You’re so gullible. I already told you I’m not Spider-Man.

But I did tell you was was kinda like Peter Parker:

I parked in Arlington, slid my debit card into the Capital Bike Share machine, and hopped on a bike. In that order. Necessarily.

Note: Hey, nothing’s free guys. I know, I know, I should have said “rented bike.” But “borrowed bike” sounded much more bad ass to me; it adds urgency; it leaves room for interpretation. Maybe you thought I had to commandeer a bike seconds before an epic chase, or some shit.

After going the wrong way for almost an hour – thanks, Mary  Jane –  I finally made it to the Netherlands Carillon, where my map indicated a trail going into DC. The trail led me to the Arlington Memorial Bridge: the gateway to the center of the free world.

It was about 4:30 pm and the sky was glorious. Sitting on this bridge for 10 minutes, taking pictures, I realized I was at a mecca for low flying planes. Reagan National Airport is only a few miles away. Every couple of minutes a new set of jet engines roared like proud lions through the clouds – some so close that I actually questioned the safety of it all. I began snapping pictures furiously, trying to incorporate what I had learned about composition, hoping to find a picture perfect plane.

I was trying to remember all the things I had learned in the digital photography class I took 100 essays ago : when a plane suddenly appeared in my viewfinder. I wasn’t ready for it. I smashed the buttons so quick I was sure I had missed it. I anxiously pressed the playback button: relief. There was a plane in frame.

_MG_0340different planebridge print possilbe 1

Note: The photograph is a product of ineptitude and luck. The positioning of the plane is a product of my surprise. I almost missed it. Not sure where that plane was coming from – but it became an inadvertent passerby on my sky bridge.

So there I was!

In the capital of the free world. I took boatloads of pictures of monuments and in museums. Because that’s what Tourist do. But I won’t show you those. Not because I’m an asshole. You’ve already seen them.

Luckily, I took a lot of pictures of some not-so-cliche-shit too:

_MG_0155different .jpg

Note: This photograph is brought to you by a childish overconfidence using Camera Raw. Oh, and by a spider, of course.

My digital photography teacher always said:

“We don’t take pictures. We Make pictures.”

So I made a picture in the park:

_MG_2790final prj.jpg

Note: I know it’s random. But isn’t this whole thing random?

Here’s some less random stuff:

washmon_MG_0394differentDude

 

They were doing fireworks. Sparklers at least. It was dark and I was pretty lost. They gave me directions, and the opportunity for this photo:

IMG_9722

 

I rode the borrowed bike to get a bite to eat. I was tired and contemplated hailing a cab back to Arlington. I’m glad I didn’t. If I was a little bitch, I would have squashed the opportunity to take one of my favorite images to ever travel through my lens.

Note: I have a shitty lens. Those things cost more the my camera, man. Besides, Peter Parker wasn’t snapping the most kick ass pictures of villains because he had a $4,000 telephoto lens. Remember?

I had been attempting to capture moving cars, at night, for some time now. In spite of stubbornness, I reached the conclusion that a tripod was necessary. I was now back at the Memorial Bridge and decided to give it another go. Fifty-something exposures later, I was amazed at what I was beginning to capture. Not only was my vision becoming a reality on that LCD screen, but the colors on that LCD screen were unexpected; shit, they were mesmerizing.

 

Carzatnight

Note: This version, much like this blog, was brought to you by at least a day of moving bars, pulling hair, and pressing buttons until, finally, I realized I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. The virgin version could be better. 

I wonder what other, less picturesque, adventures have been had on that borrowed bicycle.

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