With my favorite camera off for repairs, it has been awhile since I ventured out for a photo walk. It will probably be another week or two before I see that camera again, and this morning I was feeling a strong urge to head out and take some photos. Shortly after sunrise, I grabbed my old DSLR and headed for the Ashuelot River park.
I took the first photo from the footbridge that crosses the river, just South of the Route 9 bridge that spans the river. This is looking South towards the city.
After crossing the footbridge, the path loops back North and passes beneath the Route 9 bridge. This has become one of my favorite spots to stop because of the interesting architecture of the bridge columns, and the way they interact with the light and the mirror-like surface of the river. I also love the subdued colors here, and almost always find something interesting. This was shot as the pigeons cooed from the rafters beneath the bridge deck.
After passing under the bridge, the trail loops to the West, heading toward the junction of Routes 9 and 12. After several minutes of walking, I came to the small tunnel that runs beneath the off-ramp that leads drivers heading West on Route 9 onto Route 12 North. The interior walls and ceiling of the tunnel have been painted red in a futile attempt to cover up graffiti, and the combination of natural and man-made colors provided an interesting subject for my next photo.
After the small tunnel, the path curves up a hill and eventually runs parallel to Route 9 heading West, just before it joins Route 12. After crossing Route 12 on the overhead bridge, I arrived at the forest on the right side of the road. An opening in the chain link fence allowed me to enter, where I found many evergreen trees bathed in the morning sunlight.
At this point, the light was becoming harsh and I realized just how far away from home I was. Putting photography aside for a bit, I focused on the long walk home while taking time to appreciate the warm sunshine and following my breath as I slowly walked home. While cutting through the Ashuelot River park one last time, I spotted this pine cone on the frosty grass back lit by the morning sunshine.
The photos in the post were processed in Lightroom 4, using the Nik Collection plugins from Google. I purchased the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin from Nik about a year ago, and last week Google gave me the rest of the Nik plugins for free. While I still have a great deal to learn, I am very impressed with the plugins so far, especially with Color Efex Pro 4. At this early stage, I am finding that the modern film and pro contrast filters are very good. While I prefer to make virtual edits on top of the original files as you can in Lightroom, I know from working with Silver Efex Pro 2 that the inconvenience of editing in a separate TIF file is almost always worth the trouble. The Nik filters are that good.