Under the Arches


I’m not sure how two trees fall together like that, but they did.  I suspect one was already leaning when the other fell into it. However it came about, I found it on the weekend’s visit to the Blackstone Canal. Formerly (and I guess still) part of the Federal Blackstone Canal National Historic Corridor, the area was recently designated the country’s 402nd National Park.

Although I walked along the canal towpath as usual (a good couple of miles) I also explored a trail along the banks of the parallel Blackstone River until it ended at an uncrossable branching, in the process seeing some kind of heron and a muskrat. Despite all the recent rain, the river is relatively low, although flowing briskly. And there is evidence that that banks were flooded recently, meaning the water level was a minimum of three feet higher than it is now.

It was a wonderful spring day: temps in the low seventies (low twenties for the metric-inclined) and the humidity was moderate.  There was also a good breeze, reaching down under the trees at times. Pretty much perfect weather for a hike, and I wasn’t the only one to think so. The trail was about the busiest I’ve seen it, although over by the river I only saw two other groups and neither was on the trail that I was using.

I like this photo for the interesting subject, but also how it shows the now-placid river, but hints at its more active times with the undercut banks, tilting trees, and the well-washed gravel bar I’m standing on.

This image is an HDR, made as usual from five exposures at 1 EV offsets. The bracket was centered at 1/100th-second, with ISO 1600, f/11 and the lens at 32mm. I used the circular polarizing filter, turning it all the way to cut glare off the water, but it had an odd side-effect: some of  the white clouds took on a green tint (that could be Capture One misbehaving on the RAW conversion; it’s odd, whatever the cause). I used the Balanced preset in the HDR software, boosting contrast but dropping exposure and saturation.  I experimented with some color adjustments, but couldn’t fix the clouds so I reverted those.  Back in C1 I cropped the image slightly to remove more of the gravel in the foreground, also improving the composition of the trees.


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