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 332 (27 Nov 2012) A Snowy Road

Winter in New England means snow!  I love the snow; I love watching it fall, snow ball fights, hiking in it (gonna go for snow shoes this year, I think), driving in it, and LOVE snowboarding 🙂

I took my truck for a drive down an old farm road in the woods near where I live on my lunch break and took these shots.  It’s not a lot of snow, yet, but it’s still November 🙂

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Tomorrow I’m going to try for an early AM shot, so lets hope I can get up on time!!

Day 331 (26 Nov 2012) A Firetruck in my Studio

Over this past year, when I wanted to shoot random household objects (aka Still Life?), I’ve had to clear off a part of my ‘dinner’ table (which is where my work computer is set up for telecommuting, I don’t eat there unless I’m eating while working) and had to rely on either sunlight or the overhead light for my lighting.  But recently I got the idea of setting up an old small dinette table in my basement to use as my ‘studio.’  I purchased a couple flexible neck clamp lights and some daylight-colored CFLs from Wal-mart, laid out some printer paper, and viola, I have a studio, of sorts.  Obviously this isn’t sufficient to shoot people, but the space could be set up for that, if I ever decide to shoot things that are alive 🙂  It’s right near a window, so I can get some sunlight, depending on time of day/year.

I enjoyed moving the lights around, turing them on/off, and just observing the effect they had on the toy.  I’m not sure if I like the translucent reflectors on these lights, but they may be able to act as a soft box.  Guess I’ve got more experimenting to do!

While I knew I wanted to test out my new setup tonight, I didn’t know what to shoot.  I was thinking of just grabbing the first interesting shape I saw, just to practice with, but on my way home tonight I passed the scene of a structure fire.  Having been a volunteer fire fighter and knowing a few still, I chose a toy fire truck, in honor of those who put their life on the line for others, every day, most of them as unpaid volunteers.

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2 Lights

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1 Light

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2 Lights

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Home “Studio”

Day 326 (21 Nov 2012) Night Tracks

There is something that keeps drawing me to railroad tracks at night with my camera.  I took these late Sunday night after watching the new Bond movie; I drove into Jewett City in Eastern CT.  As I was leaving the theater, I looked at the GPS to see if there was anything interesting, and I found this old train depot and tracks that run past it.

There wasn’t much color, so I tried some black and white conversions.  I wasn’t thrilled the lens flare, but i didn’t know it was that bad till I got home, oh well.

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Day 320 (15 Nov 2012) I-91 South, Hartford

Looking south on I-91, just north of Downtown Hartford, CT.  Even at 11 pm, there is still plenty of traffic coming to and from the city.  This is part of my daily commute, into the city, then out again to my home, in the country. 🙂

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Day 310 (5 Nov 2012) Runway Nights

This weekend I was out shooting with a friend and we drove by the Groton – New London Airport and she pointed out that at night the airport runway was lit with the blue lights marking the runway paths every night.  I had never even thought about that; I was surprised to learn it was open/lit at night; it is a very small regional airport.  So tonight I headed that way to see what it was like.

I did find the runway all lit up, and pulled over and set up my tripod right up near the fence.  As I was shooting, I was a little concerned that a police officer might pass by and tell me to stop.  Not that I was breaking any rules that I know of, but in this day and age, people can be paranoid.

Since there was no real foreground interest items to focus on, I decided to play with the focus and crop/composition to try and be creative.  In Lightroom, I played with the white balance and saturation to change the colors a bit.  I found that the level, in-focus shots were boring.  So I broke rules 🙂  You can see part of the fence I shot through, but I like what it does.

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Day 309 (4 Nov 2012) A Night at the Tracks

Driving home this evening it was darker than I expected, probably because I’m not use to not having Day Light Savings (after all, its been less than a day!).  But I did notice a nice color on the horizon, so I pulled down to a boat launch near some rail road tracks I’ve shot at before and fired off a few ’rounds’. 🙂

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I just realized it’s been a while since I’ve broken out my macro lens; I miss shooting macro! Keep your eyes open for a macro shoot this week!

Day 307 (2 Nov 2012) Norwich Waterfront

About 10 or so miles up the Thames river from Long Island Sound is a town called Norwich.  It’s not anywhere near the shoreline, yet there is a marina there.  It’s a quite place after dark, but beautiful with the colors reflecting off the water’s surface.  The are is pretty well lit so one can walk around and enjoy the area even late at night.

Tonight was a little breezy, as you can tell by the second photo.  I tried to capture the movement of the trees in the wind.  Not sure how well it shows, but I did like the clouds.  I did leave the shutter open a tad too long, as the stars were starting to trail (a 30 second exposure when it should have been 20-25 seconds).

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I have a question for all y’all out there, is there a better WordPress theme than the twenty twelve for a photo blog?  I prefer to link my photos from Flickr vice hosting them here, if that makes a difference.  Thanks!

Day 299 (25 Oct 2012) Night at the Boneyard

In my town, along a narrow, windy road that leads to the landfill, is a graveyard, a graveyard for the ones that are powered by engines.  To me it’s a sad place; there are many vehicles from the classic car era that are rusting, smashed, and have trees & plants growing out of them.  It’s almost enough to make me cry, almost.

I thought I would shoot there tonight, as the moon is near full, and the sky containing some light clouds.  I exposed for 5 min, ISO 100, f/11 and edited in Lightroom.  It’s been a while since I’ve shot long exposure shots like these, so I didn’t catch that the moon was in the wrong spot to get a good exposure on both the ground and allowing the sky to be shown.  But that’s ok.  I thought about going B&W on all of them, but like the subtle colors that are captured on a night like this.

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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 257 (14 Sep 2012) Disappearing Lake

Last night on my way home from Providence, RI, I took a slight detour to shoot a lake from a different perspective than I normally see and discovered this really neat dam.  As I approached the bridge, I could see a hole in the lake!  I think I’ll go back here during daylight to explore it a little better 🙂

I shot at ISO 100 last night and the issues I had the previous night shooing at ISO 200 were not present. I guess I could say that I learned that my camera does much better w/ very low ISOs on long exposures. Which is fine, I usually don’t mind waiting the extra few minutes, as I usually shoot something I enjoy looking at 🙂

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18 mm, 4 min, f/8, ISO 100 (Disappearing Lake)

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18 mm, 4 min, f/8, ISO 100 (Hole in the Lake)

Day 241 (29 Aug 2012) Playing with Traffic

Not in traffic, but with traffic.  And my camera 🙂

Class started today so it was dark by the time I got around to shooting, and since I was in Manchester, CT, I thought I could try shooting a busy intersection and shooting the light trails from tail/head lights.  After a couple frames I changed things up.  I’ve been a big fan of bokah since I first learned about it, so I flipped my lens to manual focus, and put the camera deliberately out of focus to get these shots:

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43 mm, 2.5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Unfocused Drivers)

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55 mm, 2.0 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Focus on the lights)

2012_Aug_29_Traffic Lights_00218 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 100 (Phantom Car)

Day 237 (25 Aug 2012) Power

I remember when I was learning how to drive, while growing up in Northern California, that at night it was easier to tell if there was an oncoming car around a bend or on the other side of a hill, because I could see the headlights reflecting off the power lines.  They would light up in advance of the car.  I used this cue to dim my brights and if necessary, signal them to dim theirs.  To this day I still use that clue, esp. here on the hilly, windy roads of CT.

For a long time I’ve thought about shooting the glowing power lines, but tonight was the night!  I pulled over on a semi-busy road after leaving a friend’s house, set up my tripod in front of my car, and took several exposure while cars zoomed by at 55+mph.  This image I cropped once I noticed the power pole’s silhouette, as it grabbed my attention, almost as much as the lit up power lines.

2012_Aug_25_Power Lines at Night_00655 mm, 20 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Power Lines)

Day 235 (23 Aug 2012) Sockets

Well, I spent most of the night (from 7 till 11:30) in my garage, most of that trying to replace an alternator on a friend’s car.  After dealing with the typical rust bolts found on New England cars (due to salting of the roads in the winter), I discovered that the last person to install the alternator (body shop after an accident, maybe?), but in one of the bolts backwards.  Unfortunately this was a long bolt and there is no room to remove it w/o removing the axle.  That was more than I could do so late in the evening, so I had to reassemble everything and send them home un-fixed.  I have to admit that I’m really frustrated at whoever did the work last time.  I don’t mind giving up an evening to help a friend, but when it’s wasted because someone didn’t follow the tech manual, well, lets just say I’m not a happy camper.

I did manage, just barely, to get a few shots of some sockets that were laying on my workbench.  But the only reason I took them is so I would not miss a day on my 365 project.

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60 mm, 1/30 sec f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Sockets)
2012_Aug_23_Sockets_01060 mm, 1/30 sec f/2.8, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (14mm)

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60 mm, 1/20 sec f/3.5, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (After)

Day 228 (16 Aug 2012) Riding the Rails

Ever since I was a kid I had a fascination with trains and rail roads, maybe because my dad had model (HO) trains as his hobby, or just because I’m a boy, and it’s part of the X chromosome 🙂  So tonight after visiting my friend in Norwich, I took a slight detour to some rails I’ve shot before.  I went to a different location this time and found multiple sets, most of which were abandoned.  I shot for a little while (would have gone a lot longer, but it was getting late) and headed home.

Now that I’m home, I got to play with my newest “toy”; Lightroom 4.  I just installed it this afternoon and after my first use, I love the new features!  If you use LR3 and you get the opportunity to upgrade, do it!  I wouldn’t have done it except I was able to find the student version on sale (take a low price and reduce it more, and I’m ok w/ it!).  If I made my living with my camera, it would be a no-brainer.  But if you are just a hobbyist, like myself, LR3 is still a very powerful and awesome photo editor!  But anyway, here are some of my images from tonight:

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44 mm, 15 sec, f/10, ISO 200 (Night Rails)

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50 mm, 15 sec, f/10, ISO 200 (Rail Switch)

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29 mm, 20 sec, f/10, ISO 200 (Rails and Warehouse)

Day 220 (7 Aug 2012) Airline Trail Sunset

Last night I was riding the Airline Trail and realized that there were many photogenic locations.  The Lyman Viaduct looked like it would be great for shooting the sunset.  So today I parked at the nearest road crossing, walked in and waited.  I missed the sun going behind the hill (I forgot to check the actual direction of the setting sun last night while there), but I realized that because it was setting behind a hill, I didn’t miss anything spectacular.  So I waited around for a while, hoping that as the sun approached and passed the official sunset time, that the colors would show up on the high, thin clouds.  I have to admit, I almost gave up and started creating a Plan B in my mind.  But I shouldn’t have worried, the sky ended up painted in a very dramatic fashion!  I only wish I had a wide angle lens to capture it all in one image!  I did shoot a series of over lapping images I’ll attempt to stitch together in Photoshop Elements.

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18 mm, 1/30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Sunset Fire)

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34 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Gradient Colors)

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55 mm, 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 (Fire In The Sky)

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18 mm, 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400 (Sunset Colors)

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18 mm, 1/15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Lyman Viaduct Sunset)

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

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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 215 (2 Aug 2012) Shifting Gears

. . . is something I have not been able to do for a week and a half in my TDI Jetta 😦  I’m in the process of replacing the clutch, flywheel, and other misc parts to get it back to 100%.  For those of you that are car-savy, my throw-out bearing disintegrated!  Not just wore out, but when I separated the transmission from the engine, a bunch of parts fell out: ball bearings, metal pieces, and other stuff.  Because one of the parts that was destroyed was the clutch fork, I had to order more parts to continue.  The first photo is the edge where it has worn agains the clutch housing.

The second photo I took on my way home today.  I had to stop and shoot some photos 🙂

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60 mm, 1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400, 60mm macro lens (Clutch Fork)

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29 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100 (Sun Rays)

Day 206 (24 July 2012) New London Nights

After a class I’m helping teach I decided to wander the streets of downtown New London with my camera and tripod.  Not a lot of activity, though it’s only Tuesday night, not Friday or Saturday, which was good.  I could shoot w/o having to worry about people getting in my way or me in their way 🙂

I only took time to clean up a couple images, just ’cause of the time.  I’ll clean up the rest and put them on my Flickr page eventually.  Have a great night!

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18 mm, 25 sec, f/18, ISO 100 (Amtrak)

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33 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200 (Bike Racks)