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Posts Tagged ‘Potomac Heritage Trail’

This spooky spider image that I took late Friday afternoon while hiking along part the Potomac Heritage Trail is probably more suitable for later in the month, but I just couldn’t wait until Halloween to share it.

Normally when I use fill flash I try to be subtle, attempting to add a little pop without making it obvious that I used flash. In this case, you can’t help but notice my use of the popup flash. Normally I would take a shot of a spider like this with my macro lens, but I was travelling light with just my superzoom Canon SX50. The 50x zoom of this camera has helped to bring distant subjects closer, but I had never tried to use the camera’s macro mode. I quickly learned that you have to be really close to your subject, literally only a few inches away. I was pretty happy when I was able to get the second shot below, but wanted to add to the drama of the shot.

I dropped the exposure compensation in the camera down to a minus three stops and got my favorite shot. The darkened sky and the way that the flash illuminates the spider give the image a kind of creepy look that feels appropriate for a spider that was just about at eye level.

spooky spider

spooky spider

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Last weekend as I was hiking along the Potomac River in Virgina, following the narrow, rocky Potomac Heritage Trail, I came several large metal objects that appear to have been abandoned. They are shaped like some kind of water or fuel tanks and have lots of bolts and/or rivets. To me, they look very industrial. There also was a large wheel-like object. Although I was only a few miles from Washington D.C., the area where I saw these items was very isolated.

Does anyone have any idea about what these objects were used for and why they might have been abandoned?

tank1_blogtank2_blogtank3_blogtank4_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Spring is not here yet, but we had a foretaste of its pleasures yesterday, when the skies were sunny and the temperature rose to 60 degrees (15.5 degrees C). As I was walking along the Potomac River, I encountered a group of American Robins (Turdus migratorius), a traditional harbinger of spring, and got these shots.

Today is about twenty degrees colder and there’s a possibility of snow showers later in the day. Spring has not yet arrived, but we are moving inexorably toward the moment when winter finally gives way to spring.

Robin1_blogRobin2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The familiar often looks new when perceived from a different angle, as I found out last weekend when I hiked along the Potomac River and looked across the river toward Georgetown University.

Although I have lived in this are for almost 20 years, I had never heard of the Potomac Heritage Trail, a narrow trail that begins in Washington D.C. and continues upstream, mostly at at river-level. I have driven past this scene many times and the buildings of Georgetown really stand out, but I never really saw the green boathouse tucked in at the base of Francis Scott Key Bridge, which crosses from Virginia into the District of Columbia.

The first shot shows a view from the Virginia side of the Potomac River, looking directly toward Georgetown University, and the second one shows the Key Bridge. I love the arches of the bridge, which I have crossed many times.

My little hike was a good way to force me to look at the familiar in a different way—I hope to be able to do the same with some of my other subjects too.

Georgetown1_blogGeorgetown2_blog© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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