Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row at Night

One weekend this summer, I was on a photography field trip to Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Our guide, Richard Sherman, obtained private access to Boathouse #4 and, early in the evening, to a launch boat (the little boats used by coaches) from which two photographers at a time were able to shoot the boathouses and Philly skyline from a different perspective.

Philadelphia’s iconic “Boathouse Row” offers photographers a variety of colourful and interesting subjects, including the restored Fairmount Water Works, skyline shots of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the 19th-century boat houses and rowing shells along the Schuylkill River.

  • Aperture—ƒ/5
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—20 August, 2016
  • Copyright—© Khürt L. Williams
  • Focal length—66mm
  • ISO—100
  • Shutter speed—1/1000s

We had private access to Boathouse #4 and, early in the evening, to a launch boat (the little boats used by coaches) from which two photographers at a time will be able to shoot the boathouses and Philly skyline from a different perspective. From the launch boat, I got a unique water view of the boathouses. Some members of one of the boathouses were celebrating with dinner on the veranda.

The launch boat took us along the Schuylkill toward the lighthouse on Turtle Rock. This lighthouse was built in 1887 to aid traffic on the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The view of the lighthouse from the launch boat was awesome. I was capturing some images of the lighthouse and zoomed in for a close-up when I noticed this couple basking in the glow of the late afternoon sun.

 

It seems that some debris came down the river and collected in an area in front of the boathouses. It formed a small island which has become inhabited by some ducks. The island also blocks the flow of water leading to the growth of a greenish plant. The ducks seem to like swimming in it.

I love this image. The instructor came running over to me. I had my camera pointed toward the Fairmount Water Works. He said, “Khürt, look up to your left”. I wish I had a pano head.

Boathouse Row, Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.??The instructor came running over to me. I had my camera pointed toward the Fairmount Water Works. He said, "Khürt, look up to your left". I wish I had a pano head.

The class had opportunities to exercise all our photographic muscles, from photographing people to shooting architectural details, from wide panoramas to close-ups, from high F-stops to shallow depth-of-field, from dynamic hand-held street shots to using tripods during “blue night” to capture the boathouses and their reflections on the water.

Boathouse Row just after the sun went away for the day. I was trying to expose for the foreground and the sky.

When the sun had disappeared completely for the day, the lights were turned on at Boathouse Row on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, just north of the Fairmount Water Works and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Kingston Branch Loop Trail of D& R Canal State Park

After my haircut this morning, and despite my severe allergies, I drove just over the Princeton Township border to a spot along the Delaware and Raritan Canal. I had never been here before but I drive past it often whether on my way to work or out to Route 1. Sometimes I see cars parked here and sometimes people carrying canoes.

I grabbed my Nikon, tripod and my Hoya ND400 neutral density filter and followed the beaten path to the water. It was peaceful. The air was clean and crisp. I enjoyed the silence while it lasted. Through the trees, I could hear the chatter of people talking while walking or bicycling along on the other side of the canal.

I could see that a path was carved along the canal by other humans out exploring like I was. I walked a few hundred yards, set up my tripod at the very edge of the water and took a few images.

I tried using the TriggerTrap software with the Hoya ND400 to do some long exposure HDR photography but I could not get the software to work correctly. The TriggerTrap capture all the images at the same shutter speed. I used the auto-bracketing mode on my camera instead.

I walked down a few more yards and spent some more time watching the turtles basking on logs in the early morning sun.