Cafeteria duty is one of the most mind-numbing and demeaning things a teacher can be subjected to. One can cast an eye upon the youthful masses shoveling food into their maws or a quick look outside. I chose the latter for a moment today.
So I got into school and saw the cirrus just above the horizon and waited for the inevitable. Sure enough, about 20 minutes before sunrise the sky developed a beautiful muted crimson. This is an iPhone photo from the classroom next to mine.
So I found out yesterday that the eastern part of the remaining span of the old Tappan Zee Bridge is coming down next Saturday so I went out today with Mike Brockway to scope out a location to capture it. We drove down to Piermont and parked and walked the drive up the jetty to the pier. It rained and it was breezy and it was warm(ish) and it was cold but we got some great photos and decided we would come back next weekend to record this historic event.
So I was trying to figure out what I was going to shoot all day. I was busy all day and it was raining so I held off taking photos until 7 PM. Now, usually, that is the time I settle in on the couch for an evening of watching TV. But this evening I got in my car and headed across the Hudson to Beacon. I stopped on Main Street to get light trails. This required patience as there were very few cars out for a Saturday night. So I waited until I saw a car coming from behind me and started the 25-second exposure just before the car entered my field of view. Sometimes a car came from around the corner in front of me so I could get two trails, one white and one red. I got one exposure where that happened from each of the two vantage points I set myself up at. Then I headed to the end of Main Street and parked by the abandoned rail tracks and walked to the spillway. Got some nice long-term exposures and then walked around to the bridge and snagged a couple of the Fishkill Creek rushing past the Roundhouse illuminated from the side of the raging creek.
Back in 2013, the last in a long line of siblings that stretched back to the very beginning of my career in the late 80’s graduated. Just before she did, she painted a mural of the Moodna Viaduct with the Hudson Highlands on the wall of one of the stairwells of my school. I never knew where her vantage point was and it turns out I’ve passed it a hundred times or more. There aren’t many places to park on Clove Road but this was from one of them.
So I crossed the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and headed south on Rt. 9D towards Cold Spring. I stopped at the little parking area near the Breakneck Ridge train “station”. The station consists of two wooden platforms along the north and southbound tracks with no warning on the lower part of the platform that if you stand there you will die. Instead of crossing the bridge I hooked along the trail to the right, up and above the tracks, to a viewing platform. Looking southwest you have a beautiful view of Storm King Mountain and to the northwest is Bannerman Island with its blasted remnants of the explosives depot castle. Here I set up my tripod and set it for a long exposure as I was looking to capture light trails and it was after sunset on a cloudy day. Pointing southwest, I captured a northbound train and, surprisingly, a southbound train passed it right in the field of view of the shot,. Nice treat. Looking north I captured a southbound train during a 1-minute test exposure with Bannerman Island in the distance. Perfect! I packed up and drove a mile further south on 9D through the tunnel under Breakneck Ridge. I parked in the restaurant parking lot just past the other side of the tunnel. The restaurant was closed so parking wasn’t an issue. I walked along the road on the well-worn path and set up about fifty feet away from the tunnel. I took some close-up 25-second exposure light trail shots and then tried wide angle to capture the line of the rocks above. I wasn’t sure they would show up but when I got home and loaded them up in Lightroom…well, you can see the results here.
Brown’s Pond is on my way home from work and I was really exhausted and did not want to stop but if I give up the experiment on the second day then I don’t deserve to own my camera. I I sucked it up, pulled over to the side of the road and then walked to a little boat landing on the edge of the pond. Nothing. Then I saw the clear reflections of the trees in the water and got that. That’s when the mergansers swam into view. I shot with my Fuji X-T3 with a 100-400mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I had to crop quite a ways to get the ducks in. Then I went to ShopRite where one person at the deli counter serviced two people ahead of me. All I wanted was half a pound of Boar’s Head muenster cheese for my breakfast eggs but these two ordered half the deli items. It took half an hour to get my pitiful order in. But I made it home in time to slap dinner in the oven and get these two photos set.
So I decided to finally embrace the Photo A Day Challenge that I have been putting off for a few years and headed out to Gardiner this afternoon. After meeting and catching up with a former high school classmate, she showed me around her neighbor’s farm with a beautiful view of Millbrook Mountain. Then I took a stroll on a crazy crowded windswept Walkway Over The Hudson challenging myself to only shoot with a 55-200mm lens. It was a nice day out.