Hiking the D&R Canal

An HDR photo of the D&R Canal

Last weekend my wife and I went for a late afternoon hike along the Delaware & Raritan Canal in Princeton. Despite living in this area for almost 15 years, this was our first ever visit–we didn’t know what we had been missing. The canal trail is filled with beautiful scenery along the water, interesting animal and plant life, and pretty nature trails off the main path. It is a very popular canoeing destination, with rentals available near the entrance where we parked. I think we’ll try one of those on our next visit.

For photography, going near the end of the day was a perfect time. There are fewer people on the trails and fewer canoes in the water, making for some gorgeous reflections on the canal and great photo opportunities in general.

Here are a few of my favorite shots, all taken with my Nikon D5100 using a Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM zoom lens, which has proven to be incredibly versatile for everything from macros to wide angles and telephoto shots. I have been very pleased with the performance of this lens, and since I am not a professional photographer concerned with optimum quality, I may never need to change my lens again.

For these photos I decided to abandon the safety of the automatic modes and shoot almost exclusively in Aperture Priority, which is still a learning process for me (though a few of the macro photos were shot in the auto macro mode). Click on any image to view a larger version.

And one final shot, a panorama. I really miss the “panorama assist” function of my old camera, but this one didn’t come out too badly for shooting it manually.


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