The Kingston Grist Mill and the Snow

It's mid-February as I write this.

It's mid-February as I write this, and I've just realized I haven't posted any new photos on the blog since October. I've been feeling a bit down lately. Between health issues in 2018 and 2019 and the pandemic lockdown, it's been a rough few years. I'm feeling pretty burned out. My last real break was a spring break trip to see my dad in 2017.

Career-wise, things haven't been going as planned. Finding work in security architecture locally has been tough, and it looks like I might need to start commuting to New York City again.

The pandemic has hit me harder than I'd like to admit. My social circles, which used to meet up in person, have gone virtual, and it feels like we might not meet face-to-face again. I miss those casual pub gatherings after meetings. To be honest, life has been quite challenging lately, and I can't help feeling a bit bitter.

I've mostly stayed home, binge-watching shows, except for my weekly brewery visit. But staying indoors isn't good for me. Without getting outside, how will I find inspiration for my photography? This Saturday morning, I decided it was time for a change. I grabbed my tripod, attached my XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR and L-bracket, and went out for a drive.

My first stop was the Kingston Grist Mill in the Kingston Village Historic District. As I positioned my camera, the contrast between the rich, red facade of the mill and the snow-draped surroundings was too enchanting to pass by without capturing.

The mill, with its deep crimson wood, is one of my favourite subjects. Its dark shingled roof, sprinkled with a light dusting of snow, houses a row of dormer windows. Their white trim reflects the day's soft light, providing a (false) sense of warmth against the cold.

The wooden bridge leading to the mill is a remnant of Lincoln Highway (now Route 27). The Lincoln Highway, one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles across the United States, stretches across many states, from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.

Beside the bridge, the remnants of snowfall cling to the rough bark of trees, and beyond the mill, leafless branches reach toward the sky, forming silhouettes against the clouds. The sky itself is a dynamic backdrop, showing a brilliant blue with clouds that are fluffy and white.

There's a calm in this scene, a gentle reminder for me to enjoy the slow pace of winter days.

Fresh Snow

I have a complex, somewhat contradictory relationship with Winter. A part of me genuinely cherishes the serene beauty of a snow-covered landscape, the quiet hush that falls over the neighbourhood under a blanket of white, and the cosy warmth indoors.

Yet, simultaneously, there's a sense of dread for the biting cold, the endless shovelling, and the dreariness of grey skies. Winter is a season of contrasts - it's about huddling by the fire with the iPad while dreading the next venture outside. It's a time when nature's magnificence is at its peak, yet its discomforts are equally noticeable.

Kingston Grist Mill in Fog

I got up this morning, looked out the window, and saw a thick fog. It was just before 7 AM. I got dressed and grabbed my camera and tripod. I initially thought to visit Carnegie Lake near the Princeton racing crew boathouse. But as I drove along Blue Spring Road, I thought that I might get a better set of images from near the Kingston Lock section of the D& R Canal State Park

The Kingston Flour Mill is a historic property and part of the Kingston Mill Historic District.

The Kingston Mill, built in the late 1800s, is the most recent of several mills built on this site since the 1700s. Grist, fulling and flour mills were established here over Kingston Mill for the past 300 years. The mill, now a private home, to many is a symbol of Kingston and its historic past.

KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 53.3 mm, f/11

I've photographed the mill and the Kingston Lock area around the D& R Canal State Park many times in the past, in all seasons. I think this is the first time I have photographed it in fog. I'm not too fond of the way it looks in the fog. It's too dreary. I think the building stands out more in the snow and in the spring.

KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 33.2 mm, f/11
KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/4.5
KINGSTON FLOUR MILL—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm, f/22

I made a mistake with the first three images. I forgot the AUTO ISO. The camera adjusted accordingly, and some of the first three images were shot at very high ISO. I did one pass through Nik's Dfine 2.

Kingston Flour Mill ( historic ).