Since I moved with my family to the Skillman section of Montgomery Township in 2001 I have been interested in the history of the area. What are all these names I see repeated on street names and buildings even in Princeton? Names like Harlingen, van Zandt, and Skillman.

Belle Mead was part of the Western Precinct of Somerset County before the creation of Mercer County. Until 1838, the Montgomery Township border went as far south as Nassau Street. In fact, portions of the town and Somerset County were later ceded to from Mercer County and Princeton Township.

The township was settled by land speculators from the former New Amsterdam (Long Island) after the land area was ceded to the British.

The first grist mill, built in 1721, was destroyed by fire about the end of the 18th century.

Bhavana and I showed up to the Grist Mill site about one hour before sunset. We chatted while I walked around looking for the "right" composition. She wanted to know why we got there so early so I explained to her that sunset to blue hours occurs in a very short period of time and rushing around while the light faded was not what I wanted. I think she was annoyed by the bugs that were buzzing around. She walked back to sit in the car.

I had some challenges with cars driving over the bridge in the middle of my exposures and soon I grew tired of being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects. After about two exposures I packed up and joined her in the car to head back home.

I think I'll come back another time, perhaps in the early morning, to shoot some long exposures of water flowing over the small dam. It's at an odd angle but I may be able to setup the tripod near the foot of the water.

I spent my morning with a number of other photographers learning lighting techniques at Frank Veronsky' carriage house studio in Belle Meade. Frank spend two hours ( maybe more ) teaching us how to make the best of available light and the proper use of reflectors. Frank has been a photographer for over 24 years and is and excellent teacher.

One of the photographers brought his daughters with him. They were gracious and patient, posing for our eager cameras. This is the one I chose as the best of the set of 100 or so. You can see some of the others in my image gallery here.

Natural lighting from window on subjects right side with reflected light from the white wall to the subject lefts. Hot light from above with most of the leaves closed to focus light onto a narrow strip on subjects face.

Frank Veronsky is an editorial and commercial photographer who lived in New York City for over 20 years. He recently moved to Belle Meade, NJ and is teaching both beginner and advanced workshops. I found out about the workshop through his photo group on Meetup. The meetup group is sponsored by the Digital Photo Academy. I'm fortunate to live a few miles from Frank's studio and decided to take the Workshop, Composition in the Field.

Frank's studio is a converted barn at the back of his property in the historic Harlingen section of Montgomery Township. Frank and his wife moved here with their kids to be closer to the family. The studio is clean and well lit but Frank's backyard provided the subject matter for the day's workshop.

It rained that morning and the air and soil were still damp and a little cold. The lighting changed constantly as the clouds moved across the sun.

Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8
Workshop - Composition in the Field - Frank Veronsky—Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/5.0
Nikon D40 + 35 mm f/1.8 @ 35 mm, f/1.8