On the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

According to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation site:

During the 1830s New York City was in dire need of a fresh water supply to combat the steady rise of disease and to fight numerous fires that often engulfed large tracts of businesses and homes. After numerous proposals and an abandoned plan two years into its production, construction of an unprecedented magnitude began in 1837 under the expertise of John Bloomfield Jervis. The proposed plan called for a 41-mile aqueduct and dam to be built in order to run water from the Croton River to New York City. Three to four thousand workers, mostly Irish immigrants earning up to $1.00 per day, completed the masonry marvel in just five years. In 1842 water flowed into above-ground reservoirs located at the present sites of the New York Public Library and the Great Lawn of Central Park. Throngs of people attended the formal celebration held on October 14th and celebrated with “Croton cocktails” – a mix of Croton water and lemonade.

This 19th-century architectural achievement cost New York City approximately 13 million dollars and was believed able to provide New Yorkers with fresh water for centuries to come. The population spiraled upward at a dizzying rate, however, and the Croton Aqueduct, which was capable of carrying 100 million gallons per day, could no longer meet New York City’s needs by the early 1880s. Construction of the New Croton Aqueduct began in 1885 and water began to flow by 1890. Although no longer the sole supplier of fresh water, the Old Croton Aqueduct continued to provide water to New York City until 1965.

In 1968, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation purchased 26.2 miles of the original 41-mile aqueduct from New York City. Presently, Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park is a linear park which runs from Van Cortlandt Park at the Bronx County/City of Yonkers border to the Croton Dam in Cortlandt. In 1987 a section was reopened to supply the Town of Ossining and in 1992 the Old Croton Aqueduct was awarded National Historic Landmark Status. The scenic path over the underground aqueduct winds through urban centers and small communities. It passes near numerous historic sites, preserves, a museum highlighting the construction of the Aqueduct, and many homes. The Aqueduct’s grassy ceiling provides abundant recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. While primarily for walking and running, parts of the trail are suitable for horseback riding, biking (except during “mud season”), bird watching, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Taken back in March, 2011 with a Panasonic Lumix ZS3.

100 Most Inspirational Photography Quotes of All Time

Some great quotes here. Below some of my favorites:

  • To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Edward Weston.
  • The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it! Ansel Adams.
  • There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph. Robert Heinecken.
  • Sharpness is a bourgeois concept. Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  • Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like. David Alan Harvey.
  • You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life. Joan Miro.
  • Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field. Peter Adams.
  • Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. Imogen Cunningham.
  • We don’t learn from our good images; we learn from the ones that can be improved on. Jen Rozenbaum.
  • The best camera is the one you have with you. Chase Jarvis.

Don’t know what came over me again

In an earlier post I mentioned that I’d acquired a Nikon D80, mostly because I wanted to see what it was like to use a Nikon Digital camera. Well – I’ve done it again.

It all started when came across posts like the following:

Kirk Tuck was also waxing lyrical about the benefits of older cameras, although in his case he was referring to Nikon Cameras (See:Just kicking back and enjoying the D700 and a little handful of cheap lenses.)

I’d always fancied having a full frame camera, but the recent generation models just cost more than I wanted to pay. I even took a look at the Nikon D700 and the Canon 5D Mark II (notice that the photographic community now seems to refer to the original 5D as the “Canon 5D Classic) – still too expensive.

So back to the original 5D. I managed to find one at a price that I could tolerate and decided to get it. I had a few Canon EF lenses from film cameras I had acquired earlier and figured that I could use them to see whether or not I liked the camera.

I won’t write a review here. There are lots of them on the web, including the four above. To me the conclusion of the first review above says it all:

Ultimately, it’s my view that if you’re looking for a cheap entrance into the world of full frame DSLRs, you can’t beat the Canon 5D Classic in terms of image quality, lens selection, and catching an outright bargain. The mixture of the beautiful sensor and the film-camera-feel makes it a compelling camera to use. It’s served me rather well over the last couple of years, and I intend to use it until it’s dying day; I really feel as it’s in a class of it’s own. Less really is more, the Canon 5D Classic is a perfect example of this!

I couldn’t agree more. Yes, it has a lower resolution sensor. Yes, its autofocus is primitive. Yes, the lcd is appalling. In many ways it’s rather primitive compared to current generation cameras.

But, and it’s a very big but, there’s something rather wonderful about this camera. Most of the reviews I read point out that it has a very ‘filmic’ feel. I’ll go a bit farther and say that to me this camera has come the closest of any digital camera I’ve tried to giving a film photography feel. The files it produces have a very film like look and the whole shooting experience it more like shooting a film camera than a digital.

I love it! (Although it should said that I don’t do action photography so I don’t need super-sophisticated autofocus (in fact I have trouble understanding all of the autofocus options on my Sony A77II). Nor do I make very large prints. I don’t “chimp” very much. So most of the disadvantages of this camera don’t affect me all that much.

For some pictures taken with this camera see:

A view from Spur Beach.
The last of the fall colors.
Autumn light over the lake.
The last of this year’s rose blooms
Glynwood – Overview
Glynwood – Around the main house
Glynwood – An interesting looking building
Glynwood – Old Farm Buildings
Glynwood – Residences?
Glynwood – Red Barn
Glynwood – Across a meadow
Glynwood – The boat house
Glynwood – A Waterfall
Glynwood – Fall colors

Wedding Anniversary

We generally celebrate our Wedding Anniversary by going into New York City for dinner and a show, and this year was no exception.

We started a little early this year (actually the day before) by going to see a movie: “The Favourite” starring Olivia Coleman; Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Great Movie! With a particularly memorable performance from Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne.

The following day we went down to “The Big Apple”. First we had a very nice dinner at “The Haven Rooftop“, high up over Broadway on top of “The Sanctuary” hotel.

Then on to the play: Waitress, perhaps not the greatest play I’ve ever seen, but still thoroughly entertaining in a lightweight kind of way. As you can see from the marquee, the show starred Sarah Bareilles who also wrote the music and lyrics. Clearly a talented person.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.