When I was done capturing what I needed at the Princeton Battle Monument I packed up and was ready to head around town to find something interesting to photograph. I was cold from standing outside and sat in the car for a while thinking when I noticed the building behind me was lit up.
I got out and walked along the path between the two properties and loved what I saw. No one around but the Morven Museum — on Stockton Street — was lit up.
Morven was built-in the 1750’s by Richard Stockton (1730 – 1781), a signer of the Declaration of Independence for New Jersey. After a 1758 fire, the house was rebuilt and named Morven, which means “big mountain” in Gaelic. Members of the Stockton family lived in this house until the early 20th century. From 1945-1981, it served as the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion.
Dedicated on June 9, 1922, the Princeton Battle Monument depicts General Washington leading his troops into the Battle of Princeton. Beaux Arts sculptor Frederick MacMonnies designed the monument.
I’m learning a bit from the night and low light photography course with Rick Wright. Rick wanted the class to bring in 6-8 images for critique. He wanted images that we felt had worked out well and images that we felt were failures. I had only captured three photos since the last class so Wednesday night I drove into Princeton. I remembered that the Princeton Battle Monument was lit at night and decided to start there. I thought that perhaps the cherry trees would be lit as well. No such luck.
I decided to capture exposure bracketed images to create long exposure HDR images. The camera and tripod were set low and pointed down the path toward the monument. That way I could get the trees, pathway, monument and some sky in the frame. However, this put the intersection of Nassau Street, Bayard Lane and Stockton Street right behind the camera. As the light faded the more the lights from the cars waiting at the light on Nassau Street affected the exposure. The challenge was in getting a proper middle exposure and shooting a set of 3-5 bracketed images.
Turns out the headlights were a blessing. The lights cast a warm orange-red glow on the path and the bottom of the trees. I’m not that happy with the sky though. I was hoping for a richer blue.