The Bridges of New London County

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I don’t shoot (or process) near as often as I would like.  I guess that’s just letting life get in the way of stuff I love.  Life being school, wedding planning, and just not taking the time to do anything with my camera.  The 365 project was really good at keeping me in the photo mode.

But anyway, here are some photos I’ve taken in the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

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Looking Up2013_Mar_03_Gold Star Bridge_007

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Tilt Shift – Bridge

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Snowing

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Salmon River

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Comstock Bridge

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Day 308 (3 Nov 2012) A Mystic Day

Mystic, CT, that is!  Today was a nice, clear, not-so-cold day, so I went with a friend to Mystic, CT with our cameras and did some street photography, in addition to some ‘regular’ photography.

SeeingSpotsPhoto is co-hosting another Collab Photography Challenge with WheretoWillie on street photography.  This first image is my first attempt, and maybe one of my submissions.  You should check out the links above and join in the fun!

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Day 217 (4 Aug 2012) Niantic River Sunset

Today was a hot and sticky day here in CT, and I spent most of it outside working.  The first part of the day I finished my clutch job on my Jetta (yay!), then worked in the yard, then cleaned up the garage a bit.  After getting cleaned up I had a last-minute idea to shoot the sunset from the Niantic River Bridge.  I knew that I woudl be cutting it close, but I figured, why not try anyway?

Well, I did miss the setting of the sun, but I usually prefer the colors just after the sun sets, so I was blessed with these images 🙂 The last image is the first one I took tonight, just before I got on the the highway to race the sun.

Watching

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (The Watcher)

Fishing

55 mm, 1/13 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Sunset Fishing)2012_Aug_04_Niantic Sunset_017

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200 (Niantic River Bridge Sunset)

CT Sunset

55 mm, 1/640 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Colchester Sunset)

Day 205 (23 July 2012) “We mortals are but shadows and dust. . .”

That line from Gladiator (the movie) is what comes to mind when I look at the first two images.  It’s one of my favorite movies, and possibly my favorite quote from the movie; It reminds me that while my time on Earth is short, and in the span of existence, I’m but a speck, I can leave a lasting legacy, as did Maximus for Rome in the movie.

I’m really enjoying this month’s photo challenge, Silhouettes.  It is what inspired the first two images.  However, this was not my original plan.  I had wanted to catch the last glow of the sun in the overcast sky from a particular location, but I did not know that the closest access point was off limits (something about private property between it and I).  So I kept driving, looking for a site that would work.  But I lost the light.  Then I looked at the GPS display and saw where I wanted to go.  I was hoping for a shot of the tracks with the river under the overcast sky.  And this is what I shot:

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18 mm, 2 min 15 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (Shadow Watcher)

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18 mm, 2 min 15 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (River Silhouette)

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18 mm, 2 min, f/13, ISO 200 (Route 2a Bridge)

Day 177 (25 June 2012) Gold Star Sunset

All day today and most of the afternoon thunderstorms rolled through New England, and when the weather turned nice in the late afternoon, I knew I had to try for a sunset with the clouds that remained!  I was going to try and shoot from the beach, until I realized that the sun sets over land this time of year over here (the CT shore is south facing), so I drove along the river and saw this view and fell in love.

An interesting thing happened while I was setting up my tripod these two guys started walking from across the street towards me.  It was a purposeful walk, and this isn’t high-income housing (not poor, either), so I get slightly nervous as they approached.  I was hoping they owned the business of the parking lot I was borrowing or local concerned citizens.  I was wrong.  The older of the two guys used to be a pro photographer and lived across the street and was curious about what I was shooting!  We shot the breeze for about 30 or so minutes until the bugs got too bad and the light was fading.  It was a cool experience 🙂

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18 mm, 1/4 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Gold Star Sunset)

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18 mm, 1/6 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Sunset on the Thames)

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44 mm, 1/15 sec, f/16, ISO 100 (Two Bridge Sunset)

Day 173 (21 June 2012) Night at the Gold Star Bridge

Today almost slipped by w/o taking a photo; it was hot (for CT) and sticky and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.  But I did make the trop to Groton to lend a friend an extra A/C unit (since they only have a very small unit for the entire house).  After hanging out in the now-getting-cooler house for a bit, I left and drove to the Thames river to shoot the Gold Star Bridge, as my “night” submission for the Photo Scavenger Hunt.

I got to try out my new ball head (a Vanguard SB-100) and I like it so far, esp. since it’s considered a ‘budget’ ball head.  But it’s a HUGE improvement over the one that came on my tripod.  (I’m saving towards a new tripod to match the ball head).  Anyway, here is my submission:

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/20, ISO 200 (Gold Star Bridge at Night)

Day 166 (14 June 2012) Flag Day, Hartford

Today is Flag Day in the US.  Many nations have their own Flag Day to celebrate the adoption of their national Flag.  Old Glory was adopted by Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 (see Wikipedia for more).  So, of course I had to shoot some shots of the National Ensign. 🙂

Today also happened to be a great day for clouds.  There were many puffy cumulus clouds floating around the sky.  My goal was to shoot them above the city of Hartford, but by the time I got there, they were not really around.  Or maybe they were just in the northern area of CT (where I work).  Either way, I had a great time wandering the area of the Founders Bridge in Hartford.

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18 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Flag Day, USA)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

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18 mm, 1/30, f/18, ISO 100 (Connecticut River Reflections)

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21 mm, 1/25, f/18, ISO 100 (The Two Sided Building)

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18 mm, 1/80, f/18, ISO 100 (Tobacco Field)

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21 mm, 1/40, f/18, ISO 100 (Phoenix Bridge, Hartford)

Day 159 (7 June 2012) Nashville, TN

Tonight I finally made it out to Nashville, hoping to catch some action since the CMAs were in town.  It wasn’t too busy or crazy when we were there, but I did have a good time, saw some live music, and shot some stuff.  It’s late here, so here is a few shots, mostly straight from the camera:

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Day 141 (20 May 2012) Niantic River Bridge

Today while I was waiting to meeting up with friends to go see the new Avengers movie I took a short drive to the Niantic River Bridge.  I actually ended up there by accident; I just started driving south trying to find a beach/park to do some reading and maybe shoot (the shoreline is south in CT, weird, right?).  I stumbled upon an area where the crab/lobster fisherman leave their traps and had some fun shooting.

After the movie, we all went to one of those shore-line seafood joints that are only open in the summer and had dinner under an amazing sunset before I had to head home and get ready for tomorrow and the work week.  I took some liberty with editing a few of the sunset photos and enjoy how the look.  I have several more ‘normal’ photos on my Flickr feed, if you care to peruse them.

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Ice Cream

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Fishing

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Harbor Sunset

Day 56 (25 Feb 2012) Basketball and Bridges

Spoiler alert!  There are no pictures of basketball in this post.  I put that in the title because I did shoot about 360 photos at my friend’s kid’s basketball game.  He actually asked to hire me as the photographer for the game and produce sports cards!!!    Of all the ways my improvements have been validated, this is probably the one that caused me to smile the most 🙂  I’m not saying that I’m a pro, or that my photos are pro quality, but just being hired for a photo shoot was affirming! I can’t say that I was able to capture a great photo of every kid, but I did get some good ones, and useable ones for each, at least.  I would like to blame the slow auto focus of my 50mm/1.8 and it’s softness wide open, but I think’s it’s more my ability to use the gear.  But this was my first sporting event, so I think I learned a lot, which is the most important part of the day.

After the game I headed over to the Comstock Bridge in Colchester, CT. It is a covered bridge that spans the Salmon River.  For quite a while it has been undergoing a complete rebuild, and I recently heard that it was done, so I wanted to see how it looked.  The craftsmen did a great job!  Many of the structural timbers were re-used, but all the hardware was new, along w/ a new floor, roof, and sides.  Some additional supports were added, but they are not that noticeable.  Since the sides/roof are new, it doesn’t look like an old bridge, so I can’t wait for them to weather some.

Comstock Bridge

18 mm, 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Comstock Bridge))

Looking Out

18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (looking out)

Looking Up

18 mm, 1/5 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Looking Up)

Day 49 (18 Feb 2012) Weekend Jaunt

Today my gf and I decided that we would like to walk the Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River (I-95) between Groton and New London, CT.  It is about 135 feet (41m) tall and 6000 feet (1800 m) long, making it CT’s longest bridge.

I’ve driven over this bridge hundreds of times, but never walked over, and since today’s weather was nice (45 F and sunny) I figured, why not 🙂

This first photo was shot from near the apex, towards the Groton side.  The industrial looking complex you see in the distance is the New London US Navy Submarine Base, where I was stationed before I separated from the Navy.

Thames River and Sub Base

39 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Thames River and Sub Base)

This second photo was from under the south-bound lane, facing West looking into New London.  I really enjoyed looking at the geometry of the bridge’s support structure.

Under the Gold Star Memorial Bridge

55 mm, 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Under the Bridge)

This last shot is of Horse Pond, north of Waterford, CT, as the sun was setting.  My gf noticed the view as we drove by, so I pulled a U-turn and came back so we could shoot it.

Horse Pond

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Horse Pond)

Day 33 (2 Feb 2012) Hartford and the CT River Ghost

Many a day I’ve admired the view from I-291 as it crosses the Connecticut River; For a minute you forget you are in a heavily populated area as suburbia gives way to river and woods.  But there is a point along the bridge that where you can catch a glimpse of downtown Hartford, CT, and at night or in the early morning, it is a beautiful sight!

I’ve also noticed the pedestrian portion of the bridge on the northern side, but wondered how to get to it, so using satellite photos on Yahoo maps I found the entrance on the western side.  As It’s hard to get a good shot through a dirty windshield while driving in heavy traffic, I decided to park at the walk-way entrance and walk to a spot on the bridge that afforded a good view and set up my tripod w/o fear of the traffic flying by.

Since I was using a small aperture, I had a slow shutter speed to get a good exposure; this allowed me to catch the infamous CT River Ghost on film!!

CT River Ghost

39 mm, 30 sec, f/18, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (CT River Ghost)

Hartford, CT at Night

104mm, 30 sec, f/18, ISO 100, Sigma DC OS 50-200mm HSM lens (Hartford at Night)

Behind the Fence

53 mm, 30 sec, f/18, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm kit lens (Behind the Fence)