Old Tree

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This weekend didn’t yield any photos of merit, so I’m once again digging back. This is another image from my visit to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Conn., back in May.

I’d actually taken this image as a landscape, showing the tree on a riverbank, but I’d thought at the time that it might be more interesting to re-frame it this way.  I really wish I’d thought to do that at the time, as I think it would benefit from my stepping back a few feet. But that’s one of the few things you can’t correct in post-processing.

The tree is huge, easily five feet (1.5 m) across at the base. I’m not sure what kind it is. It looks a bit like a Black Willow, but it’s much larger than one of those should be (I’m no tree expert by any means).

I like this image for the tree of course, but specifically for the way it dominates its location. There are no other trees growing close to it, and it casts shade over quite an area, although it was overcast the day I was there, so that isn’t apparent here.  There’s a branch off the other side that’s easily 18″ (0.5 m) in diameter, sticking out horizontally with multiple sub-branches. Even the boardwalk takes a detour to wrap around it. This is also another of what I call “gateway” photos, with the tree standing sentinel over those who would pass to some mysterious place beyond it. If ever a tree deserved to have a resident dryad, this is one.

This image is, as usual, an HDR made from five exposures at 1 EV offsets. The bracket was centered at 1/100th-second, with ISO 400 and f/11, with the lens at 47mm. I used the circular polarizing filter, and as noted I cropped it significantly to turn a landscape-format image into portrait-format. Unfortunately I made this HDR several months ago, and didn’t note what I’d used for adjustments. It looks like it may have been one of the “Deep” presents, but I don’t know what else I did, if anything.

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New Old Bridge

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Nothing of note this weekend, so I’m dipping back into the archives for an image from my trip to Hemlock Gorge in Newton Upper Falls back in late June. What caught my eye about this, aside from the nice reflections off the water, was the contrast of the old stone bridge with its gently-curving arches and the strongly linear modern concrete reinforcement. From street-level it looks entirely modern, and you would barely notice it when driving. But down below the asphalt, there’s a lot of history.

This is Cook’s Bridge, although that may not be its original name, and today it’s more commonly called the Elliot Street Bridge, or sometimes the Central Avenue Bridge as it marks the point where Central Ave. in Needham becomes Elliot St. in Newton Upper Falls.  The bridge carrys a residential street across the Charles River at the south end of the Hemlock Gorge reservation, just above the upper falls dam.

It is a three-arch bridge, although my photo only shows two of them because there was a tree in the way of the third from my vantage.  It’s an example of how old stone bridges are often not replaced by newer ones, but incorporated into them. We’ve seen that before (and here also).

It’s not entirely clear just how old the bridge is.  The original Cook’s Bridge was first documented apparently in 1742, when it was repaired, and the original, known as the Cart Bridge, was probably built in 1714. Over the years it has been widened, reinforced, and repaired multiple times, but apparently not replaced.  A recent news story suggests it was last repaired around twenty years ago, and is due for a major renovation and widening next year.

Certainly those stone arches are 18th-century work, not the neatly-squared stone of early 19th-century construction, or the rounded fieldstone of later imitations. But is this the 1742 bridge, or the 1714 one?  Or was there a later “rebuild” that used the original stones but built a new bridge from them?  It’s impossible to tell. And to an extent, it doesn’t matter.  It’s an 18th-century bridge wrapped in twentieth-century reinforcement, whichever one it is.

While the stone is probably only carrying a fraction of the load of the bridge now, and there are likely girders or reinforced concrete carrying much of it to the concrete abutments and the vertical posts on the sides, it appears that there is still some reliance on the stonework. A couple of years ago the city was monitoring the stone with seismographs because they were concerned about its structural state (which is what led to the planned renovation). Pretty good for 301 years of age.

I like this image, as I mentioned, for the structure itself and for the contrasting curves and lines.  The strong reflection in the water, creating a binocular-like appearance, is also quite appealing.

As usual, this image is an HDR, made from five exposures at 1 EV offsets. The bracket was centered at 1/80th-second exposure, at ISO 1600 and f/11, with the lens at 55 mm.  I can’t recall if I used the polarizing filter or not. I cropped the image slightly to cut out foreground and part of the left bank.  In the HDR software, processing was limited to the Dark 2 present, with no adjustments. This preset does a form of sharpening, so I did not do the usual pre-export sharpening.

Missile Test Facility

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This weekend’s hike was another visit to Wompatuck State Park, in Hingham. As I’ve mentioned before, the park is built on land that had been converted to a munitions storage annex for the Hingham Naval Depot on the waterfront, a couple of miles away, during the Second World War. This time, I found a still-intact building.  Not that it was hard, you can almost see if from the nearby road (bike trail) and it shows up on online mapping tools thanks to the shadow it casts, which is how I knew to look for it on this trip.

Most of the buildings outside the “closed area” in the northwest corner of the Annex were torn down long ago, some as early as the 1960’s when portions of it were given to the state and became the park. Others may have closed later, as there is some fencing that seems in better repair in the central area.  And the final bit, from which most of the online photos of old buildings at the park come, wasn’t demolished until last summer, when the state finally came up with the money needed to deal with the asbestos-packed structures. I don’t think the “closed area” is closed now, although I haven’t hiked it yet and the map of the park hasn’t been updated to change its status.

This structure is outside the “closed area”, and I’m fairly sure, based on a couple of online photos and comments in the newsletter put out by the Friends of Wompatuck State Park, that this is Building 83, which was part of the missile test facility. The structure has an open back area facing the angled wall visible on the right, which made me think of a rocket-engine test facility the moment I saw it.  There are two small rooms on the left side, both windowless, and beyond the high wall is a concrete foundation that probably held a wood or cinderblock building, and likely had a loading dock for the rail line that served the building.

I walked that line, and while all that’s left are rotting ties buried in the dirt, it was in better repair than many of the older tracks, with some unrotted replacement ties and clear drainage ditches alongside the railbed.  There also weren’t any trees growing through the tracks.  It’s possible this portion wasn’t abandoned until the final 1995 closure, although I don’t believe they used trains here after the 1960’s.

Apparently, in addition to storing munitions for the Atlantic fleet, and loading powder into shells, the Annex was also home to a missile assembly facility, and some kind of associated test facility. The focus was on the Terrier and Tartar surface-to-air missiles used on smaller warships, although some work was apparently done on the ASROC antisubmarine missile. In one history, the Terrier is described as “the most successful surface-to-air missile in the Navy’s inventory during this timeframe”.

The missile facility was closed in the early sixties, shortly before the closure of the annex, according to one memoir by a former base officer I saw.  Apparently, though, some use of the northern end of the annex, which included the missile assembly buildings, lasted until the post-Cold War base closures in 1995.

Although the building is just a mostly-featureless concrete shell, and a canvass for graffiti, it was interesting to look at and think what it might have been like in operation.

I like this photo because of the subject, an old building gradually failing to time and weather.  Given how solid it is, that process will take a long time. But it’s already begun with cracks in the concrete that will expose the internal steel rebar to moisture and eventually lead to structural failure as the swelling steel causes the surface to “spall” and the structural integrity to break down. Nature is slow, but relentless.

This image is, as usual, an HDR made from five photos taken as a bracket at 1 EV offsets.  The bracket was centered at 1/200th-second exposure, with ISO 800, f/11 and the lens at 40mm. I used a circular polarizing filter, but backed it off to have fairly minimal effect.  In the HDR software, I used the Detailed preset, but made relatively few other changes, mostly boosting contrast and tweaking the level of light and dark areas to correct for the “flat” appearance the HDR process tends to create.  Back in C1 I applied the usual sharpening before export.

Erratic

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No, that’s not a description of my posting frequency. This is a glacial erratic, a stone dropped by the Laurentide Ice Sheet as it retreated from New England 14,000 years ago. These are fairly common around New England, particularly around southeastern Massachusetts and into Rhode Island. This particular one is located in Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The park has a large number of these, as well as exposed granite ledges, a fact that makes it popular among the group of rock climbers who practice what is known as “bouldering”.

What brought the park to my attention was actually a bridge.  Looking for interesting places to visit using an online map tool, I came across what looked to be a covered bridge.  When I checked more deeply I discovered it was a fairly recent modern bridge with a roof structure, and marked the entrance to the state park. Disappointed, I checked out the park’s description anyway, and found it had some hiking trails, so I decided to visit it.  And then I stumbled over its Lovecraft connection.

The park was formed when the state bought the first parcel of land for a park in Lincoln in 1908. That first portion contained an area known as Quinsnicket, and that name has apparently been used for the whole at times. The park is just a few miles outside Providence, and before the Second World War was a thirty-minute journey away by trolley.

H. P. Lovecraft apparently spent considerable time exploring the woods, mentioning it in his letters, and did some of his writing there, including a poem honoring the area. I can understand why. The land is rough and stony and does not appear to have been farmed. Although the modern trees are young enough to suggest that the area had been well-logged in the nineteenth century, some old hardwood giants more than a yard (meter) across at the base survive. And the irregular land is dotted with odd-shaped rocks larger than the average car, some perched atop ledges or each other. There’s a wild feel to the land, and I can see how that would have appealed to him. I enjoyed my walk there, scrambling up boulders or peering into the dark pockets where two leaned together.

I like this photo for the play of the trees’ shadows across the stone face, and their matching sideways angles, contrasted by the horizontal lines of the stone.

This image is, as usual, an HDR made from five photos at 1 EV offsets.  The bracket was centered at 1/100th-second, at ISO 1600 and f/11. In the HDR software I tried a new preset, Outdoor 2, but backed off several of the sliders for a less-processed appearance.  I also boosted contrast (which is usually required when processing RAW) and lowered the exposure to recapture the feel of dim light under the trees. The original wasn’t over-exposed, but it clearly was too bright to match my memory of the place. I added a slight touch of yellow to counter the over-saturation of green (another typical problem with woodland HDR).  Finally, back in C1 I applied the usual sharpening before export.

Stairs to the Past

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Apologies for the late post. And apologies in advance if you don’t like what I’ve done with it.  I’m normally more inclined to photos that are “reportorial”, with a minimum of adjustments. In particular, I’m not a fan of “artistic” filters (real or post-processed), which are about as artistic as putting a strip of colored plastic over your eyes before looking at something. And yet in effect that’s what I’ve done here, as it seemed to fit the mood of the image. And the change from the as-captured image is actually more subtle than it might appear.

I photographed these stairs a couple of weeks ago. They’re at Fort Wetherill, on Jamestown Island, in Rhode Island.  This is a c. 1900 coastal defense fort, updated in both World Wars and then abandoned and later sealed up and turned into a state park.  I’ve written previously about a prior visit there.  The stairs go nowhere, leading up from the back of the main installation to the hillside behind it, where there were a couple of structures further back in what are now woods, but was probably exposed hillside when the fort was in service.

I like the image as it’s of what I’d call a “gateway” structure, connecting “here” with a “there” that seems somehow different. Even in the original, which has a more clinical gray color to the concrete and brighter-lit greenery at the top there’s a sense of the stairs leading into the wilderness. The greenery wasn’t quite as lush as it appears here; that’s the usual HDR tendency to oversaturate strong colors.

I used a relatively simple set of adjustments in a preset that cut exposure and applied a “late afternoon” yellowish tint, while reducing contrast and making other changes that overall rendered the image as less “sharp” without reducing the detail. It also emphasized the roughness of the concrete (the texture is in the original, but less obvious).

The lack of contrast causes the concrete and vegetation to seem to blend together more, and the result looks like it might be an old book cover or movie poster, while the concrete also seems subtly more stone-like because of the emphasized texture. The reduction in exposure probably brings it more back to what it really looked like (it was dim) and heightens the sense of otherness at the top of the stairs.

It’s not my usual approach to presenting an image, and yet it seems to work well for this one.  I’m very happy with the results.

The image is, as usual, an HDR from a set of five exposures. The bracket was centered at 1/60th-second (which means that the brightest was at 1/15th, but came out quite sharp considering I was hand-holding). The ISO was 3200 for the dim light under the trees, and the lens was at 35 mm. As usual the f-stop was f/11.  I don’t think I had the circular polarizing filter on, but I can’t recall.

Bridges Great and Small

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And they don’t come much smaller than this.  I’m not sure why the end of this trail is a bridge.  Perhaps the land under it is ecologically fragile, or prone to getting wet. Whatever the reason, it caught my eye when I was out earlier today (as has been typical of late, I didn’t get anything last weekend of note, so I’m doing this at the last minute).

The water just beyond is the Cape Cod Canal, and the service road that parallels it, just barely visible, is a heavily-used pedestrian way, populated by walkers, bikers, roller-bladers, joggers and dog-walkers (and the occasional strolling photographer). At this time of year there are also a large number of people fishing; one caught a small fish as I walked by.

The canal, as you’d know from previous posts (this and this, among others) has three large bridges, two highway and one railroad. I found the presence of this tiny one, lurking unseen in the woods until I walked down the trail, an interesting contrast from what I’m used to seeing on these walks.

Parallel to the canal, and about 1,200′ (365 m) inland is Bourne’s main street, a busy pedestrian shopping district. The town in recent years has been building access paths linking the street to the canal through remaining sections of woodland, and at the same time preserving these as green spaces.  This one is new last year in its current form, although they’ve been working on it for a while. It has a couple of trails with benches and a gazebo. Most of the trails are gravel, except for this portion near the gazebo being paved.

It’s a nice space, and a shrewd move. The parking lot at the end offers an alternative place for users of the canal path if the main lot is busy, and it puts people in the center of main street, prey to the various shops there.  After walking the trail, I stopped off at a soft-serve ice cream shop that has apparently been in business since 1955 that I’d never noticed before. I doubt I’m the only one tempted that way.

I like this photo thematically, for the sense of the bridge, however small, joining the two worlds: one unseen except for the paved path, the other the open space and water of the canal.  Plus I like the structure; I’m a sucker for bridges in all forms.

This image is an HDR. Taken as usual from a bracket of five photos, but this time using the GX7 rather than my DSLR (rain was threatening, and I didn’t want to take the good camera out). The bracket was centered at 1/200th-second exposure, with ISO 800 for the dim lighting, and my usual f/11.  The lens was at 22 mm (unfortunately C1 doesn’t report 35-mm equivalents, so I’m not sure exactly how that equates; I think it’s a mild telephoto). Processing was really simply, taking the Deep 2 preset and backing off the exposure to normal (the software had compensated for the dark environment by boosting it).  I also boosted contrast slightly, although not as much as the preset had reduced it; it was still overall reduced. The usual sharpening was done before export.

Newport Tower

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Well, I managed a Friday post. On time, finally.  Today’s photo was taken yesterday, so I’m not quite back on my usual cycle. Maybe this weekend I can find something for next Friday and get back to a regular schedule.

Newport Tower, as it is most commonly known, is a rather cryptic stone structure located in a park in an old neighborhood on a hill above the touristy downtown on the island of of Newport, Rhode Island.  The most common explanation is that it was once the base of a windmill constructed in the late 1600’s. But documentation for this is lacking, although supporting evidence becomes more conclusive with every year. But because of the lack of certainty, a plethora of alternative theories exist, covering the usual bases for old stone structures in New England, plus one I hadn’t heard before.

Carbon dating of the oldest mortar in the structure puts its construction at sometime in the 1600’s. An archaeological dig turned up no pre-colonial artifacts.  And Governor Benedict Arnold (not the famous one, but his great-grandfather) referred to “my stone mill” in his will. However the will was written in 1677 and he died in 1678, and the date suggested by the most recent carbon dating is around 1680. Arnold had lived there since 1651 (the island was settled in 1638), and owned the land it was on, so he could have built it if that date is slightly on the high side. Or someone else could have built it earlier in the century.

The form of the structure is an odd one, but multi-legged stone structures like this were used for windmills and one was located where Arnold might have seen it in England as a young man. The hill it’s on is a good location for wind, as well.

But none of that is conclusive. And so alternative theories (with little or no basis in fact) exist linking to a variety of others. Some of these suggest Arnold found it and made it into a windmill, and cite the placement of its windows as evidence that it was some kind of observatory.

The most popular of the alternative theories seems to be that it was built by the Norse as part of their Vinland colony. Apparently Vikings and towers go together, an odd coupling considering that they are best known for sailing ships and raiding coastal settlements, not fort-building. But logic and the Vinland theorists were rarely close friends.

It’s also been linked to refugees of the Knights Templar (a common “Europeans were here before Columbus” trope), and a recent variant of this suggests it was built in the 1700’s by Freemasons.

Also in for an honorable mention is a theory linking it to the Chinese admiral Zheng He, who was a great explorer in the early 1400’s, but probably not that great. I think that’s the first “the Chinese were here first” theory I’ve heard for New England (they sometimes get credit for discovering America’s west coast, and that’s a bit more credible, linked to a Chinese missionary in 499 AD). The supposed evidence for Zheng He traveling beyond the east coast of Africa is not very credible (words like “hoax” and “forgery” are often applied to it) so I won’t link to any of the proponents; you can google it if you like.

Whatever it was, the land on which the structure is located is now a nice little park, thanks to philanthropist Judah Touro (for whom the park is named) who bought the land and gave it to the town to preserve it from development. Touro was a successful businessman who lived frugally, and gave away much of what he’d earned. His will alone left the equivalent of $9 million to various causes, but he’d probably given away even more over the course of his life.

The statue seen here is unrelated to any of the above, commemorating the fact that Newport was the birthplace of the influential Unitarian preacher and theologian, William Ellery Channing. The statue faces a church named for him located across the street (a beautiful stone structure in its own right).

I like this photo primarily for the structure. The composition isn’t bad, but the statue doesn’t really add anything. Photographing from the right of the statue did allow for a better composition (more open space beside the tower, but the tower itself was mostly in shadow so the result didn’t look very good. I think I’d need to plan an early morning trip to get a better composition.

This image is an HDR, made as usual from a bracket of five exposures. The bracket was centered at 1/125th-second, with ISO 400, f/11 and the lens at 45 mm. The circular polarizing filter was used. I cropped it down to eliminate some foreground grass and a shrub on the left. In the HDR software I dropped exposure and boosted contrast and saturation, using the default image with no preset. I also shifted the color slightly to yellow, because as usual it was coming out too blue. Back in C1, I did the usual sharpening before export.

Abandoned Sentinel

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Well, again I have to apologize for missing a week. Unfortunately my weekends have been busy of late, and my hiking has suffered, leading to a lack of photos.  I’ll try to do better.

This weekend’s hike was familiar ground. I was back at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, Mass. This is a former munitions depot, with the old rail lines mostly paved and converted to bike paths. The old buildings were torn down and the rubble buried, but you can still find some interesting structures alongside the trails.

I wasn’t expecting anything special. Today’s hike was a short one, over trails I’ve covered before, more for the exercise than any expectation of finding something interesting. However I too a wrong turn, and ended up on a trail I hadn’t walked before, and found this.

It’s probably out of service, although it’s close enough to the main park road that there might still be an active water main below. But it’s clearly no longer being maintained, or the paint would have been refreshed at some point.

But there it stands, like many other things of the former base, abandoned because the cost of removal wasn’t worth the bother. Now it’s just a slowly rusting reminder that this hasn’t always been a wilderness. Most people biking along the trail won’t even notice it, it blends in with the leaves and trees so well.

I like this because it’s another of those seemingly misplaced relics one finds in the woods of New England. Perhaps more modern than a stone foundation or an old well, but a similar testament to how our use of the land has changed over time.

This image is another HDR, made from a bracket of five photos taken at ISO 3200 (it was dim under the trees), at f/11, with the bracket centered at 1/125th-second exposure.  I did not use the circular polarizer. In fact, it was so dim I had to turn off the auto-focus, because it kept getting confused (and modern DSLRs viewfinders lack the support for manual focus that an older camera would have, so that’s always something of a challenge).  In the HDR software, I took the Deep 2 present, and except for backing off contrast to 0 (the preset reduced it for some reason) I didn’t have to make any changes.  Back in C1, I did sharpen the image slightly, but not by much.

Echo Bridge

Echo Bridge

Somehow, in all my reading about the early Boston water supply system, I managed to miss this amazing bridge.  It’s Echo Bridge, and the boxy brick structure atop it carries the Sudbury Aqueduct over the Charles River in Newton Upper Falls, Mass. The structure is located in the scenic Hemlock Gorge Reservation, a small spot of nature in an otherwise heavily-developed inner suburban town.

The Sudbury Aqueduct, and this bridge, was constructed in 1878 under the auspices of the Boston Water Board as part of their expansion of Boston’s water supply using reservoirs in Sudbury and  adjacent towns (it would appear to be the second phase of an activity that began with the Chestnut Hill reservoir a few years earlier, under the earlier Cochituate Water Board). This was Boston’s second aqueduct, and it continued in service when the Wachusett Reservoir was added to the system in the early 1900’s.  It was bypassed when the Hultman Aqueduct was opened in 1940, but remained in regular use until 1978, when it was relegated to emergency backup status; a function it still provides, and in fact it was activated in 2010 when a “new” pipe broke seven years after construction of the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel, the newest Boston aqueduct.

The bridge appears to be a concrete and masonry structure, with the smaller overland arches on the east end made entirely of masonry, but the main 130′ (40m) arch over the river having a concrete underside. The smooth arch makes for very good echos, which gives the bridge its name, and the platform seen at the base is there for exactly that reason.

The bridge has also been a pedestrian bridge since its inception, and the land around it a park since shortly after the bridge was built. The old cast-iron railings are showing their age, and had to be reinforced with ugly semi-permanent chain-link fencing a few years ago, but from a distance those are hardly visible.  The view from the top is quite good, overlooking both the placid river and an upstream dam and old mill building turned shopping mall (which looks better than it would sound from that characterization). You can find it just south from the first exit off route 9, east of I-95, although the larger parking area is on the far side, off Hamilton Place, and you need to circle around to get to it.

Alphonse Fteley, Resident Engineer for the aqueduct project oversaw construction of the bridge (he’s sometimes listed as chief engineer, but his title in a commission report is resident engineer). Fteley was a French engineer, who went on to work for the New York City water department (he has a short street in the Bronx named after him; the Smithsonian has a short biography of him in the description of a water-flow meter he invented).

I like this photo for the structure, and the way it fits into the landscape. The stone of which it is built is similar in color to the granite ledges along the river (not the yellowish concrete at the base of the arch, but note the stone on the far right of the picture).

This image is an HDR, from a set of five exposures centered at 1/100th-second, with ISO 800, f/11, and with the lens wide at 28 mm. It was taken with the circular polarizing filter on, but I don’t think that had much effect (if may have helped add definition in the clouds). I had to adjust white balance, as all the green had thrown off the camera and it came out too yellow.  In the HDR software, I took the Default preset, boosting contrast and saturation (the usual things you need to boost for a RAW), and making adjustments to Exposure and Highlights, as well as adding a 0.5 stop neutral-density software filter to the upper portion of the image, to help bring out the sky while giving the riverbanks a more correct dimmer appearance. Back in C1, I cropped the image slightly to remove part of the bank I was standing on, but left the original framing largely unchanged (I tried a couple of other crops to adjust framing, and decided that I preferred the way I’d done it in-camera).

Sunset on Stone

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My apologies for the lack of a post last week.  A longer-than-expected computer upgrade left my photo library inaccessible last weekend (and me too busy to take photos). That’s all done now, but I wanted to use a new image for this week if I could, rather than digging into the archives. This weekend started out rainy and overcast, but Sunday afternoon cleared up, and I was able to take this picture.

It’s a little more planned than usual. I thought I’d see if I could find a vantage to photograph the Old Stone Church by Wachusett Reservoir from the other side of the water, and found a path open for hikers that gave me a good view.  It was a good distance away, and perhaps I should have used my longer lens and tripod. But I was going to have to crop it anyway to get a good framing, since there was so much foreground water.  So I used the usual 24 – 105 mm lens all the way out, and then cropped that.

I also spent some time waiting for the light to be right.  The sun was low, and the clouds overhead were still thick, but intermittent, so the sun poked through.  I wanted to catch the church lit, with the distant hills in darkness for contrast, so I waited a bit (and took some other photos, that don’t look nearly as good).  Eventually my patience was rewarded.

I’ve photographed this building before, but closer and from the causeway you can see to the right of the church. For more about the structure, see the earlier image. But the gist of it is that this church was abandoned when the reservoir was built and the town moved out of the now-drowned valley to the opposite bank.  Today it’s just an empty shell, now owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which also owns the reservoir and adjacent lands.

I like this photo, but not as much as I’d hoped. The angle was just what I wanted, showing the front door at the base of the steeple. The sun caught the church just right, lighting the land near the causeway, but not the distant hills. But it also lit the electrical wires behind the causeway, making them stand out more. The vertical line of the radio tower is also more obvious than I’d expected it to be.  If I did this again, I’d probably move further down the bank to gain more separation between the church and the radio mast. And maybe see if I could catch some light that didn’t hit the wires, which are actually fairly distant from the church.

This image is an HDR, made from my usual bracket of five photos at 1 EV offsets. The bracket was centered at 1/160th-second exposure, with ISO 800, f/11 and the lens at 102 mm. In the HDR software I took the Balanced preset, dropping the exposure (the software had over-compensated for the mostly-dark water and clouds), and shifted the overly-blue colors towards yellow. I also made a few more adjustments to remove some of the “improvements” made by the preset, boosting highlights and contrast, and reducing the Blacks setting (which lightens shadows).  Back in C1, I sharpened it slightly, although there’s little visible impact from that. And, as noted above, I cropped the image to remove foreground water and better frame the church.