I dropped my husband off at Dulles airport yesterday morning and planned to make a stop on my drive home at a spot not far from there, the beautiful old train station at Point of Rocks, Maryland, to get some snaps with my new lens.
I’d been having a debate with myself over which lens to buy for weeks, but I finally settled on the 10-24mm Nikkor 3.5. I need the extra width for the real estate / model home photography side of my business and though I’ve been happy with my Sigma 10-20mm, there is a bit of chormatic aberration (sometimes quite noticeable and a nuisance to correct), plus a general lack of sharpness and clarity with the Sigma that I was hoping to improve upon. Since it really is my bread and butter lens, it made sense to upgrade. I’d been using the new lens on a model home shoot all day the day before and was very pleased with the results it and the Nikon D7000 gave me so, since what I was planning to shoot was architectural as well, it made sense. Grabbed the camera on the way out the door, and we were off.
Got the hubby where he needed to be and, after a wrong turn exiting the airport (there was this awesome geometric configuration of buildings with lines and angles and the control tower and the light was perfecto just off to the left … who knew I had to exit to the right Right THERE???), and making a giant circle which included a probably-illegal U-turn, I finally made my way back onto the open road. Just as I was leaving Leesburg and heading north on Route 15, my eye was caught by some commotion on an overpass ramp leading down to the oncoming lanes. I saw two highway workers running down the hill toward the ramp, and in front of them what looked like a big black dog.
Except, it wasn’t moving like a big black dog.
I’ve seen enough bears by now to recognize the way they run … and this thing looked like a bear!! But just outside of Leesburg, Virginia? Really?? I mean, I’ve gotten used to seeing bears on top of Blue Knob Mountain, Pennsylvania … but down here??
I pulled the car over … thankfully traffic was almost non-existent … grabbed the camera and hopped out. But by the time I got my car stopped, I had moved past where the bear’s trajectory was taking him, so now he was way behind me. And I didn’t have a telephoto with me!!!
Not to be deterred, I started running down the highway, pausing for a couple of snaps as I ran. Here is a very tightly-cropped shot of Mr. Bear … who to me seems to be a young fella … maybe out on his own for the first time …
I turned and waved to the two construction workers who were still up on the ramp and gave them the thumbs up. They waved back.
Right place, wrong lens … story of my life.
But Mr. Bear made it to the other side of the road safely … and in the grand scheme of things, that’s really all that matters.