Shea Rowing Center and Class of 1887 Boathouse at Magic Hour

Although I went to bed quite late last night, I woke up this morning around 6:30AM. I lay in bed feeling guilty that I hadn’t done anything with my camera for several weeks. The Skillman area is full of fall color and I did not have a single image to show for it. So I decided that since it was still early that perhaps I could get some shots early morning landscape shot. But where?

Carnegie Lake came to mind. Should I stay north and shoot near the old Kingston Mill. Or travel south on Route 27 toward Princeton and shoot somewhere in the middle. I decided that would soon arrive and that I would still be in bed trying to decide so I got dressed, grab a food bar and my camera and headed out the door.

I drove through Kingston — just in case — continued down Route 27. On my way I decided on the Shea Rowing Center and the Class of 1887 Boathouse.

For some reason I felt that I should use my 9 stop Neutral Density filter. And because I can’t resist, I took posted one two Instagram using vividHDR.

Landscape photography is challenging. The best light is at the golden hour. That means getting up early. It means standing on the bridge on Washington Road in Princeton on a cold morning and shooting with a tripod for an hour. Tonight, I’m hoping to capture the a sunset. But where?

Shea Rowing Center and Class of 1887 Boathouse at Magic Hour %name

Husband, father, Information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Princeton Township, Montgomery Township and Rocky Hill.

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  1. Camera : NIKON D5100
    Focal length : 35mm
    Aperture : ƒ/6.3
    Shutter speed : 20s
    ISO : 100
    Captured : 15 September, 2017
    Copyright : © 2017 Khürt L. Williams

    My initial thought after Frank posted this week’s photo challenge and seeing his photo was, “go grab some shots of the Shea Rowing Center.” The centre is lit at night and I thought I would get some good pictures of the lights of the centre illuminating the darkness along Faculty Road.
    My plan was to leave work and head to Troon Brewing, have dinner next door at Brick Farm Tavern, get home change my clothes and head out to Washington Road for some night photography at the C. Bernard Shea Rowing Center.
    I parked on the eastbound side of Washington Road just past the bridge. One thing I had considered was how dark it might be along Washington Road. I took a headlamp with me to light my path as I walked along the road to the bridge. It was dark but I was surprised by how many cars drove by at this time of night. It was after 9 PM.
    I set up my camera halfway on the bridge. It was challenging to focus in the dark. I took a few test shots and started to regret that I did not setup earlier when the light was good. Eventually, I got an image sharp enough. I captured a few images, experimenting with shutter speeds between 15 to 30 seconds. I was disappointed by the results when I chimped on the back of my Nikon. The images were not sharp and the composition was “meh“.
    Frustrated, I turned around to watch the cars go by. What was I going to do? This field trip was a bust. The marching band would soon be back from supporting the football team at the game in Franklin and my daughter would be calling me to pick her up from the high school. Time was running out. My inner voice said, “photography what you see”.
    So I did. I experimented with varying the shutter speed and the timing of the triggering of the shutter for the arrival and departure of the cars. And then I went home and imported the images into Adobe Lightroom.
    My initial feeling was correct. My images of the boathouse were uninteresting. I didn’t like any of theme. I deleted them all except for this one. I wanted to show you what the boathouse looks like.
    The C. Bernard Shea Rowing Center is the boathouse for the Princeton University rowing programs. Located on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, New Jersey, the center consists of the Class of 1887 Boathouse and the Richard Ottesen Prentke ‘67 Training Center.
    Camera : NIKON D5100
    Focal length : 35mm
    Aperture : ƒ/8
    Shutter speed : 30s
    ISO : 100
    Captured : 15 September, 2017
    Copyright : © 2017 Khürt L. Williams

    However, I was very happy with the images of the light trails. I picked my favourite one, tweaked a few settings in Lightroom and the result is what you see in the post header.
    Sometimes photography is like that. I have a vision of what I want to achieve. But either because of poor planning, less than ideal conditions or lack of knowledge, I don’t get what I want. Sometimes, I have to make the best of what I have in front of me. Step out of the creative darkness and into the light.

    Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.