Blog

The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Harpers Ferry: Maryland Heights Trail

Summer is unfortunately drawing to a close, and after several consecutive weekends of thunderstorms and blazing humidity, this past weekend offered temperatures in the low 70s, so local hiking staple, the Maryland Heights Trail in Harper’s Ferry was an obvious choice for a hiking fast fix. Unsurprisingly, it was an easy choice for everyone else in the region itching for some outdoors time after some Summer cabin-fever, making the summit, which I’ve visited when deserted on multiple occasions, the busiest I’ve ever seen it. It’s a beautiful, albeit locally stereotypical, overlook a bit over 300 feet above the Potomac River and Civil War era town beneath. Its steep climb means you reach the summit in ~40min at a moderate pace, making the 3.3mi round trip (skipping the 2.2mi Stone Fort Trail Loop) taxing for the distance covered, but quickly worth the extra uphill effort. This trip was the first time I’ve seen a train use the Southern CSX rail line, however I was on the summit, not the rail bridge like I’d have preferred (just to finally experience how sketchy standing on a rail bridge with a train rumbling alongside feels). Before heading over to the trailhead, I head up High Street to look for evidence of the 2015 fire, which engulfed shops I’ve visited, and impacted a restaurant I ate at just months before the mysterious fire broke out. Evidence of rebuilding is there if you look closely enough, but to the ordinary unaware passerby, you wouldn’t be able to tell a difference - they did good work restoring the historic area!

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Bonus: Photos of me at the summit, and see 4K footage of trains and the over-friendly moth. The video footage was shot handheld at 720mm, so yeah, difficult to hold perfectly still at that focal length.

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DCA Planespotting - May 25th, 2018 - Summer Sunset Planespotting

I've been sitting on a huge backlog of personal photos I've been working through; this set of plane spotting photos from Gravelly Point were edited and completed within a week of me shooting them, but somehow I forgot to get them online.  So here are some highlights for you to enjoy - some Summer sunset planespotting for you.

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Summer Lightning Storm

With all the storms we've had the last two weeks, I thought you might enjoy some of the prettier and more dramatic sights and sounds inclement weather can bring.  I captured this lightning storm on May 15th, 2018, the day after our most recent derecho; unfortunately the Mind Flayer did not make an appearance. #StrangerThings

Scared To Be Lonely: Spring of 2018

Air India at Washington Dulles International Airport

On a warm, drizzly Summer morning, Air India's inaugural flight between Delhi, India, and Washington, DC landed at Washington Dulles International Airport, greeted by a delegation from the Embassy of India, distinguished guests, and a crowd of media who gathered alongside the runway.  Upon landing, the 777-200LR was welcomed with a ceremonial water arch, and the aircraft blessed upon arriving to its gate.

Following refreshments, a press conference commenced with performances of Jana Gana Mana and The Star-Spangled Banner, national anthems of India and the United States, and a traditional Indian dance.  Speakers included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ambassador of India to the United States His Excellency Navtej Sarna, Air India’s Chairman Ashwani Lohani, and representatives from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to include Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKeough, and Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome Davis.  After remarks from each of the speakers, a ceremonial cake cutting and exchange of gifts was enjoyed by the distinguished guests.

After the festivities, I made my way onto the ramp for one more aircraft walk around, and finally onto the runway to watch Air India’s flight depart Dulles for the first time on it’s new non-stop route back to Indira Gandhi International Airport.  Luckily the weather had cleared up during the press conference and the skies were now blue with heavy bands of clouds quickly moving across the horizon, creating additional dramatic effect for Air India’s first departure.

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We don't believe in walls; 

we believe in bridges.

Terry McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia