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The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Executive Order Travel Ban Protest - IAD, January 30th, 2017

Following President Trump’s executive order implementing a travel ban on seven countries, protests initiated at international airports across the United States where individuals affected by the rapidly enacted ban were detained. The Trump administration justified the executive order as part of the “extreme vetting” of immigrants promised during his campaign, while those opposed to the ban question the constitutionality, motives, and execution of the ban. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) was on-site denouncing President Trump’s travel ban in a press conference.

I captured these photographs while on-site for an unrelated meeting.  During the several hours I spent watching the protest and presser, there were no Trump supporters visibly present; reportedly only one had been there in the morning, and only a handful over the weekend, and some cases MWAA police had to move in to ensure the supporters' safety as tempers of the crowd were exacerbated.  During my time on-site, I witnessed only one individual lose their temper; a lawyer, who eventually calmed down when others spoke to them and explained they had already taken the necessary actions.

I am presenting these images and my account for the importance of photojournalism and documentation.  Captions below each image briefly explain what is being seen in each image.

Do not use these photographs or videos without express permission of J. David Buerk.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport and speaks with legal counsels volunteering on-site.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport and speaks with legal counsels volunteering on-site.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) addresses media to discus legal action the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking in opposition to the travel ban.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer directs passengers' traffic as they exit the International Arrivals Building after clearing customs.  Protestors fill both sides of the exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer directs passengers' traffic as they exit the International Arrivals Building after clearing customs.  Protestors fill both sides of the exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.

A protestor gives a white rose to an arriving international passenger.  White roses are traditionally known to represent purity, innocence, sympathy, and spirituality.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

A young protestor offers Loudoun County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers donuts and water and thanks them for keeping the demonstration safe.

A young protestor offers Loudoun County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers donuts and water and thanks them for keeping the demonstration safe.

A young protestor offers volunteer lawyers donuts and water and thanks them for donating their time.

A young protestor offers volunteer lawyers donuts and water and thanks them for donating their time.

Protestors of various backgrounds were present to display multicultural unity in opposition to the travel ban.

Protestors of various backgrounds were present to display multicultural unity in opposition to the travel ban.

NBC News4 Reporter Julie Carey preparing for a live hit.

NBC News4 Reporter Julie Carey preparing for a live hit.

Some protestors' signs were artwork without words.

Some protestors' signs were artwork without words.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Protestors fill both sides of the International Arrivals Building exit pathway which is normally surrounded with people awaiting the arrival of their friends and family.  Greetings and welcomes were given to each individual arriving passenger, with cheers each time the IAB doors opened.

Some protestors brought their children along to teach them about political activism firsthand.

Some protestors brought their children along to teach them about political activism firsthand.

NBC News4 reporter Kristin Wright preparing for a live hit.

NBC News4 reporter Kristin Wright preparing for a live hit.

ABC 7 / NewsChannel 8 reporter Ryan Hughes live on the air.

ABC 7 / NewsChannel 8 reporter Ryan Hughes live on the air.

FOX 5 reporter Ronica Cleary preparing for a live hit.

FOX 5 reporter Ronica Cleary preparing for a live hit.

A woman waves an American flag as arriving international passengers are greeted by the crowd of protestors.

A woman waves an American flag as arriving international passengers are greeted by the crowd of protestors.

A woman shows a peace sign while holding a sign; "ALL are WELCOME here."

A woman shows a peace sign while holding a sign; "ALL are WELCOME here."

"Love Trumps Hate" is a play on words that has been used as a rallying cry and hashtag in opposition to President Trump since almost the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2016.

"Love Trumps Hate" is a play on words that has been used as a rallying cry and hashtag in opposition to President Trump since almost the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2016.

Hashtags are used on protestors' signs to aid in spreading their message and promoting online unity.

Hashtags are used on protestors' signs to aid in spreading their message and promoting online unity.

Vice President Mike Pence's December 8th, 2015 tweet, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional" printed on a protestor's sign; the widely circulated tweet is seen as directly contradictory to the Trump administration's travel ban rolled out just over a year later.

Vice President Mike Pence's December 8th, 2015 tweet, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional" printed on a protestor's sign; the widely circulated tweet is seen as directly contradictory to the Trump administration's travel ban rolled out just over a year later.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Internationally arriving passengers exit the International Arrivals Building to a sea of cheering protestors welcoming their arrival after clearing customs.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Many of the protestors present also took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, 2017; the day after President Trump's inauguration.  Some of these protestors brought their signs from that protest to use at this one; this sign is an original artwork.

Volunteer lawyers and translators held signs to readily identify themselves to passengers and family who need legal counsel.

Volunteer lawyers and translators held signs to readily identify themselves to passengers and family who need legal counsel.

Even some arriving international travelers had signs in protest easily in view as they exited the International Arrivals Building upon clearing customs.

Even some arriving international travelers had signs in protest easily in view as they exited the International Arrivals Building upon clearing customs.

Reunions upon clearing customs are often emotional regardless of residency, citizenship, and immigration status.

Reunions upon clearing customs are often emotional regardless of residency, citizenship, and immigration status.

A man holds a sign in (language confirmation pending) outside the International Arrivals Building.  (Translation pending.)

A man holds a sign in (language confirmation pending) outside the International Arrivals Building.

(Translation pending.)

Water, food, and other supplies donated to sustain the protestors, lawyers, translators, and legal observers.

Water, food, and other supplies donated to sustain the protestors, lawyers, translators, and legal observers.

A Black Lives Matter protestor and attorney speaks with an ACLU legal observer while holding ACLU legal advice pamphlets.

A Black Lives Matter protestor and attorney speaks with an ACLU legal observer while holding ACLU legal advice pamphlets.

A woman holds a sign that simply reads, "Don't be Mean."

A woman holds a sign that simply reads, "Don't be Mean."

Protestors who came together hold signs which complement one another's messages.

Protestors who came together hold signs which complement one another's messages.

Volunteer lawyers stand close to the International Arrival Building's exit with clearly legible signs reading, "FREE LEGAL HELP."  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Volunteer lawyers stand close to the International Arrival Building's exit with clearly legible signs reading, "FREE LEGAL HELP."  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Four women hold signs next to the International Arrival Building's exit; one woman's sign had flashing lights, reading, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

Four women hold signs next to the International Arrival Building's exit; one woman's sign had flashing lights, reading, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

Excerpt from Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus;" a sonnet written in 1883 to fundraise the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.  The poem became a permanent part of the Statue of Liberty when it was mounted to the statue's pedestal on a bronze engraving in 1903.

Excerpt from Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus;" a sonnet written in 1883 to fundraise the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.  The poem became a permanent part of the Statue of Liberty when it was mounted to the statue's pedestal on a bronze engraving in 1903.

One of several lawyers tables set up around the International Arrivals Building to aid travelers and their families in need of legal assistance.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

One of several lawyers tables set up around the International Arrivals Building to aid travelers and their families in need of legal assistance.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers and translators converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

Leftover and abandoned signs collected and stored behind the Lawyers for Good Government's table, available for anyone to choose from and use to protest.

Leftover and abandoned signs collected and stored behind the Lawyers for Good Government's table, available for anyone to choose from and use to protest.

An American Civil Liberties Union legal observer in a blue high-visibility vest.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.  The ACLU was quick to file a lawsuit in opposition to the executive order, resulting in an emergency stay granted by Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly late Saturday night, which allowed travelers caught in the ban's rapid rollout to be released from detention.

An American Civil Liberties Union legal observer in a blue high-visibility vest.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.  The ACLU was quick to file a lawsuit in opposition to the executive order, resulting in an emergency stay granted by Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly late Saturday night, which allowed travelers caught in the ban's rapid rollout to be released from detention.

A group of volunteer lawyers working in the baggage claim area of Washington Dulles International Airport.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

A group of volunteer lawyers working in the baggage claim area of Washington Dulles International Airport.  When news of the travel ban broke on Saturday, lawyers, translators, and legal observers converged upon airports to donate their time and efforts in investigating and protecting against civil liberty violations.

A short video of footage I collected while on site Monday afternoon.

The Arc of Northern Virginia - Housing Choice Voucher Mini-Series

Last year I was hired to film a short documentary series that quickly became the most meaningful project I've ever worked on in my professional career to-date.  That project was The Arc of Northern Virginia's Housing Choice Voucher web series.

I first became familiar with The Arc during my time filming the Wings for All program, which is a simulated commercial flight experience so individuals with disabilities may learn and practice what it's like to navigate an airport, get screened by TSA, and board a real aircraft.

After my work on several Wings for All events, The Arc of Northern Virginia tapped me for a new video project - a documentary web series portion of a grant in partnership with the Virginia Housing Development Agency and Virginia Housing and Supportive Services.  Each short film educates viewers about the Housing Choice Voucher option offered in Virginia.

Housing Choice Vouchers give individuals with disabilities affordable access to independant housing, which increases quality of life and satisfaction over other housing options, such as group homes.  This allows other sources of income, such as Medicaid waivers, to go further in paying for other necessary services such as in-home caregivers.

Filming the series took place over the course of several months, in various locations across the Northern Virginia region.  Filming this series introduced me to many vibrant people with incredible stories, and all do great work in the local, state, and even national community, which you'll see in the series itself.  This series was truly and incredible experience to work on, and even though it was definitely the most challenging project I've taken on to-date (this series required an immense amount of post-production; each interview was about 1.5 - 2hrs long), this documentary series is by far the most meaningful project I have ever completed - I am truly proud to have been a part of it in cooperation with The Arc, and I truly look forward to more projects similar to this one.

Before we get into the series itself, I'd like to share some useful links which will help you learn more information about Housing Choice Vouchers in Virginia.

And now, here are all films in the series.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series: #1 - Brian

Brian, his family, and caregivers detail how his life has improved thanks to the Housing Choice Voucher following his traumatic brain injury.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series: #2 - Gail and Esther

Gail and Esther are best friends who live independently in the same apartment complex, and have technological aids to help them.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series #3 - David and Rory

David and Rory live together in spacious apartment, and are now able to cook their own meals and travel their own community, which was impossible in the group home setting they both lived in before receiving their Housing Choice Vouchers.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series: #4 - Rogan

Rogan's Housing Choice Voucher has helped provide him with a stable home with a live-in caregiver, as his parents begin to age.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series: #5 - Theresa

Theresa Rankin was homeless from the medical expenses following her traumatic brain injury, but a series of events turned that around and now she has an apartment where she lives independently.  Theresa then founded BrainLine.org, a national non-profit organization in partnership with PBS specializing in preventing, treating, and living with traumatic brain injuries.  Theresa continues to be a National Community Educator with Brain Injury Services.

Housing Choice Voucher 2016 Series: #6 - Robert

Robert was able to receive a Housing Choice Voucher even after a legal misunderstanding resulting from his disability, after he completed a Reasonable Accommodation Application.

Finally, I have to thank Kymberly DeLoatche, Lucy Beadnell, Rikki Epstein, Janene Shaw, and everyone else who was instrumental in making this large, technical, and wonderful project a reality!  Thank you for all your help!

SOARING - A Short Film by J. David Buerk

Recently I accompanied my friend Ellen up to Connecticut to help her buy a new car - a metallic green Nissan Xterra.  In this case, one of only two green Xterras for sale on the East Coast.  After buying the car, we convoyed back down to Blairstown, New Jersey, a small township roughly 60 miles West of New York City.  Blairstown is home to Blair Academy, a prep school, and Blairstown Airport, a single runway public use airfield that is a base for Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider business owned by Ellen's parents.

It's long been a dream of mine to get a pilots license and learn to fly an aircraft recreationally.  I flew twice that day; my first flight was scenic, and the second was an actual flight lesson where I was on the stick most of the flight - my first time actually flying an aircraft!

Without further ado, I present to you a short film I assembled from the bits of footage I gathered that day.

For months Ellen has been begging me to come and try flying in a glider, and for months I've told her, "aircraft are supposed to have engines." I've been in small aircraft plenty of times; mostly helicopters, but even a hot air balloon, which of course isn't powered.  If anything, I finally realized gliders are safer in that you can actually steer them.

My first flight was scenic, encompassing the photos and video footage you see here.  My second flight, after gaining just 500AGL, I was told, "Ok, follow the tow plane!"  Basically as soon as we were off the ground I was given control of the aircraft.  There were only two instances where it was a bit too much and I gave back the controls (beyond departure and landing); once while getting kicked around during towing, and once when a thermal became a bit too strong for my (lack of) skill level.

I'd managed to find and get centered in a 400ft/min thermal, gaining over 1,000 feet in altitude, before the updraft mixed with the crosswind was getting too dicey for my own inexperienced comfort at the controls.  That's a pretty solid thermal to latch onto, and a far cry from the first flight, which hardly had any thermal activity, lending itself to a short, ~40min flight.  The second flight was a little under an hour long.  What threw me off the most during my stick time was the lack of feedback through the stick, as well as how much movement it had available; at some points it felt as if my legs were in the way of the stick.  Also, there was the slight delay for inputs which also befuddled.  I found it interesting that the gliders' airspeed is in MPH instead of knots.  Both flights we were towed up to 2,500ft before releasing, and reached a max altitude of ~3,500ft on the second flight.

Glider aircraft are also called sailplanes because of their similarity to sailing a sailboat; wind currents are your friend, but you must know how to use them.  Flying in the sailplane feels like flying in a sky kayak.

I skipped over it, but immediately after buying Ellen's truck, we all got dinner at a Texas Roadhouse in Connecticut - Alyssa had driven over from Woonsocket, Rhode Island to catch dinner with me and my friends (you should have come flying with us!).  After dinner, we departed for Blairstown for a weekend flying, which you just read about.

Gliders are definitely something I will be doing again, though I find it ironic that I still have not been up in a single-engine airplane.  I can't wait to get more flight time in!

Marketing and Product Photography and Videography

I thought it would be fitting to provide an update on my marketing and product photography efforts at Ronald Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.  This Summer, in addition to my regular ongoing still photography for concession marketing purposes, I also filmed stock footage of concessions at both airports for use in promotions.  These promo spots have been playing on the CNN TV Monitors at both airports since May of this year.  I am responsible for all the footage in these videos with the exception of a few stock photos provided by Legal Sea Foods.  I am not responsible for the video editing; that was tackled by Marketplace Development's marketing team.

Here is an extended edit of the DCA promo.

In addition to these video spots, you can see a sampling of some of my latest marketing photography efforts below.  Both Dulles and Reagan National airports have been working to introduce Better Brands to the Washington, DC aviation market.

You might remember the promotional photography I showcased this past Spring for Pen & Prose and others; much of my photography is used in online promotion, but it also ends up printed large format, very much in public.  This is also a great example of why good photography is important - can you imagine how terrible this dustwall would look with poor quality images, or no images at all?

Examples of my most recent commercial marketing photography.  It's purely coincidental that Chef Geoffrey and I have the same pose :-)