The Hill is a little gem of a neighborhood tucked away in the northern tier of Portsmouth. It’s old structures stand out among its newer brick skinned peers surrounding it, ensuring that some old Portsmouth charm remains as this area continues to evolve and take on a new feeling. The Blue Mermaid stands out in its blue clapboard clad building…I’ve always loved the color of the restaurant.
My favorite lens, responsible for probably 90% of all photos since last December when I bought it, is the Carl Zeiss 21mm. My major problem with it for shooting landscapes was that I couldn’t experiment with one of my favorite types of photography – long exposures – because the filter thread was so wide at 82mm. To perform a long exposure (2+ minutes), you need to have a 10-stop neutral density filter, which looks like a piece of black glass, to reduce the light that reaches the sensor. I finally realized I could use a Lee Filter Kit to screw onto the 82mm thread, and use their square filters on not only this lens – but on all the lenses in my arsenal…but the problem was, due to the earthquake in Japan, everything seemed to be in ridiculously short supply (until this week!).
What better subject than the Memorial Bridge to break in the new toys! Despite the moody, cloudy and colorless sky, I was excited to see this shot – remarkable clarity and crispness throughout the frame – just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s a view not seen very often – condos and a roofline, with the Memorial Bridge looming large in the background. The shot was taken from one of the guest rooms of the Ale House Inn, which has a unique vantage point of the bridge as it lifts. Chances are – you’re used to seeing water beneath the bridge, and appreciate seeing the bridge as a crucial element in transportation. From this angle – it almost becomes more of a sculpture, without any direct indication of what is going on beneath the roofline. This scene will be very different in a matter of months – with the lift span being removed sometime in early 2012 and the rest of the bridge coming down soon after.
A new freighter has been in port for the last few days. The empty sand and salt depot is now a distant memory, and it’s chock full of materials ready to head throughout New England. The HERON from Nassau is a very cool looking ship – you might not know it from this angle, but it has two huge structures on its deck that look like cages – compared to the freighters I’m more used to seeing, which have their own cranes on their decks. I’ll feature a few more shots later this week so you can have a glimpse of what makes this ship a bit different. I loved the late day light on the ship’s hull and the closeup of the upper decks.
One of my favorite things about the changing seasons is the range in temperatures that I always seem to forget about. Now that the fall is here…the morning temperatures can get quite chilly…which brings with it some rich morning light and fog. Here’s a nice scene from my stairwell.
This old structure has a nice perch over the Piscataqua and a first class view of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The Sheafe Warehouse was constructed in Portsmouth’s shipping heyday back when sailing was the predominant way to travel. They do an excellent job of keeping the structure in good repair, and each year they have an art opening inside that is pretty cool and rustic. The commercial fish pier is in the background, and looks like it is going to be gobbled by the structure and its reflection.
One of the staples of the Portsmouth dining scene is the little dining cart known as Gilley’s. It’s easily recognized as the best place for greasy and delicious late night food, and the charm of the interior is unbelievable and authentic. Stepping inside is like being transported back in time. My favorite parts were the old school stools and the galley style setup of the whole place.
Timing is everything. On my way home, I wanted to see if I could get a glimpse of the sunlight poking through the clouds over the waterfront. It wasn’t meant to be, but I decided to drive under the Memorial Bridge anyway. It was then when I realized the sirens were going off, and the lift span was about to rise…but I couldn’t see any river traffic so I figured it was a routine lift. After a minute or two, this vessel made its way up the river towards the bridge – so I ran onto the deck and watched as it cruised underneath, making its way further up the Piscataqua. I decided to go with an antique look given the nature of the bridge, which has an antique feel and will soon become an ancient relic.
The little section of Prescott Park where the fountains are hidden is full of vibrant flowers and wizened trees. Each of these trees has a ridiculous amount of personality, and everytime I walk through this little nook near the waterfront I find myself checking out something new. It’s nice to still have so much color and the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, before winter starts to take hold on the seacoast.
Shadows and light accentuate the lines of the walkway on the Memorial Bridge. I’m not sure when the middle lift span will be removed and the bridge will officially meet its demise, but I’ve been sure to capitalize on all of the access that pedestrians still have. The personality of the worn out bridge is evident under the rich blue sky.