Blair Bridge in Fog

Who says autumn images need to be in color?  This is the Blair Bridge in Campton, NH, and my visit here a few weeks ago was a bit early for peak fall color.  In addition, the fog was quite thick when I arrived just after sunrise, and I immediately knew I wanted a B&W image from this scene.  Fog can look great in a color photo, but I think it adds even more mood to a monochrome image instead.  An exposure of 0.7 seconds gave me a little motion in the water without having too much movement in the leaves and trees, and it was a simple conversion in Lightroom CC.

It was an amazing morning, and I can still feel the chill in the air and hear the sounds of the river.   The leaves are now mostly gone, and although it’s been unseasonably warm and pleasant this week, I already miss the fall.


Ducking Into the 21st Century

The Duck Mill in Lawrence is an amazing mill that’s located between the Merrimack River and the North Canal in Lawrence, MA.  It’s about to begin a full renovation over the next year and a half, converting this beautiful old mill to a modern mixed-use facility.  Anytime one of these mills is rehabbed, I’m both happy and sad.  Happy for the city of Lawrence as these projects create jobs and revenue for the city.  Sad, because there’s now one less mill that represents the Lawrence of old – a city once at the heart of the Industrial Revolution.

When I learned that the renovations at this historic property were about to begin, I contacted Bob Lussier, and then the mill owners.  They were kind enough to let us back in for a few final shoots before this building no longer has the old abandoned appeal that draws us to them.  It had been about 2 years since we were last there, and it was great to get back in with a sense of urgency to capture every last corner of this fantastic property.

I’m looking forward to getting back there one or two more times before construction gets too far along.  I’m also looking forward to the future where the Duck Mill will provide a new purpose in serving the city.


Ayer Mill Clock TowerThis past Saturday was an incredibly windy day with plenty of clouds in the sky – a perfect recipe for some long exposures.  Unfortunately, by the time I was able to get out with my camera in the afternoon, much of the cloud cover had moved out.  There were thankfully still enough, however, to provide some nice movement in the sky, anchored by the various mills of Lawrence like the Ayer Mill here.

I really liked this composition, but because my subject was at a distance, the motion of the clouds was less noticeable in this 30 second exposure even though they were still moving pretty fast.  I have some other images I’ll share in future posts where the camera is positioned closer to the mills, and the clouds appear to move much faster across the frame.  This shoot really highlighted the importance of perspective and camera position with long exposures of moving clouds, as this is a key factor in determining how much of the “streaking” effect you can achieve.  Please click on the image for a larger view.


Winding

Not much to say about this image.  Living in New England I’m fortunate to have easy access to the many salt marshes in the area, and I’m always on the lookout for small and winding rivers and streams among the marshes such as this one.  With a better sky I would’ve left this shot in color, but decided to minimize the sky instead and convert to black and white.



Profile Falls

This past weekend, Bob Lussier and I visited the small mill town of Franklin, NH to photograph some of the old buildings in the area.  We headed up a bit early to check out Profile Falls in Bristol first, which is just a short distance from Franklin.  As we missed the early morning light, and had whole lot of nothing in the way of clouds, I decided to move downstream and focus my attention on some shaded areas where there was less direct sunlight and I could eliminate the boring sky.

This is one of the images that seemed to work best.  I chose a fairly long exposure to completely smooth the water, and add some visual interest from the faster moving water seen in white.  Not that you can see it here, but the falls themselves are actually quite impressive, and will definitely merit a visit back in the fall.


Gate Valve

Today’s image is from the recent Historic Mills Photo Workshop that Bob Lussier and I led at the Pacific Mill complex in Lawrence.  While the majority of our time during our workshops is spent teaching and providing guidance/tips on what to shoot, we do manage to find some time here and there to shoot some stuff for ourselves.   This particular shot comes from the old turbine room in one of the mill’s massive buildings.

As much as I’d love to take credit for finding this composition, I must admit that I stole it from one of our participants.  Well I asked him if he was ok with me stealing it, and he graciously agreed.  Now no one really “owns” a particular composition of course, but there are unwritten rules of etiquette that certainly apply.

Anyway, this perspective/angle is one that I had never contemplated, yet one that I loved as soon as I saw the image on his LCD.  I was drawn to the arrangement of the three valve handles, and chose a shallow depth of field to accentuate the closest one.  I’m sure there’s a lesson in this story somewhere like the student has become the teacher.  Or the teacher has become the student.  Well either way, I think you get the idea. 🙂


Sawhorse in the Mill

It’s been awhile since I posted a mill image – well any image I guess – so here is one from the Pacific Mill taken this past weekend during our latest Historic Mills Photo Workshop.  Bob Lussier and I spent the entire day with a great group of photographers shooting a variety of buildings within the Pacific Mill complex.  I even had time to grab a few shots for myself, including this one.  I didn’t recall seeing this small sawhorse in any of my previous visits here, so I had to grab a shot.


Stormy Skies

So… after a somewhat lengthy separation and some time apart, my camera and I have decided to resolve our issues and get back together.

It really has been quite some time since my last blog post, stemming from a long drawn-out winter, a new job, and a busy family.  But I managed to get out of the house this weekend to finally do some shooting, and I convinced my friend Bob Lussier to join me for an afternoon of shooting up on the north shore.  We started in Rockport, and ended up in Essex where this image was taken.   It was a very windy and cloudy afternoon, which always makes for some nice long exposure photography.  Our much needed shooting was then followed by some much needed fried clams.  A great afternoon to get a jump start on the upcoming summer season.

Feels good to be back.


Light Grids II

I thought I’d start the week with another image of the beautiful light that streams into the Stone Mill in the early morning.  You can even see some of the light patterns on the ceiling, which I believe is from the sun reflecting off a car windshield or something in the parking lot below.  A twofer.