Tag : Somerville

28 Jul 2019

Fun at night in Somerville

Last night I did another version of a fun workshop, night photography. I love shooting at night, you can do it any night, it really doesn’t matter what the weather is as long as you aren’t doing astrophotography. And since New Jersey isn’t the best place to be for photographing stars I go for other things when in N.J.

I took the group to Somerville where I did some light painting and showed them the tricks of long exposures. Photographing car lights as they streak past during a long exposure is a lot of fun and crazy things happen. There are a lot of people on the street in Somerville on a Saturday night and they are a curious bunch when they see a lot of photographers lined up with tripods. It is fun telling them I’m waiting for Beyonce, which always brings on more questions. I’m not lying…

We light painted several buildings and the public fountain near the historic courthouse. Light painting is a fun technique where a flash light is used to illuminate objects. We also we went over to a dark railroad overpass and to a cemetery where I did the light painting and didn’t make any images. 

29 Sep 2018

Looking around The Ville at night

Last night I held a night photography workshop in Somerville, NJ. It is always a lot of fun to see how my hometown looks after dark. We started in a cemetery that has some large but rather eerie monuments. I tend to hang out in cemeteries probably more than I should and I’m always amazed by the tributes that have been built to the dead. At least they make for fun photographs. We got there before it was pitch dark so there would still be some light in the sky. For the first shot we were lucky to be aimed toward the Big Dipper, which were about the only stars visible since there is so much light pollution in New Jersey.

One of the things I love to do at night is light painting: using a flashlight to illuminate dark objects. A cemetery is a perfect place to do it since few are lit at night. It gives me lots of control over the light. We could see a highway behind the second monument we shot, which give us cool red lights streaking past plus I caught an airplane flying past.

After we got out of the cemetery alive we went to downtown Somerville and did lots of fun long exposure shots. There is a monument/fountain on the courthouse square that is pretty dark on one side so I did some light painting on it and we shot from the side so we could see the old Somerset Hotel and a new building going up that has lots of light on it. The Somerset Hotel sign on the roof isn’t lit so I brightened it up also with my flashlight. We also played with some long exposure tricks, like spinning the camera while photographing neon signs. It is a lot of fun.

We finished the night on Division St., a pedestrian mall that has lots of things going on. I had fun with some colorful tables and chairs in front of a restaurant that had funky colored lights. It looks do different at night, which was the whole purpose of the workshop.

29 Oct 2013

Hippee Halloween dog

halloween_dog13Tonight was the annual Halloween costume contest at The Hungry Hound where dogs put up with their owners desire to make them look funny. Some dogs handle it better than others, wearing a wig and a hat isn’t something that comes natural to many pooches. My favorite of the evening, and the official winner, was Gia, dressed like a funky hippee from the ’60s. Gia was far out and groovy and matched the look of her handlers. She also was good at posing in the studio. There are more photos over on The Hungry Hound’s Facebook page.

27 May 2013

Honoring our veterans

I was lucky in being born at the right time that I missed being drafted by a little over a year. But I take the time to thank veterans whenever I can, especially on their day. I like to photograph the Somerville Memorial Day parade, it is a nice little parade with veterans, scouts, fire trucks and ambulances. It is always worth checking out.

02 Jul 2012

Moonrise over Somerville

Tommorow will be a full moon, but tonight it looks great.

One of the most famous photos by Ansel Adams is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico from 1941. Ever since photographers have tried to shoot a better moonrise picture but it still hasn’t been done. I gave it a shot tonight but somehow the back side of a building in Somerville, NJ, doesn’t compare to the landscape in New Mexico. But still, I like the color and warmth of the photo.

There are two moon facts that I know: a full moon always rises at sunset, and when photographing the moon, a proper exposure is the same as on earth at noon. I have found that the day before a full moon can be the best day to shoot the moon since the moon rises about an hour before sunset and there is still some light on buildings and things while a nearly full moon is visible. It makes it easier to balance the exposure of the foreground and the moon, so the moon isn’t just a white blob.

12 May 2012

The classics cars return to Somerville

A classic grill.

Each Friday night during the summer classic cars show up on Somerville, NJ’s, Main St. and take over the town. There isn’t just a few, the town is packed with old cars as hundreds show up.

With the cars come the spectators and the photographers. Lots of pictures are taken and many look the same.

I grew up in northern Indiana, a few miles from Auburn where they built Duesenbergs, Auburns and Cords until the great depression wiped them out. Duesenbergs may have been the best cars ever built. After all “it’s a doosey!” They were custom made and only the super-rich could afford them. They cruised at around 140 mph with their huge turbo-charged engines. Each year on Labor Day the cars return to Auburn for a grand weekend.

The gathering in Somerville isn’t the Auburn festival, all the cars in Somerville don’t cost as much as a Dusenberg, the most expensive being a 1931 that sold for $10.3 million last year. But the cars are fun to photograph and tonight I focused on the grills and details of the old cars. Today’s cars just don’t have the design and intricacies of the classics.

See more photos at SomervilleToday.com

15 Aug 2011

When it rains, time to head for the brook

 (Loren Fisher)

Rain pours on leaves and vines along Peter's Brook in Somerville, NJ. Click on the photo to buy a print.

When I was a kid and it started to rain, I’d run outside and wait for the water to roll down the street. We lived at the bottom of a small hill and in our little town there weren’t any curbs or storm drains. So when the rain began, I’d run out in the street and start moving dirt to make a dam to capture the water as it started flowing down the hill. When you’re a kid in a town of 300 people, you have to work hard to find entertainment. But it gave me an enjoyment for rain.

Today was about as rainy a day as they come. It rained hard all night, waking me up several times. After sitting around for a while, I decided to put on some old boots, grab my raincoat and umbrella and head out in the rain.

I put my macro on, stuck the camera under my raincoat and swung my tripod over my shoulder and walked over to a local park along Peter’s Brook. The rain was coming down pretty steady, so I sat under the umbrella by the broke, which was running fast after all the rain.

I tried some shots of leaves overlapping each other. The wind and long exposures made the images blurry so I moved father down the brook. I saw some fine yellow vine wrapping around some large leaves at the edge of the brook. A couple of the leaves were bright red.

I really liked the way the rain made the green, yellow and red colors shine.

As I was walking back home, I saw a large sycamore leaf laying in the grass. It looked like a leaf in October not what I usually see in August. It was fun to see all the color this time of year, so I wrestled with my umbrella to keep the camera dry and shot a bunch of close-up shots to show the detail of the color and the leaf’s veins.

By the time I got home, I was pretty much soaked. But I kept my camera under my rain coat and an extra lens in a plastic bag, so they were dry.

 (Loren Fisher)

A sycamore leaf changed color in August this year. Click on the photo to buy a print.


30 May 2011

Tour of Somerville is always a challenge to get a different photo

I’ve photographed the Tour of Somerville since 1988, when it was the hottest day ever at the bicycle race. At least it was the hottest I’ve seen. Fellow photographer Dean Curtis and I thought we would kick everyone’s ass even though neither of us had every photographed bicycle racing before. We had tons of photos, many of them good and we had a great plan for covering the winner crossing the line. Dean was one side of the street and I was on the other. We both had long lenses and got way back down the street so we would have the sign and the winner crossing as the pack was right behind. What we didn’t know was that the winner had broken away from the pack and flying up the side of the street. We both were watching the middle of the street and neither one of us got the shot. We did learn from it though.

This year was pretty hot too. I was shooting for Middle Earth, the non-profit agency that helps kids and does most of the work to put on the race. Having photographed the race so many times, I’m always challenging myself to get a different shot. One year I shot most of the race with a 4X5 camera. Interesting, but I only needed to do that once. I always like when the 100+ riders line up for the start of the pro race. There are lots of faces, some tense, some relaxed but they are always rearing to go. I thought it would be nice to get a high angle on the riders and have the big banner that goes across the street. So I put my camera on the end of my monopod with a 16mm lens and did a Hail Mary shot from about 11 feet high. It would be fun to get that shot while they are riding away, but the riders would be happy to run me over.

12 Sep 2010

What’s good: A pooch in the rain

A dog waits for a ride in the kayak.

I always enjoy a dog with his head hanging out a car window. This pooch was ready for a ride in the kayak.

06 Sep 2010

What’s good: The woodpecker and the apple

A woodpecker works on an apple.

We were having a lovely dinner on the deck at my sister-in-law Penny’s house when she noticed a woodpecker pounding away on an apple. The bird pecked away about a quarter of the fruit without it falling off the tree. We couldn’t tell if he had a thing for apples or was after worms and bugs inside. Either way, the apple won’t become cider now.

05 Sep 2010

What’s good: Pigeons on a roof at sunset

Pigeons sit on a Main Street Somerville, NJ, building as the sun  gets low in the sky. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Pigeons sit on a Main Street Somerville, NJ, building as the sun gets low in the sky.

I took a little stroll around downtown Somerville, NJ, this evening just before sunset. I like walking through alleys and see the back side of things, especially when the light is hitting everything at a low angle. I saw pigeons lined up on a roof, so I walked up the street to see if they would make a shot. The pigeons weren’t too exciting but I liked the way the light hit the yellow building as the pigeons sat on the edge of the roof.

30 Aug 2010

What’s good: A cat in the glow

A cat strolls past the historic Somerset County courthouse

I went to the Somerset County courthouse in Somerville tonight after the sun went down. The historic courthouse has great architecture, it was built in 1909 with lots of marble. There’s a walkway under the main steps to the second floor that has an arch. The lights in the walkway have a yellow tint and it catches my eye every time I drive. I was hoping a person would slowly walk through the arch but there isn’t much foot traffic in the evening. I stood there for a while and cat made its way up a sidewalk to the arch, stopped to pose long enough for me to take two shots and then it moved on.

28 Aug 2010

What’s good: Morning shadows

The morning sun casts a shadow across new apartment construction in downtown Somerville, NJ (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The morning sun casts a shadow across new apartment construction in downtown Somerville, NJ

At sunrise today, I went to downtown Somerville and cruised through some alleys to see if there was anything interesting on the back side of Main Street. I always like the shadows cast by the low sun and morning light is usually cleaner than in the evening. They are building some new apartments above existing stores and I noticed the long ladder leaning against the building. I went past it when the sun was first hitting the building and it didn’t look too exciting. I came back 15 minutes later and I liked what I saw.

20 Aug 2010

What’s good: Friday night cruising

Cars cruise down Main Street in Somerville, NJ, during the weekly Friday night cruise night. The gathering of classic cars is one of the largest weekly events in the northeast. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Cars cruise down Main Street in Somerville, NJ, during the weekly Friday night cruise night. The gathering of classic cars is one of the largest weekly car events in the northeast.

Friday nights in Somerville, NJ, mean the classic come out and park along Main Street. If you like old cars and the smell of Brylcreem, this is the place to be every week.

06 Aug 2010

What’s good: Cars cruise to downtown Somerville

An American flag glows in the setting sun during Classic Cruisers night in Somerville, NJ (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

An American flag glows in the setting sun during Classic Cruisers night in Somerville, NJ

Every Friday night in downtown Somerville, Main Street is lined with classic cars. It attracts a lot of people most weeks, which is good for the ice cream places and pizza joints. The crowd doesn’t do much shopping in the stores, so most of the stores don’t even open anymore. Many of the merchants say they actually lose business on Fridays because the cars start parking at 3 p.m. leaving the customers no place to park. The cars look cool and always make for good photos.