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Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Black & White Square Photo

Canal Winter


Imagine it being around the end of the Civil War. The C&O Canal has been in full operation for about 15 years; from the time it reached Cumberland, MD in 1850. Most likely you would still see snow but underneath it would be either very cold water or the water would be completely frozen.

If you were a Canawler, and you had your own boat, you would be wintering either in Cumberland or in Georgetown near D.C. or one of the smaller towns along the Canal.

The B&O Railroad has also been running to Cumberland for about twenty-five years now and would be crossing the canal as you see here. Even though the Canal would see another 59 years of operation it basically was already obsolete and was on the downhill side. By 1924 it would cease operations.

Now it sits as a monument of mans attempts to achieve the impossible. The stories it could tell, the people it has seen, the nature that is still there. This scene is around the bend below lock 75, just a few miles east of Cumberland.

You can walk anywhere along the canal from Washington D.C. to the western terminus and be a part of history. Construction on the C&O Canal began in 1824 and ended in 1850; it never made it to the Ohio River.

This photo was taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. The ISO was 200 exposed at 1/200 sec at f/7. In Photoshop Elements I cropped for the square look and then converted the image to a b&w one. I increased the contrast just a little and added just a touch of vignetting. I resized the image and then gave it an aged look and, as a final touch, add just a touch of sharpening. Anytime you resize an image, you should add some sharpening to compensate for the image loss due to the resizing.

Even during the winter, I like going down to the canal. If the snow was not quite so deep I would have walked along the towpath for a while but on this day, coming to the canal was an after thought and I didn't have the right shoes for snow walking.

Yeah, this is my snowy & historical canal world, located in scenic Western Maryland, and you are welcome to it.