By Michael Balderston
“Everyone who has a cellphone in their pocket is sort of a photographer now,” says Matthew Moore, photography professor at Anne Arundel Community College.
“There is this access to the medium that didn’t exist 20 or 30 years ago.” Amidst this changing photography landscape, the seventh annual FotoWeek D.C. helps celebrate and highlight all forms of photography.
“We welcome all backgrounds, all experiences,” says Kristin Guiter, FotoWeek D.C.’s head of communications. “Whether you’ve been a photojournalist of three decades or you just picked up a camera, you benefit from this festival from workshops and professional development to just getting inspired by looking at art and listening to seasoned photographers share their stories and experiences. We’re welcoming all, in other words.”
Most of the events for this year’s festival will take place in D.C., with FotoWeek Central located at the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence. FotoWeek D.C. is also partnering with Arlington Arts Center and highlighting Matthew Moore’s “East/West” exhibit.
Moore‘s work is part of the Arlington Arts Center Fall Solo Exhibit, which includes work from several other photographers. “East/West” features photos of abandoned check points from the Soviet Union that divided the Czech Republic, which was an eastern bloc country, from western countries like Germany and Austria.
“It was really just kind of noticing something that was of historical significance that really wasn’t being paid attention to,” says Moore, “especially because they were no longer in use and sort of abandoned and in some cases repurposed to other sorts of structures.”
“The content of the entire exhibition he’s proposed is well delivered and conceived,” says Arlington Arts Center executive director Stefanie Fedor. “It’s a fully realized concept. There is an almost ghost like quality to them.”
“One of the nice things about FotoWeek D.C. that I don’t particularly see from other organizations is that it really has the effect of bringing in the entire community from the area,” says Moore. “Lots of people can go and experience different aspects of the event.”
Some of those different aspects will include an Instagram contest as well a traditional photo contest. But the element of FotoWeek D.C. Moore is most excited for is the festival celebrating the art of photography.
“People shoot and they’ll shoot a lot,” says Moore, “I call that shooting to get lucky. If you take enough photos, one of them is probably going to be good. You can’t do that when you are a serious photographer, when you have to go into a situation and have to get the photograph right. In my case, if you’re driving to the German border and you need a photograph you need to get it right, you don’t want to have to go back. So you have to master the craft in a certain aspect… museums and galleries find photography that exemplifies that and they showcase it. That’s a great thing about something like D.C. FotoWeek.”
FotoWeek D.C. 2014 runs Nov. 6 through Nov. 16. For information on events please visit their website.