Blue Hour

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Blue (Dutch goes the Photo!)

Blues have a clue here!

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.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Blue (Dutch goes the Photo!)

Blues have a clue here!

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Blue Waters

When I checked Frank's website for the challenge theme and I saw his image of .. in Iceland, I couldn't help thinking of the beaches of Antigua and Bequia. I just love all that blue. I find blue very calming and that water reminds me of one of the places in Antigua where I lived when I was in high-school. The house where we lived was just up the roads from the aptly named, Blue Waters beach. I have many fond memories running along the sand and playing in the shallow calm water.

New Jersey is the world far away from Antigua. New Jersey has many beaches -- some good, some are just casino's on the sand -- along with her long Mid-Atlantic coastline. I've visited a few of these beaches -- Sandy Hook, Seaside Heights, Island Beach State Park, Barnegat Light, Asbury Park and Wildwood -- but in my opinion, none compare to the beaches I had in the Caribbean. I live in Skillman, Montgomery Township, a few kilometers (~ 4 miles) from Princeton University) but a little under 64 km (~ 40 miles) from the nearest beach (Asbury Park). With New Jersey traffic that translates to 10 minutes drive to Princeton compared to just over one hour drive to Asbury Park. For this challenge, I knew that with rain expected Saturday and Sunday I would have no chance of photographing sunny blue skies. So I left myself open to alternative ideas.

Rutgers University

blue, Center For Latino Arts, structure, building
Center For Latino Arts - AF-S Nikkor 18-55m f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f/4.0, 1/32s, ISO 100
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Last Tuesday, Shaan started his four-year program in biology at the Honors College at Rutgers Univerity. Bhavna and I took the day off to help him move into his residence hall. The campus in New Brunswick is only a 30-minute drive from home and 45 minutes by trains. But with teary eyes, we left our teenage adult to be on his own for the first time. The change is a bit unsettling. My wife has observed that even though he would sometimes annoy us by talking while we watching on of our cable dramas, we missed his voice.

We were back on campus on Saturday to drop off some items that Shaan felt he needed as well as to satisfy our need to see that he adjusting to his new home. He only had 45 minutes to hang out with us before he had to run off to one of several campus-wide orientation events. It was lunch time so we walked the campus looking for lunch. I remarked to my daughter that doing a photo challenge for the word blue on a college campus whose logo colour is red with a football team called The Scarlet Knights, would indeed be a challenge. And for opening weekend, the campus was a sea of red. As we walked College Avenue toward the Panera Bread, I noticed the artwork on the building for the Center For Latino Arts. I had a bit of blue and a decent photograph but still not what I was looking for.


blue, blue hour
AF-S Nikkor 18-55m f/3.5-5.6 @ 24 mm f/4.0, 5s, ISO 100
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It rained on Saturday. It's Sunday as I write this and it's still raining. Tomorrow's forecast is sunny and warm but rain is expected the rest of the week into next weekend. I have a camera poncho but rarely use it. I mostly shoot near the woods and streams of the nearby towns -- Hopewell, Princeton, Skillman, and Hillsborough. When I do get out in inclement weather I just have to be aware and alert. Trees (I'm surrounded by those) are attractors for lighting and streams (lots of these too) can quickly become dangerous.

The camera poncho might be useful when shooting in light rain but useless in a downpour. Of course, the camera is protected but the photographer gets wet. But last night as it rained I looked outside, taking a break from binge-watching Van Helsing on Netflix, and saw that the sun had set. It was blue hour. A few seconds later, I realized what that meant.

Oh, you fool! It's blue hour! Get the camera! Get the tripod! Get the remote!

Within minutes I had a few shots that I felt good about. I especially like the one with the light trail of the passing car. I snapped several shots at various exposure times and went back to watching my show. Did I mention that blue is my favourite colour?


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.

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Red, Green/Yellow, Blue

Frank’s choice of theme for the challenge this week was not well-timed. It's not Frank's fault. I saw lots of red, blue or green (RGB) during the last week. Barns, flowers, buildings, clothing. And, of course, people.

Sometimes there was an opportunity to capture what I saw. And sometimes, not. I live in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, which in many aspects is is still rural with some historic small towns for neighbours; Princeton; Hopewell.

But my town is mostly homes, streams, parks and farmland nestled into the foothills of the Sourland Mountain Range. Our roads are narrow and lack sidewalks. There are ditches on either side of these country roads. Pulling over to capture a sunset with a farm or open pasture in the foreground means stopping the car in the middle of the road. Doing this is not advisable. It's dangerous and inconsiderate for the other drivers on the way to work.

I could have taken a photo of some random object with red, green and blue colours. But that would be throw away photography. I want my photographs to have an impact.

Fog blanketed the area Friday morning. I knew that I could find opportunities for photography. I ate breakfast and left for work early to give myself time to stop should an opportunity present itself. I took a route that I knew would take me past some scenic areas: Princeton Community Park North, the edge of downtown Princeton, Princeton Battlefield Park, Quaker Road.

When I saw the tree, I pulled over into the parking area on the northbound side of Quaker Road near the Delaware and Raritan Canal. The D&R canal is part of the state park system, but the parking area is just a patch of gravel on the western bank of that section of the D&R Canal. The sun was coming up over the treeline and shone through the fog, creating a lovely haze in the background.

The area where the tree grows is wetland overgrown with thick patches of grass.

After taking the photo, I continued on my drive to work. I went back to thinking about how I could accomplish the RBG challenge. I suddenly realised that there was another way to look at the challenge. One idea is to take a single image that incorporates all of the colours. Another way is to disassemble; use a different picture with each of the colours as the primary colour. One image with mostly red, one with mostly blue, and one with green/yellow.

Red | Saturday 22 April, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR

I had just taken my green/yellow image. Earlier in the week, I had taken a photo of red flowers on one of the neighbourhood trees. I needed blue.

My son is graduating from high-school. He applied to several colleges. Although he did not apply to the program, Rutgers University invited him to attend the Honors College. He’s very excited, and so are we.

My son and his friends are enjoying their last year of high school. Today is the senior prom, and even though dance is not his thing, he agreed to attend with some of his buddies. They are all nerds. They love Pokemon and video games. Anyway, it was fun to watch them all dressed up and being goofy.

Shaan and his high-school friends | Friday 28 April, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G

Oh wait, what about blue?

Shaan Joshua Aaron Williams | Friday 28 April, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | AF-S DX Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

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. This week's theme is RGB.

Print Sale - "Rodanthe at Sunrise"

I am offering prints of my landscape images for sale. I will be personally taking care of fulfilling these orders via my print provider, CanvasPop. CanvasPop uses the best quality canvas: a 16-inch x 25-inch matte-textured, 20.5 mils bright white, consistent poly-cotton blend. The quality canvas prints are designed to last over 100 years without fading. CanvasPop finishes every canvas print with a protective scratch-resistant UV laminate to make sure the print stays sharp for life.

Each print arrives ready to hang out of the box and includes everything you need to hang the print, including gallery-strength piano wire and protective rubber bumpers.

This is one of the first prints I shall be offering. Your purchase of a print will help me continue to improve my craft. Once you click the link, you will be taken to the CanvasPop web where you can see the print size and pricing options.