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 154 (2 June 2012) Eastern Point Fog

This morning was very rainy, but by mid afternoon the rain had stopped, but a good fog remained, so a friend and I headed to Eastern Point in Groton, CT to shoot.  Then we went to a good sushi dinner then back near the point to shoot again.  It’s hard to not have a good day when it includes photography and sushi 🙂

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18 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Forgotten)

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18 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 (Weathered)

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42 mm, 30 sec, f.8.0, ISO 100 (New London Harbor Light)

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55 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Street Lights)

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 122 (1 May 2012) Blackledge Falls II

Back a short time ago (11 April), I went to Blackledge Falls to try shooting it in the dark, but it was way too dark.  So today I tried again, but this time I had success!  It was about 7:30, so it was getting darker, but I could see perfect, and only needed 5-13 second exposures 🙂

Blackledge Falls

18 mm, 10 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Blackledge Falls)

Two Falls

18 mm, 13 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Two Falls)

Trail in the Woods

27 mm, 4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Trail in the Woods)

Day 114 (23 April 2012) The Other Side of the Tracks

Tonight on my way home, I took a detour along a road with some old warehouses and discovered a set of track between them and the river.  I just had to stop!  I love trains and rail roads, and night shooting, and old brick buildings and water.  I found them all in once place!!

Norwich Rails

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Norwich Rails)

The truck you see in the photo below is an oil deliver truck.  Many homes in the North East US rely on home heating oil for winter heat.  It’s much more expensive to heat a home with electric here, and unless you live in a natural gas supplied area, it’s either wood or oil.  The “oil” is just un-taxed diesel fuel.  Many homes (mine included) also use oil to make hot water for showers, etc.

Oil Delivery

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Oil Delivery)

These next two I almost didn’t even upload.  But I figured I would try B&W and see what happened. I’m happy I tried!

Night Rails

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Night Rails)

Night Rails II

18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (Night Rails II)

Day 108 (17 April 2012) Connecticut River Morning

Last night i went to bed with a plan for today’s shoot; get up early, stop and a river park, and shoot this rail road bridge I saw yesterday morning as the sun rose (or was still low).  The bridge in the first shot is a railroad bridge crossing the Connecticut

Rail Road Bridge

24 mm, 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Rail Road Bridge)

This first shot is a bit dull because it was shot almost directly into the sun (cropped from the upper right).  The second shot was almost directly away from the sun.

Hartford Morning

mm, 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens (Hartford Morning)

Lets just say that I snoozed a few minutes too long, but I still did manage to get a couple pretty good shots.  I’m re-planning for Thursday morning for the same site, but planning on much earlier (like around sunrise).  LMK what you think of these 🙂

Day 102 (11 April 2012) Blackledge Falls

At about 25 feet high, Blackledge Falls is one of the tallest water falls in Connecticut.  It’s located in Glastonbury just off of a minor highway, and easily accessible on foot.  A short, half-mile hike from the parking area brings you into full view of the twin falls.

Since this set of falls is normally only flowing well after a rain, I thought I would check it out tonight, since we had some light rain today.  It wasn’t gushing, but under flash light, it looked pretty cool.

I think now I know why it’s called Blackledge Falls.  Almost no light was present on the face of the cliff.  It took over 6 min of exposure time, a high ISO, and lots of editing to bring you this photo.  Below the photo is just a little narrative of my photo jaunt tonight.

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This little hike was not a perfect event; after I get set up, I take a couple 30-second exposures to try and test the photo’s composition.  I knew I had the falls somewhat centered and in focus by using my flash light and LiveView.  But I didn’t realize that it was way too dark for only a 30 second exposure; even with ISO 800 and shooting wide open at f/3.5.  At that point I realized I forgot my IR remote (which allows me to lock open the shutter in bulb mode) in the car.  So, leaving the tripod, I hustle back to the car.

I quickly locate the remote in my other bag and head back to the falls at a quick pace; the clock has already passed 10:30pm and I do have work in the AM.  So, I re-set up the camera, get the focus set, and then my battery indicator starts blinking red.  At this point I realized that I don’t have a spare battery with me; it is in the car.  But It’s late, so I open the shutter and pray the battery can last at least 10 min (I’m planning a 5 min exposure).  Praise God it held out long enough to complete the shot and process it!  Lesson(s) learned!

I think I would like to do this shot in the daytime, with a better perspective, and more flow (I did have my umbrella, because it was raining a little during this whole ordeal).  Stay tuned!

Day 75 (15 March 2012) Flowing

This creek is one I’ve shot before, but it continues to draw me to it.  It would be a great place to just relax and listen to the rushing water or explore its banks and the flood debris.  Even though it’s within 30 yards of a major highway, the flow noise drowns out all but the loudest trucks.  I will probably stop here many times over this year and shoot it as the seasons change.  It will be interesting to look back and see how it changes over the months.

Rapids

55 mm, 1/4 sec, f/20, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Rapids)

Dead Wood

18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit slens (Dead Wood)

The Creek

18 mm, 1 sec, f/22, ISO 100, 18-55mm kit lens, hand held (The Creek)

Day 58 (27 Feb 2012) The Tree

Tonight I wanted to shoot a small, historic cemetery I’ve seen near the Thames River in Ledyard, CT, silhouetting the grave stones against the river.  But what I didn’t notice untill tonight was the amount of brush/vines ruining the view I wanted.  But while I was exposing one of those shots, I looked up and saw the view below and knew that was my shot for today 🙂

Cemetary Tree

18 mm, 5 min, f/8.0, ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens (Cemetery Tree)

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 51 (20 Feb 2012) Night Time on the Rails

Tonight’s photo is the night version of this post.  Because it was so dark, it didn’t turn out quite as bright as I had hoped, even though I shot at ISO 200 for 10 minutes.  I’ll try this under a full, or near full, moon to see how different it might be.

A credit to the capabilities designed into our eyes is that I could clearly see the tops of the rails just from the incident light from the stars and lights across the river, but it took 10 min for my camera to pick them up!  I’m still learning the limitations of my camera, compared to my eye.  It is very evident when looking and shooting a hight contrast scene; my eyes can pick out color/detail in the shadows and bright areas simultaneously.  My camera does not have that dynamic of a range.  I may have to try HDR photography at some point to see how close I can get what I see to the screen.

The Tracks at Night

18 mm, 10 min, f/11, ISO 200, 18-55mm kit lens (The Tracks at Night)

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 43 (12 Feb 2012) The Tracks

So I probably should appologize for yesterday’s posting, but I’m not.  This is MY blog, after all 😉

But seriously, I spent the day with my gf, and since it was our Valenties Day, spending any time in “photography” would have been to have ignored her.  Even though she is a budding photog, too, yeasterday was “us” time.  But I didn’t want to miss a day on this project, so I comprimised by snaping a pic of the dipping oil as we were about to leave the resturaunt.

But now back to using my real camera vice my old Droid Eris.  The photo’s from today were taken at the same location that I wanted to shoot when I posted the “hope” shot on Thursday.  It was 25F and windy today, so I didn’t want to linger, but I still hope that I was able to capture the beautiful sky and the Thames river.  I will try the night version again, so stay tuned!

The Tracks and The Thames River

18 mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (The Thames and the Tracks)

Side-Tracked

18 mm, 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (Side-Tracked)

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)

Day 32 (1 Feb 2012) Random Creek

Today marked another warm winter day, with a high of 60F! I’m beginning to wonder if my calendar isn’t off by 3 months.

I’ve passed this creek many times over the past 6 years, and up until recently, there was a stone dam across it creating a nice little water fall.  But I think Tropical Storm Irene caused it to bust open, but I still wanted to try to see if I could capture something interesting there.  So today on my way to my night class, I parked near there, and fought through the briers to take some photos.  I brought my tripod, as the sun had already set and I didn’t think that any hand-held shots would come out.  While hopping over the minor branches, I landed in once spot that was so soft my shoe sunk 6″, to below the water line.  So needless to say, I had a wet shoe/sock.  But thankfully I’m wearing my Smartwool socks, so my foot never got cold, and it actually dried off before class (with a little help from my car heater)!

The photos below were tweaked a little bit in Lightroom to fix white balance and color, but not a whole lot. But enough talk, here is what you came for:

Troubled Water

47 mm, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Troubled Water)

Broken Dam

48 mm, 4 sec, f/11, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Broken Dam)

Rushing Water

18 mm, 0.3 sec, f/8/0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Rushing Water)

Day 31 (31 Jan 2012) Farmington River

Today marks 1 month down!  No days missed 🙂  But starting next month, I’ll actually have to remember what number I’m on instead of just looking at the date!

On my way home from work I decided to stop at a little park next to the Farmington River near southern Windsor, CT.  I thought it would look cool to do a longer exposure of the river, like I’ve done with waterfalls, just to see what happened.  I like how the first one almost looks like it was painted; I may print a large size of it for my wall 🙂

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51 mm, 2 sec, f/36, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Painted River)

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18 mm, 0.4 sec, f/22, ISO 100 EF-S 18-55 IS kit lens (Branch in Water)

Blue Water

18 mm, 2 sec, f/22, ISO 100 EF-S 18-55 IS kit lens (Blue Water)