It has been very dry in Chester County for a while now, and when it did rain last night, I had thoughts of where to find some water to finally take pictures of in the area.
Early in the morning, I put my photography gear in the car, along with drinks and snacks and I was off.
By the time I finished my quick errands around town, it was overcast, 85°F+ with slightly high humidity, and I knew I really wanted to play with my new 10-stop neutral density filter, and I knew my first stop.
The Downingtown Dam, which is just west of the center of town, along Rt. 282/Creek Road was my first stop.
I parked in the little spot near the road, packed up my vest, grabbed my tripod, and was off along the little path through the woods.
Tech Note – The Downingtown Dam image is a HDR collection of (3) three images taken at 180 sec, 120 sec and 60 sec (f22 ISO100), combined in Photoshop, with Tone Mapping done with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.
I had been there a day or two earlier with my kids, when we took advantage of the swimming area just above the damn, and I also knew I could get a good measurement of what to expect further up-stream for possible later shoots.
The water level was definitely higher, my guest 2-3 inches, and most of the concrete on the damn was cover, with places blocked by small branches.
On the downside of the damn, it was still easy to cross the river with all the bare rocks still visible, and I quickly situated myself on the one large concrete slab near the middle.
As I setup, and looked around, I knew I was not going to get much, but I pushed on with the session.
During my time, I did finally get an exposure into the 4 minute range with the sun nearly right over head, but still not slow enough for somethings I want to do.
After about 45 minutes of shooting, I headed back to the car, and headed further upstream.
I stopped at several more places along Creek Road, checking the water levels. On several occasions, I had to deliberate, if it was worth the walk through thick poison ivy and oak, for a mediocre shoot.
When I reached the west side of Glenmoore, I turned around, and headed back on a GPS drive to my next adventure.
Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge
I first photographed the Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge back in 2010, and lately, I have been reviewing my images, with a desire to try again.
In Chester County, there are many wonderful, scenic roads, and Pughtown Road, off of Rt 100 (Pottstown Pike) is one of them, and along the way, one will find Hollow Road, on which Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge can be found. The best place to park, in the little area on French Creek Road.
Tech Note – A series of (5) shots ranging from 1/15th to 1 second (f25 ISO100), combined in Photoshop, with Tone Mapping done with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.
Once again, I got my vest and tripod out, and headed down one of the little paths that lead to the downstream side of the bridge.
I waded into the water, and took some more documentary style images, looking upstream, and then headed back to capture some more interior shoots.
Eventually, I crossed the bridge, took some more shoots and headed back, and as I did, I turned, and saw this view. The traffic was lite, so doing the required multiple exposures for HDR work was easy, and then I was done for this session.
Rapps Dam Covered Bridge
Rapps Dam Covered Bridge in Phoenixville was another bridge that I photographed back in 2010, and since that time, Rapps has been restored, and I finally got a chance to visit to see the new construction!
Tech Note – The Underneath shoot was another series of (7) HDR shoots, taken between 1 second and 60 seconds at f22 ISO100. Combined in Photoshop and tweaked with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.
When one is walking near the bridge, you can still smell the fresh new wood, combined with a pitch smell as you walk underneath.
Tech Note – The Underneath shoot was another series of (6) HDR shoots, taken between 8 seconds and 180 seconds at f22 ISO100. Combined in Photoshop and tweaked with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.
It is very easy to see that the renovations that started on January 17 2011, were a success when the bridge reopened on Monday, November 21, 2011.
PennDOT took 10 months to replace the 4 steel support beams, remove and replace the cedar roof and redwood timber and siding, along the 106-foot span. The project cost $1,527,257, which was paid for by state funds, and was managed by Bi-State Construction of Easton, PA. The last time the bridge was reconstructed was in 1978.
2014 April 29
Apparently, an 18-wheeler decided to take on Rapps Dam… Guess who won…