Tuesday Photo Challenge – Hill by jansenphoto

As I did get the chance to look out of my hotel room at night, there was a bit of inspiration that led to this week’s theme of Hill. In the town of Brno, there is a spectacular view of Spilberk Castle, which has stood atop the hill for over seven centuries. Therefore, your challenge is to share your favorite hills and/or what you find atop them.

My townhouse community, Montgomery Hills, lies on the southern border of the Montgomery Township and Somerset County, fenced in by the woods on the northeast side of Princeton’s Autumn Hill Preserve and the the nearby borough of Rocky Hill, 2.9 km away, at the foot of the Rocky Hill Ridge and across the waters of the Millstone River, along the D&R Canal Trail.

U.S. Post Office, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (18.7 mm, 0.005 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

I’ve photographed many of the historic homes and buildings in Rocky Hill over the last 18 years, but the challenge keyword is “hill”, but I wanted to capture images for the challenge, so I started first with Rocky Hill.

I can’t say much about the post office. All my mail goes through the post office in Carnegie Center which serves several areas that fall under the “Princeton“ zip codes.

Rocky Hill Inn, Rocky Hill, New Jersey —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, 0.004 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

Built-in 1745, the Rocky Hill Inn is a historic colonial inn that by the 1800s had become a “fashionable summer excursion stop-off for city folks,” but which today is a gastropub with multiple rooms, that serves delicious American pub-style burgers and craft ales.

Burnt Hill Road —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16.5 mm, 0.005 sec at f/2.8, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Burnt Hill Road —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (32.1 mm, 0.013 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

From Rocky Hill, I drove 7km west back into Skillman and over to Burnt Hill Road, passing Cherry Hill Road on the way. The roads in Montgomery Township are narrow one-lane roads, the type you might find in a small farming town, steep embankments and ditches in many areas with no shoulder and no sidewalks. For the images on Burnt Hill Road, I parked in a clearing on Burnt Hill Road just near a hedgerow of wildflowers across the road from an abandoned farm bridge.

From Burnt Hill Road, I drove over to Spring Hill Road but didn’t find anything interesting to photograph. The road, which winds its way up into the trees to East Amwell Township, is a fun drive in the right car. It was while enjoying the ride that I realised that photographing the hills around the area would be challenging. There is no open hilltop to see the valley below and no open field below from where I can photograph the hills.

FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.040 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Servis Road —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, 0.006 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

From Spring Hill Road, I drove to Hollow Road on the border with Hillsborough Township, which has a spot where I usually park to photograph The Rock Brook, but this time I drove up to the top of Servis Road hoping to see through the trees to the homes below. No such luck.

From the top of Grand View Road —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (38.8 mm, 0.005 sec at f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

From the bottom of Grand View Road —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, 0.005 sec at f/11, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

From Servis Road, I over the one-lane bridge that connects Hollow Road to Grand View Road, and down the hill to the bottom of Grand View. I grabbed some photos of the hills.

I was disappointed, decided to head home, and took Mountain View Road to Cherry Hill Road, to 518 to Orchard Hill Road and then back home.

The remainder of my images were captured from the driver side of the car, while I parked on the road, keep a close eye for traffic behind me. It was not ideal.

I was out capturing these images for about 90 minutes, with almost half of that time spent driving. My wife saw the disappointment on my face. She reminded me that my grandparents (Ollivierre) lived in a windy area at the top of Monkey Hill in Bequia, which is also the name of my consultancy. The image below is an old family image; not one from my catalogue.

Monkey Hill, Bequia, Grenadines
View from atop Monkey Hill, Bequia. I scanned this from an old damaged print my mom gave me.

The image below was taken by my mother of the family house on Dorsetshit Hill, near Kingstown, Saint Vincent, where I spent some of my youthful years and last years of high-school. It’s a partial view, from the wrap-around veranda, of the Kingstown harbour and the mountains. The word verandah, which I have always used in the British West Indies, but rarely hear in the USA< is from the from Hindi, but research indicates that the veranda itself originated in the British West Indies. I digress, but the verandah and British Colonial architecture is something that I hope to someday explore in detail with my camera.

Dorsetshire Hill Road is a long winding road that leads down to Kingstown from Dorsetshire Hill. At the foot of the road is an intersection of streets near a neighbourhood which has been historically referred to as “Sion Hill”. it’s where my dad grew up.

Dorsetshire Hill Home —Nikon D3200 + 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ (18 mm, 0.008 sec at f/4.0, ISO140), ©

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Worship by jansenphotojansenphoto

The devastating fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was horrific in the way that it touched the heart and soul of Parisian, the French and many of us around the world. This cathedral is a true world treasure in both its architecture and the meaning that it carries, which transcends faith. I am heartened by President Emmanel Macron’s response with the intent to rebuild Notre Dame, as it is part of the heritage of France and, indeed, the World.

With this news, it was immediately obvious to me that the theme for this week’s challenge is to be Worship. Regardless of religion, faith or belief system, we can all worship; whether it’s a universal being, nature or the love of our life… Please take this challenge into the direction of Worship that speaks most to you and share it creatively!

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. Frank Lloyd Wright.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.Native American Proverb

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. Cree Indian Proverb

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Go do something to stop killing our mother earth.

Trout Lily —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO500), © Khürt L. Williams
Trout lilyFujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Long-spurred Violet —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Spring Beauty —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Spring Beauty —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (35.3 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
The Rock Brook —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/22, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Fern —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/16, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Rock Brook —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/22, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Fallen tree accross the Rock Brook —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/8.0, ISO400), © Khürt L. Williams
Zion Crossing Park —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (27.4 mm, f/22, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Play by jansenphotojansenphoto (Dutch goes the Photo!)

Your challenge is to use the theme of Play in any way that you see fit! As it can be a verb or a noun, be on the stage or in the backyard, there’s plenty of playroom with the theme!

On Saturday I was supposed to participate take a field trip to lower Manhattan. I feel like a broken record but my Nikon broke over the winter and a friend loaned me her father’s Canon camera and 70-200mm lens. It’s a good camera and lens but not ideal for cityscape photography. For that, I needed a wider lens. I rented a Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS. I was excited for the opportunity to capture some city scenes that I had on my list and play around with night time photography.

The Rock Brook —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

The Rock Brook —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

Unfortunately, the weather turned sour and the field trip was postponed to next weekend. I tried to make the best of it but it rained on Saturday morning. The rain stopped later in the afternoon for a few hours. My wife saw my disappointment and encouraged me to go out to one of my favourite spots along the Rock Brook. I’ve visited and photographed this location multiple times. I thought it might be boring but I do enjoy walking along the rocks and listening to the wind in the trees.

However, when we arrived the water level was extremely low. I guess we’ve had very little rainfall this summer but I hadn’t noticed. There was very little water flowing but I was able to access areas of the Rock Brook that I had never accessed before.

The Rock Brook —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 45 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
Water flowing —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
Water flowing —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

Bhavna encouraged me to play around with what I had. I moved around setting up the tripod in different locations. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the Canon menus and struggled to get the camera set up for long exposure photography. I played around on various menus trying to get the camera to do what I wanted.

Unlike my broken baby Nikon DSLR, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has no flip screen. I think a flip screen is something that is a must for landscape photography. Well …. maybe not a must. But it definitely makes things easier when the camera is mounted low on the tripod. To get the compositions I wanted I had to contort my body to see down to the level of the viewfinder.

Looking south from the Rock Brook —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Woods —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
The Rock Brook —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 26 mmf/22 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
Bhavna is ready to go —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 70 mmf/4.0 ISO 1600—CC BY-NC-SA

I didn’t get much time at the Rock Brook. About thirty minutes after we arrived, Bhavna felt rains drops and gave me a verbal warning. I snapped a few more shots and we returned to the car just as a light drizzle started.