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Across the River to the Red Mill

Across the River to the Red Mill

Nestled along the banks of the Raritan River, the Red Mill is one of the 20 most photographed landmarks in America. The original structure was built in 1812 to process wool. Over the years the Mill has been used for grist milling, plaster and talc grinding, graphite processing and peach basket production.

I "discovered" the Mill by accident this past fall. A Neotropic Cormorant had taken up residence upstream, and I went to see it. I was enthralled by the Mill and the surrounding quaint town of Clinton. Returning with my father and Cindy, I captured a lower river vantage point view of the iconic structure. However, will bare trees in the background I knew that the picture would feel incomplete and that I would need to return. I finally got the opportunity last week.

We spend a couple of hours in the area, looking at the Mill from different vantage points and trying to find unique ways to show off her beauty.

Photographing iconic sites is a challenge. In my classes, I encourage students to study existing images and then find something or someway new and different to do their shoots. A change in perspective or angle, a different processing choice, use of creative filters, anything to make their picture their own.

This was shot directly across the waterfall. It was not a simple shot to capture as there is a very tall cement wall between the river and the patio on this bank. I needed to climb to the top and balance my tripod precariously, with feet extended wide, on the wall. The tips of the feet hung off the sides. I often wonder while in these positions about the cost of replacing my kit should the whole thing go over the edge. Not able to get behind the camera, I had to shimmy up next to it and crane my neck around to see the live view. I think the effort was worth it.

This is a seven exposure HDR image. I go back and forth on my feelings about HDR, but I believe in this image it was the correct decision.

I hope you enjoy.