Day 288 (14 Oct 2012) At the Pier

Today after having a great lunch (both food and conversations) at Paul’s Pasta in Groton, CT, I noticed some  abandoned, rotting pier pilings just past the parking lot (the restaurant is on the Thames River).  Which, by the way, if you have never been, you must!!  It’s worth a drive!  But I digress.  The pilings, and a lone fishing boat, caught my eye, so after grocery shopping, I swung back by and shot today’s images.

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Hiding Mussels

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The Thames River

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Pier Pilings

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Fishing Boat

Day 259 (16 Sep 2012) Down by the Tracks

Today I took the scenic route home from church, which ironically is shorter distance-wise than the ‘normal’ route.  As I was driving and enjoying the fall sunshine and scattered clouds in the sky, I saw a sign for a boat ramp I had not explored yet.  So hit the brakes, hoping they guy behind me was paying attention and cranked the wheel to aim my car down the heavily potted road down to the river.  I parked, took a stroll to the tracks that parallel the river, and did a little shooting.  As you probably know, I have a thing for trains and rail road tracks (I have several posts that feature rail road tracks, such as this, this, and this.)

Enjoy!

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18 mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Into the Distance)

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18 mm, 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (River and Rails)

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18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Rail Road)

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18 mm, 1/40 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Low Rider)

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 200!!! (18 July 2012) Silhouettes in the Dark

As you may have seen, the next photo challenge hosted by NickExposed and SeeingSpotsPhoto is Silhouettes.  The challenge is to create (w/o photoshop) 3 images that consist of silhouettes.

Today’s photos came almost by accident; I saw some lighting to the south of where I was and looked at my weather app and found that the storm was just off shore, so I headed south to try and capture some lightning.  However, by the time I found a good shooting spot, the storm had moved sufficiently such that none was visible anymore.  Then I noticed the tree in the first image.  And remembered the challenge for July.  Then I moved further south to Avery Point, hoping still to see the storm, but to no avail.  But I did end up with the second image as my compensation.

I can’t say that it’s a worthy trade, as I’ve wanted to shoot lightning for years, and have had no luck as of yet, but I am very happy with it as one of my submissions 🙂

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Thames River Silhouette)

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18 mm, 30 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 (Silhouette and Light)

Day 191 (9 July 2012) 10 Minute Challenge, II

Today’s shot is a my submission to a “10 Minute Challenge” hosted by SeeingSpotsPhoto and WhereToWillie.  It’s a shot of a small power plant across the Thames River from the CT town of Gales Ferry.

The gist of a 10 minute challenge is to travel for 10 minutes, by any method (car, bike, foot, skis, riding mower, etc), stop, and shoot what you find.  I did this before and it is a great way to shoot when you can’t think of anything (which happens a lot to me on this 366 challenge), or just need to be jolted from the daily grind in your photography.  If you have not done this, I challenge you to do it!  It requires almost no planning, and you can do it in 30 min (or less, if it’s on your way somewhere).  Let me know if you do; I’d like to see what you discover close to where you are 🙂

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18 mm, 60 sec, f/13, ISO 200 (Power Plant on the Thames River)

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 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 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)