July 12th, 2016
Well, one cloud really….
It was a beautiful summer day in New Jersey. It was warm, but the humidity was low, a very comfortable July day with a magnificent blue sky. There were great clouds traveling in the sky, big puffy clouds passing by slowly. I think they are great for photography down here, because they add dimension in our photographs to the otherwise dull flatness of our South Jersey landscapes.
Earlier, a friend mentioned her schooling at a Quaker school and it got me thinking I never took a good photo of the historic Crosswicks Friends Meeting House in Chesterfield, Burlington County. So there I was, on this ideal photographic day, in front of this handsome building. Sunlight was hitting the old brick walls perfectly. I was about to take my first photos when I noticed this massive white cloud hovering above the house, to the right, in the top corner of my frame. A photographic nuisance with its shadowy underbelly. Since I wanted that perfect blue sky with some clouds as a background, I decided to wait for this annoying cloud to pass. So I waited, walked around, took photos of a park bench, walked back to the ideal spot on the lawn, but the cloud was still there! I waited a little longer, walked some more, came back. And that cloud was still not moving. I looked at the sky: all the other clouds were gingerly moving, but this one decided to stop right there. Maybe it was taking a nap or something. It was stuck in the upper right corner of my frame, ruining my composition, and I needed it gone. I waited more, and it seems that annoying cloud was now swirling around instead of moving on, teasing me, making me loose that good light on the building, testing my patience. It wouldn’t move!
So I cursed at that cloud! That’s right. I was there on this beautiful lawn in Chesterfield, camera in hand, in front of the quiet house of the peaceful Quakers, on this beautiful July afternoon, cursing up to the sky. Good thing nobody was around to witness my antics, I guess. Or they may just have said: here’s another of these crazy photographers. Anyway, that stupid, stupid cloud must have heard me: it finally moved, eventually, slowly, annoyingly slowly. I think it’s was still there when I took my photo, squeezed into the top right corner of my frame, teasing me one last time.
August 17th, 2015
If you’re looking for some good old vintage industrial sights to photograph in New Jersey, look no further than the intriguing Burlington-Bristol Bridge crossing the Delaware River in Burlington City, on the West side of Burlington County.
Opened back in 1931, this truss bridge lift span rises up between two towers to allow safe passage to boat traffic underneath. Driving on its two-lane roadway for the first time is an adventure in itself, because this is a very narrow bridge with little room for error: opposing traffic comes quickly and zooms narrowly by your side mirror, while the tall sidewalk on your right leaves no room for escape! To add to the excitement, its open grid steel roadway gently sway your car tires sideways back and forth, while making the most unusual rolling metallic noise.
I think the best view is from Riverbank, off Route 413, in front of the Doane Academy building. If you’re lucky, the sunset will be right behind the bridge, on the Pennsylvania side, with a beautiful reflection on the wide river. You may even be luckier and catch the bridge opening for a big ocean-going cargo ship sailing to or from a port upstream. You’ll know an opening is imminent when you hear the warning siren blaring.