servo.
The Four Corner Feud roller derby tournament
February 22, 2009
Over the weekend, Colorado Springs hosted a roller derby tournament between teams from the western US. The Pikes Peak Derby Dames asked me to photograph the final two games of the tournament on Sunday night. It was a fun experience for me, and I found my adrenaline pumping as I sat courtside, watching them sail past me.
I don’t know much about roller derby, so someone please correct me if I get the information wrong here. I believe that the first bout of the evening was between Duke City Derby from New Mexico, and the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls from Denver.
Pikes Peak Derby Dames
Candy Snipers vs. Danger Dolls
March 8, 2008
Roller derby has become really popular here in Colorado Springs, so last night Mike and I decided to go check it out. It was really fun. Those ladies are fierce – one even broke a finger, yikes! I think I’d enjoy roller derby more if it weren’t for the sleaze factor of the costumes and such. I wish women’s sports could be this popular without fishnets and naughty nicknames, but it was still a fun night out, and I’ll definitely go back another time.
Emotional students at the University of Virginia send messages to their friends at Virginia Tech
April 17, 2007
The Virginia Tech tragedy hit close to home for me and many of my friends. I didn’t go to Virginia Tech, but I grew up in an area where lots of people did. Many of the victims of yesterday’s attack came from Northern Virginia, and at least one of them went to my high school. Mary Read performed in the color guard at Annandale High School, and I was the captain of that very same color guard years ago. My friends and their friends know people who were hurt or died, and the whole experience has been a shock to our community.
My brother and I both went to the University of Virginia, which likes to think of itself as the big rival to Virginia Tech. UVA and Tech love to hate each other, but the truth is that we are more like brothers; you and your brother can bicker all you like, but if he was ever in trouble, you’d be the first one by his side. Almost everyone at UVA has a close friend or family member at Virginia Tech. Both my brother and I had high school best friends at Virginia Tech. My friend, Heather, even lived in West AJ dorm our freshman year. Lots of people from my high school went there, and some of my best friends today are Tech alumni.
When the shootings occurred yesterday, I immediately wanted to drive down to Blacksburg to take photographs. I realized, of course, that the entire world had already descended upon little Blacksburg, and the last thing they needed was yet another photographer wandering around. I decided to do the next best thing — go to UVA and see how my fellow Wahoos were reacting to the tragedy.
Today many UVA students and faculty were wearing Virginia Tech’s colors of maroon and orange. VT flags were flying where UVA flags normally would be. Thousands of people gathered at night for a candlelight vigil in support of their friends at Virginia Tech. I learned today that rivalry disappears when people you know and love are hurting. I’m so glad I was there to see it all.
WWII veteran Milton Cohen wipes a tear as Colonel John Bowers announces the names of local war veterans.
Scottsville Museum’s annual exhibit opening: “Small Town, Big War”
April 14, 2007
Saturday was the opening reception for Scottsville Museum’s annual exhibit. My mother is the president of this history museum in central Virginia, and she has been working incredibly hard for months to put together this wonderful exhibit. The exhibit focused on the impact of WWII on the people of Scottsville. It featured several local veterans and families, and the opening ceremony turned out to be a highly emotional event.
Several of the featured veterans and their families attended, which made the exhibit personal and heartwarming. Even many people who were not directly involved in the war still talked to me with vivid memories of the time period, and I loved hearing everyone’s stories. My father walked through the exhibit with me, and pointed out toys and foods that he remembers from his wartime childhood.
In the picture above, the front row of the seats were occupied by several WWII vets and their spouses. When the colonel announced the names of all the local WWII veterans, there was a palpable sadness as the museum guests remembered their friends and family from this small town. It was such an honor to witness.
Hi, I’m Charlotte! I’m a photographer in Reston, Virginia. I love hiking, running, and exploring the world with my husband and young son.