Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Norwich State Hospital II

Norwich/Preston,  CT

This building is across the street from the building pictured in yesterday's post.  Due to the high surveillance and security around this property,  I'm limited to photograph only those structures I can see from the main road.  I hope those who are responsible for the development of this property have arranged for some sort of photo-documentation before these buildings are lost.  I would love to spend a day or two walking and photographing this property.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Norwich State Hospital

Preston, CT

At one time the Norwich State Hospital encompassed 900 acres and over 30 buildings.  The site is located on the banks of the Thames River right on the border of the City of Norwich and the town of Preston.  Although primarily used as a mental health facility, it also housed geriatric patients and patients with tuberculosis between the years of 1904 and 1996.  Part of the property, was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1988.  Since its closure,  the property has fell into dis-repair as the state, Norwich and Preston have struggled with finding a developer for the property.  There have been a number of proposals made, but for one reason or another, none of the proposals ever came to fruition.  The town of Preston has spent millions in clean-up and is currently marketing the property for mixed-use development, but have yet to find a buyer.  Meanwhile, a number of the buildings have been demolished.  This is one of the many that remain, although I'm not sure for how much longer.  The property is fenced off, heavily patrolled and under constant surveillance which doesn't allow for too many up-close photo opportunities to capture these fine old structures.  I posted another view of this property earlier this year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Norwich, CT

The factory pictured here was once the largest employer in Norwich.  They produced a particular consumer item here from 1913 up until 1984, when operations were moved to Illinois.  The items are still produced today and a hint to the product can be found by close examination of the brickwork in this building.  That's all the hints I'll give.  I leave it up to my followers to guess what was produced here.  Feel free to venture a guess in the comments section.  Thanks for looking! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Norwich City Hall

Norwich, CT

The city of Norwich was once considered to be the "rose of New England" and even today it is referred to as "The Rose City".   The city hall is probably the prettiest city hall I have seen.  It looks very impressive sitting atop a hill overlooking the downtown area of the city. The "town hall" was built in 1870 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.  The small arch in front contains the first bell cast to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  It is said that bells all throughout Norwich rang for a full hour when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lieutenant River Reflections

Old Lyme, CT

The Lieutenant River is a 3.7 mile long tidal river that flows into the Connecticut River just a little upstream of where the Connecticut River flows into Long Island Sound.  The river is a popular area for artists, photographers and fishermen.  A number of noted American impressionist artists made this area their home, staying at the Florence Griswold house a few miles from where this photograph was taken.  I'm linking this to Weekend Reflections, hosted by James.  Enjoy the last weekend of 2013 and have a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Norwich, CT

Three rivers flow into this harbor in Norwich, the Shetucket, Yantic and Quinebaug, forming the Thames River which flows south from here into Long Island Sound.  The city was once very prosperous relying heavily on the textile industry.  A number of the old textile mills survive, but in various states of repair as is typical throughout New England.  The city's most (in)famous citizen was Benedict Arnold who was born here.  His mother is buried here in the Norwichtown Burying Grounds.  Some of the large houses standing today throughout the city serve as a reminder of the once prosperous past.  The downtown area, pictured here across the harbor,  is an interesting mix of older buildings, some of which have been restored, as well as some newer buildings.  Today I feel the city is struggling in trying to re-capture the prosperity it once knew.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Niantic

Niantic, CT

We had a stretch of warm weather this week and all the snow that was here has melted.  There will be no white Christmas here this year.  This scene would've been much prettier with a little snow.  Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate, and Happy Holidays to those who observe their own holiday traditions.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thomas G Faria Corp.

Montville, CT

It's nice to see some of the old mills and manufacturing sites still in use.  I found this site during on one of my travels and after a little bit of research discovered that this company started out making tachometers and now provide a whole line of analog and digital gauges for both the marine and automotive industry.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Montivlle, CT

I'm not sure exactly what goes on at this particular complex.  It does look pretty impressive though.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

This Old House

I have driven by this house many times and finally decided I should stop and photograph it, for I'm not sure how much longer it will be here.  It's located on a busy Connecticut route surrounded by many much more affluent properties.  It looks out of place.  Recently I noticed a realtor's sign posted out front, so the property is for sale.  I'm not sure anyone would be interested in the house since it is such dis-repair.

I'm reminded of the song "This Old House", written by Stuart Hamblen in 1954 and recorded by such artists as Rosemary Clooney,  Willie Nelson, The Statler Brothers and most recently by Bette Midler, amongst other recording artists.   The lyrics seem appropriate for this house.

This ole house once knew his children
This ole house once knew his wife
This ole house was home and comfort
As they fought the storms of life
This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now he trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin' walks about
Words and Music by Stuart Hamblen,
Copyright © 1954 Hamblen Music Co.

East Lyme, CT

Friday, December 20, 2013

Seaport Reflections

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Yes, that is a Christmas Tree atop the mast.  Thank you for looking and if you like reflections check out Weekend Reflections.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Evening Reflection

Mystic, CT

Winter has come early to Connecticut, as well as some other places across the US.  So far we've been spared the snow and ice of the first winter storms of the season, but the temperature has been well below normal this past week and we're expecting a bad storm this weekend.  The early setting sun behind these evening clouds made for this rather chilly reflection.  I'm linking this to Weekend Reflections where you can find many more reflections, hopefully much warmer than this one.  Have a nice weekend and thanks for looking.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


East Hartford

Fellow Connecticut Blogger, Jack, who writes the blog "Naples and Hartford in Season" commented on the photo I posted yesterday of downtown Hartford.  Since he's very familiar with the Hartford area,  he knew exactly from where I took that picture.  He also knows what I learned from this sign.  It's a good thing I didn't park there too long...... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rentshcler Field

East Hartford, CT

I actually had to do some work during the game, so I didn't want to bring in my D90.  I'm sure I could've produced this image with the D90, a good tripod and much post processing, stitching and image editing afterwards.  But, as they say, the best camera in the world, is the one you have with you, so this image was taken with my iPhone 4s using the pano feature of the camera.  Not too bad, if I do say so.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Game Day

East Hartford, CT

I'm not a big fan of UCONN football, but I did attend their last game of the season yesterday.  Temperatures didn't get out of the 30's during the game.  That's real football weather.  Although UCONN had a disappointing 3-9 season, they did end on a high note, winning their last 3 games, including yesterday's 45-10 win over the Memphis Tigers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Snow

Somewhere Along I-80 in Pennsylvania

We've had some snow flurries in Connecticut, but no real accumulation of snow yet, at least not in the area where I live.  Pretty soon however I won't have to travel to Pennsylvania to see scenes like this one.  It's only a matter of time.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black and White Exercise II

Here's another example of my exercise in trying to visualize scenes in black and white.  Again the first picture is the JPG, straight out of the camera with no post processing done.  Looking at it I thought it had possibilities.

The following is the RAW(NEF) picture with some minor curve adjustments made.  I normally optimize the RAW file to my liking before I convert to black and white. 

Finally, here's the final conversion using Nik Software's Silver Fx Pro.

At this point in my learning curve, I'm still not sure exactly what needs to be done to reach my final image in terms of curve adjustments, etc.  Silver Fx Pro allows one to quickly test a number of 'presets' which have various looks and emulate various films.  I normally cycle through the presets and choose one I like.  There's not a lot of thought involved, although there are times when none of the presets give me an image that I like.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black and White Exercise

I follow a number of photography blogs, and one of my favorites is "Working Pictures" by Carl Weese.  Carl has done some amazing work and is an expert in the process of Pt/Pd printing.  Recently he blogged about using his camera to take monochrome pictures and gave some instructions on how to do this.  Basically he set his camera to capture both a JPEG and RAW file for each picture, but would only display the JPEG and his EVF  as a black and white picture which would serve as a reminder to him that he was trying to make black and white pictures.  I thought I'd give this a try with my Nikon D90 to see what I could learn about looking at a color picture that would make it a good picture when converted to black and white.  For the D90, this was pretty easy to do.  I always shoot both JPEG(Fine) and RAW.  I selected Monochrome for Picture Control, which would display only the monochrome JPEG on the LCD screen.  I could then import both the RAW and JPEG into Aperture 3.5 as matched pairs.  Since Aperture can't read the all of the NEF instructions, it imports the JPEG as monochrome but the RAW File as the full color capture. This allowed me to directly compare both the color (RAW) version as well as the monochrome (JPEG), side by side.  Here is an example of what I did on a recent photo shoot.   The first picture is the JPEG, straight from the camera without any post processing.  It caught my eye as having some potential as a good Black and White image.

The next image is the color RAW file, with some of my standard adjustments

The final picture is a black and white conversion of the post-processed color version shown above, using Nik Software Silver Fx Pro to produce what I like as a final black and white image.

I think this is a pretty good exercise, and I plan to post a few more examples in the coming week.  I know that some good photographers actually visualize their images in black and white.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to master that.  This exercise might help me though.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cider Mill Reflections

Old Mystic, CT

I caught this reflection on a very dreary, cloudy, rainy Wednesday on a trip to Clyde's Cider Mill to pick up a supply of apple cider for my family Thanksgiving Dinner.   I'll be linking this to Weekend Reflections where you can see lots of great reflections from all over the world.  

Photography is all about controlling light.  This is something I struggle with as I continue to learn more about photography.  Recently I've been trying to improve my skills using a flash so I've done a lot of reading on the basics of flash photography.  I wondered what would result if I used a flash for the image above.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was surprised with the image using the flash, shown below.  I'm sure those very knowledgeable about flash photography would not have been surprised with the resulting image, but I was surprised.  I really expected to see some reflection, at least from the flash itself, but it appears that the flash illuminated everything behind the glass providing a clear display with no reflections.  I thought it was interesting.  Have a nice weekend, and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Niantic, CT

My pies never look as good as the pies I see in pictures.  Nevertheless, I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.  I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rocky Top Student Center

Hamden, CT

This is the Rocky Top Student Center located on the York Hill Campus of Quinnipiac University.  I thought it had a very unique architecture.  The student center houses a 500 seat dining hall, a fitness center and meeting rooms.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wind Turbines

Hamden, CT

These aren't  the  traditional "windmills" one thinks of that generate power.  These wind turbines generate 32,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.  This is just one of many initiatives of Quinnipiac University that illustrates their commitment to the environment.  I've noticed a number of large three-bladed windmills that have been constructed recently around New England which are more traditional looking.  I'm not sure if the wind turbines pictured here are more efficient or not.  They do look different though.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

The View from York Hill Campus-Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT

Located in Hamden, CT, the York Hill Campus of Quinnipiac University sits atop a pretty high hill which affords quite a view of the surrounding Connecticut countryside. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Edgecomb, ME

Here's another whimsical sculpture on display at Edgecomb Potters.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Don Quixote

Edgecomb, ME

I love the whimsical sculptures on display at Edgecomb Potters.  I found this guy standing guard over the other displays.  He looks like Don Quixote to me.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Edgecomb Potters

Edgecomb, ME

The history of Edgecomb Potters can be found here.  It is a great success story which all started in the red school house shown here.  They are famous for their unique glazes and make a whole line of pottery which needs to be seen to be appreciated.  Other artists also display their work here and at their stores in Freeport and Portland, ME.  Although we have purchased some of Edgecomb Potters pieces in the past, this is the first time we visited the place where it all began.