Blog

The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Best of 2016

Each year I release a set of photos showcasing the highlights I've photographed over the previous year.  It's a Year in Pictures, similar to how news outlets also compile Year in Review columns which rely almost solely on photojournalism (which is an important and unfortunately underappreciated art, by the way).  This year's "Best Of" is coming a bit late - I usually release this on New Years, but I've been rather busy and distracted upon return from my trip to St. Louis.

So now I present to you the Best of 2016: A Year in Pictures.  Photos are presented in order in which they were photographed, and contain captions and links to relevant articles when applicable.

Janet Echelman's  1.8 Renwick  at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  This photograph of Echelman's woven sculpture is displayed upside down to create additional dramatic discord and illusion to the already intricate landscape of mesh. 

Janet Echelman's 1.8 Renwick at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  This photograph of Echelman's woven sculpture is displayed upside down to create additional dramatic discord and illusion to the already intricate landscape of mesh. 

John Grade's  Middle Fork  at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Viewed from the base, or roots of the molded tree recreated from cedar planks, the natural béziers of organic growth are showcased with a feeling of fluidity.

John Grade's Middle Fork at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Viewed from the base, or roots of the molded tree recreated from cedar planks, the natural béziers of organic growth are showcased with a feeling of fluidity.

Portrait of Dennis Hazell, Customer Service Manager of Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal Building.

Portrait of Dennis Hazell, Customer Service Manager of Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal Building.

Rim and caliper of the 2016 Alfa Romea Giulia sport sedan, photographed at the Washington Auto Show.

Rim and caliper of the 2016 Alfa Romea Giulia sport sedan, photographed at the Washington Auto Show.

Cabin crew serve champagne in a First Class compartment aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

Cabin crew serve champagne in a First Class compartment aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

The First Class cabin aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

The First Class cabin aboard Emirates' new A380, which began inaugural service between Washington, DC and Dubai on February 23rd, 2016.

Portrait of Scott C. Booth, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Chief of Police.

Portrait of Scott C. Booth, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Chief of Police.

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The bar inside The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

The bar inside The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Portrait of Sidney Woods, Marketing Director at Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport's Main Terminal.

Portrait of Sidney Woods, Marketing Director at Washington Dulles International Airport, photographed in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport's Main Terminal.

My own Infiniti G37S 6MT photographed in Frederick, Maryland on a day and place reminiscent of the iconic Windows XP background,  Bliss  by Charles O'Rear.

My own Infiniti G37S 6MT photographed in Frederick, Maryland on a day and place reminiscent of the iconic Windows XP background, Bliss by Charles O'Rear.

Wedding portrait of Amy and Brandon.

Wedding portrait of Amy and Brandon.

Wedding portrait of Nina; it rained on their wedding day, pushing the ceremony inside, and rushing the portrait session in Leesburg between bands of drizzle and high winds.

Wedding portrait of Nina; it rained on their wedding day, pushing the ceremony inside, and rushing the portrait session in Leesburg between bands of drizzle and high winds.

A Piper tow plane for Jersey Ridge Soaring takes off from Blairstown Airport (1N7), lifting a glider into the sky.

A Piper tow plane for Jersey Ridge Soaring takes off from Blairstown Airport (1N7), lifting a glider into the sky.

View inside the cockpit of a glider being towed to 2,500ft before release of the tow cable.  The tow plane is visible directly forward, with instrumentation on the console and the red lever which releases the tow cable.

View inside the cockpit of a glider being towed to 2,500ft before release of the tow cable.  The tow plane is visible directly forward, with instrumentation on the console and the red lever which releases the tow cable.

A selfie inside a glider soaring around 2,500ft.  A maximum altitude of 3,500 was reached on this flight using thermal for lift.

A selfie inside a glider soaring around 2,500ft.  A maximum altitude of 3,500 was reached on this flight using thermal for lift.

Aerial view of Blairstown Airport (1N7) from 1,000ft.  The small public use airport in New Jersey is home to Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider service and school.

Aerial view of Blairstown Airport (1N7) from 1,000ft.  The small public use airport in New Jersey is home to Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider service and school.

All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8"  Star Wars  777 departing Washington Dulles International Airport after a promotional visit by the aircraft.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority held a Discover Dulles event to mark the occasion, welcoming 50 lucky participants to watch the aircraft's arrival on the runway itself, and providing a tour of Airport Operations and Dulles' Ramp Tower.

All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8" Star Wars 777 departing Washington Dulles International Airport after a promotional visit by the aircraft.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority held a Discover Dulles event to mark the occasion, welcoming 50 lucky participants to watch the aircraft's arrival on the runway itself, and providing a tour of Airport Operations and Dulles' Ramp Tower.

LATAM Airlines begins inaugural service between Lima, Peru and Washington, DC on May 2nd, 2016.  LATAM is the result of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines merging at the same time this inaugural flight took place; the LAN Airlines livery seen above has been discontinued.

LATAM Airlines begins inaugural service between Lima, Peru and Washington, DC on May 2nd, 2016.  LATAM is the result of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines merging at the same time this inaugural flight took place; the LAN Airlines livery seen above has been discontinued.

Portrait of Manuel Rodriguez, Award Winning Chef, photographed making lamb chops in the kitchen of Kapnos Taverna by Mike Isabella.

Portrait of Manuel Rodriguez, Award Winning Chef, photographed making lamb chops in the kitchen of Kapnos Taverna by Mike Isabella.

An American Airlines Douglas DC-3 parked outside the original terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, formerly known as Washington National Airport.  The aircraft was on site to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary, after opening it's doors on June 16th, 1941.

An American Airlines Douglas DC-3 parked outside the original terminal building at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, formerly known as Washington National Airport.  The aircraft was on site to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary, after opening it's doors on June 16th, 1941.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of  Rose Corps , a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles  Frosted Glass  and  Making it Hard.

Portrait of Rose Corps, a synth-pop musician and singer, photographed at CityCenterDC for promotional portraits before the release of her first two singles Frosted Glass and Making it Hard.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Savannah, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Tosca, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Alyssa McGuire, fitness coach and newborn photographer, photographed atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Portrait of Alyssa McGuire, fitness coach and newborn photographer, photographed atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Portrait of J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, photographed by Alyssa McGuire atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Photo by Alyssa McGuire, edited by J. David Buerk.

Portrait of J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, photographed by Alyssa McGuire atop Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Photo by Alyssa McGuire, edited by J. David Buerk.

Portrait of James Dingell, Airport Management Intern at Ronald Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, photographed on his last day working for the Dulles Jet Center, where he worked continuously for over 10 years.

Portrait of James Dingell, Airport Management Intern at Ronald Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, photographed on his last day working for the Dulles Jet Center, where he worked continuously for over 10 years.

A blue poison dart frog photographed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC.

A blue poison dart frog photographed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC.

Royal Air Maroc begins inaugural service between Casablanca, Morocco and Washington, DC on September 8th, 2016.

Royal Air Maroc begins inaugural service between Casablanca, Morocco and Washington, DC on September 8th, 2016.

A limited edition Translucent Pink autographed Lindsey Stirling "Shatter Me" 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable.

A limited edition Translucent Pink autographed Lindsey Stirling "Shatter Me" 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable.

Aerial photograph of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia.  Photographed via helicopter, 250ft AGL.

Aerial photograph of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia.  Photographed via helicopter, 250ft AGL.

"Superman" leads the way at the 23rd annual Dulles Day Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics team is always the first team to pull the FedEx 757 to kick off this family fun charity event which draws 10,000 - 15,000 visitors every year.

"Superman" leads the way at the 23rd annual Dulles Day Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics team is always the first team to pull the FedEx 757 to kick off this family fun charity event which draws 10,000 - 15,000 visitors every year.

Aerial photograph of Washington Dulles International Airport's iconic Main Terminal Building designed by architect Eero Saarinen.  Cranes which are part of the "Silver Line" rail construction project can be seen at the bottom of the frame, as construction of the Dulles Metro Station commences.  Photographed via helicopter, 500ft AGL.

Aerial photograph of Washington Dulles International Airport's iconic Main Terminal Building designed by architect Eero Saarinen.  Cranes which are part of the "Silver Line" rail construction project can be seen at the bottom of the frame, as construction of the Dulles Metro Station commences.  Photographed via helicopter, 500ft AGL.

A promotional image for the Dulles and Reagan concessions program, photographed at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Photographs from this photoshoot were selected to be used as cover images for Shop & Dine guides at Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

A promotional image for the Dulles and Reagan concessions program, photographed at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck; a new restaurant offering at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Photographs from this photoshoot were selected to be used as cover images for Shop & Dine guides at Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

View of the lounge area inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

View of the lounge area inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight served inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight served inside Turkish Airlines' new Business Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Exterior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Exterior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Interior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Interior promotional photo of Duty Free Americas after renovation at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Much of my work, many of which goes undisplayed on my website, is photographing commercial marketing imagery of concessions and products for the DC area's two airports.

Artist Katherine Riedel painting still-life in her Waterford, Virginia studio.

Artist Katherine Riedel painting still-life in her Waterford, Virginia studio.

The tide rolls in on the Chesapeake Bay with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance on a cool Summer day at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

The tide rolls in on the Chesapeake Bay with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance on a cool Summer day at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Portrait of Katie, a rising high school senior, Class of 2017, photographed at her stable where she cares for her horse Retro, and trains with him for equestrian events.

Tire and rim detail on a bagged Ford Mustang at the first Regular Car Reviews car show in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.

Tire and rim detail on a bagged Ford Mustang at the first Regular Car Reviews car show in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.

A Translucent Green Lindsey Stirling eponymous LP 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable. 

A Translucent Green Lindsey Stirling eponymous LP 33 RPM vinyl on an Audio-Technica turntable. 

Leo surprises Chelsea with a marriage proposal at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo surprises Chelsea with a marriage proposal at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo and Chelsea and their two dogs, upon getting engaged at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

Leo and Chelsea and their two dogs, upon getting engaged at the skating rink at Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia.  She said yes!

2016 has been a great year in my photographic career, bringing me new experiences, introducing me to new faces, and taking me new places.  Here's to 2017 being just as interesting and continuing to take my career to new heights!  Thanks to all of my fans, and especially those who have helped to make my career the career of my dreams!  I'll see you all in 2017!

J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, on Washington Dulles International Airport's R/W 1C high-speed hold-short line while photographing on assignment for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority during the All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8"  Star Wars  777 event.  Photo edited by J. David Buerk.

J. David Buerk, Washington, DC area commercial photographer, on Washington Dulles International Airport's R/W 1C high-speed hold-short line while photographing on assignment for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority during the All-Nippon Airways' "BB-8" Star Wars 777 event.  Photo edited by J. David Buerk.

2016 Dulles Day Plane Pull and 5K / 10K on the Runway

Dulles Day 5K / 10K On the Runway

In 1993 Dulles International Airport held the World's very first Plane Pull, a charity event in partnership with Special Olympics, that began a phenomenon of other plane pull charity events worldwide.  In 2013, Dulles added a 5K (and in 2014 a 10K) to Dulles Day.  While technically the 5K / 10K is a separate event from the Plane Pull, it is always held on the morning of as the newest annual part of Dulles Day.  Each year 2,500 participants are able to run on R/W 1R and return to the Start / Finish via T/W K.  It is one of Potomac River Running's most popular runs, both because it offers the unique opportunity to be a pedestrian on an airfield (and run under the wing of a United 777), and there is no other run of that distance which offers a perfectly flat venue other than a track.

In previous years I've been on the ground for photos (thank you to Airport Operations for always providing me with speedy transport anywhere I need to go), but this year I was in the helicopter circling the event to capture new angles and promo photos I haven't gotten for this event before. In contrast to the other photographers at the event who are tasked with capturing each runner's photo, my assignment for the Plane Pull each year is to document the entire day and capture marketing photographs in a photojournalistic manner.

Thanks to an unexpected, last-minute delay of the race start, I was able to capture some great photos and video footage of the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center before the run got underway.

Also visible is Washington Dulles International Airport's Concourses and Terminal, ATCT, VMF, and R/W 12/30.

Huge thanks to Bussman Aviation and all the fine folks in Dulles Airport Operations who make aerial photography and the entire day possible!

If you're looking for the video footage, scroll to the bottom of this blog post.

Dulles Day Plane Pull

The Dulles Day Plane Pull is a Summer festival suitable for all ages, and is great for families and aviation enthusiasts alike.  There are food vendors, games, giveaways, booths and displays, demonstrations, a classic car show, ARFF and Mobile Lounge rides / tours, live music, and ~50 private, vintage, and military aircraft on display, but the main attraction is the Plane Pull itself; ~100 teams compete in pulling a FedEx 757 or a United A320.

The first pull to kick off the day every year is always the Special Olympics team.  This year they had a little help from Superman!

Another notable team is the Fairfax County Police Department.  Dulles's property crosses over between Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, and many of the teams that compete are police and sheriffs offices in the surrounding communities.  The police community is already a tightly knit brotherhood, and that family is brought together every year with this friendly competition amongst neighboring jurisdictions.

Something of my own tradition I've begun since I began documenting the Plane Pull in 2013, every year I capture an aerial portrait of Eero Saarinen's famous Dulles Main Terminal Building.  This year’s Plane Pull was overcast - excellent for pictures of people and scenes, but not the most flattering light for glamour shots of buildings.  The iconic Main Terminal Building is seen here with ongoing construction for the Dulles Metrorail Project entering the bottom of the frame, including excavation and two cranes.

For 10 straight years now eyes have been on the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office; the team with an outright dominant reign as the Dulles Plane Pull's fastest.  They successfully defended their title for the 10th year in a row, with a time of 4.872s; 2016's fastest pull, however just short of setting a new Plane Pull record - a record of 4.753 they set in 2015.

The Dulles Day Plane Pull is also a planespotter's / AVGeek's dream; ATC does their best to route as much international, heavy, and otherwise interesting traffic to the nearby center runway.  Guests are encouraged to bring their cameras, and it's common for folks to come just to grab a lobster roll and planespot alongside the taxilane the entire afternoon in anticipation of spotting a jumbo like Lufthansa's 747-8i or Air France's A380.  This is completely in addition to the static private, vintage, and military aircraft on display.

Once again, I have to thank Bussman Aviation and all the fine folks in Dulles Airport Operations who make aerial photography and the entire day possible!  I rely on these fantastic folks to get me from A to B in speedy fashion, and what I do wouldn't be possible without them!

Video Footage

Here is a collection of the video footage I captured at this year's annual 2016 Dulles Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics Virginia. Still photographs are my main focus, so this is content I captured between the still photos I captured to document the day.