Opie's Grist Mill

The Opie's Grist Mill in Bridgepoint Historic District, Montgomery Township during a rain storm in March.

It rained all day. I spent Saturday morning watching the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Normally on a cold rainy day like this, I would just sit inside and stream a movie or engage in a photo editing session. I wanted a few more cans of the Mittelfrüh Pilsner by Source Brewing. I made a trip out to a package store in Libby's Liquors in Lawrenceville. The roadways in Lawrenceville were like streams and flooded in many areas. When I left the Libby’s I got water inside my sneaker from the puddle in the parking lot.

On the way home, I realised that the weather might provide some interesting opportunities for photography. On Hollow Road at the northwestern border of Montgomery Township, I stopped at Rock Brook near the bridge at Grandview Road. Without a tripod, it was challenging to get long-exposure photographs with my Fuji X-T3 or iPhone 11 Pro.

The Rock Brook runs southeast to Bessie Grover Park at Camp Meeting Road. My friend Chris once lived in a house across from Bessie Grover Park. I tried using some small rocks to balance the camera but without a tripod it was challenging. As I drove slowly along Camp Meeting Road back toward home I remembered Opie's Grist Mill on Dead Tree Run Road.

The photograph showcases Opie's Grist Mill, a historic structure perched by the side of Dead Tree Run Bridge in the Bridgepoint Historic District of Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The mill, clad in red panelling, stands out against a winter backdrop with its vibrant colour. It is a multi-story building featuring a prominent balcony overlooking the river. The foreground is dominated by the muddy waters of The Rock Brook, displaying a smooth texture with ripples and reflections that suggest a rapid flow. The bare trees surrounding the mill create a stark, almost solemn atmosphere. The sky is overcast, casting a diffuse light that softens the entire scene, enhancing the mill's prominence. This tranquil setting captures the essence of historic rural America, where such mills were once the heart of local communities.
Opie's Grist Mill in Bridgepoint Historic District · 2 March 2024 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF27mmF2.8 R WR

Opie's Grist Mill is located on Dead Tree Run Road in the Bridgepoint Historic District in Montgomery Township. The mill and the one-lane stone bridge were built in the early 1800s. A prominent, richly coloured red structure, the mill has retained most of its historical architecture, with its traditional wooden build and gabled roof. With the deluge of water from the incessant rain, the water of the Rock Brook had expanded right up to the edge of the Dead Tree Run Road and the mill almost seemed surrounded by water.

I stood on the southern side of the bridge, using small rocks to steady and level the camera. The iPhone 11 Pro was wedged between two rocks for stability with a flat rock underneath to level the frame. I used the Reexpose app from Reeflex to make a 7-second simulated (stacked image) exposure. The app was made for use with their line of iPhone camera lenses, none of which I own. I used a 3-second timer to reduce the effects of any camera shake from pushing the shutter button in the app.


I focused the cameras on the neighbour's home with their holiday lights and set the shutter speeds to 1 second. I pushed the shutter while moving the camera around.

I think the image captures a sense of drama through its use of motion blur and vibrant light trails against the dark background. The streaks of colorful lights create a dynamic sense of movement and energy.