Moffett Mill in Lincoln, RI


My search for beautiful scenics of Rhode Island during fall foliage season was interrupted for a few days as a Nor’easter blew through. What it also did was blow most of the leaves off the trees. One good thing is that now the rivers have a better flow and waterfalls and dams look better.

It took me a while to find this mill. It’s Moffett Mill, circa 1812, on the Moshassuck River in Lincoln, RI. I had been here about 10 years ago on an AP assignment with Rep. Patrick Kennedy. We got to go inside the mill. I don’t remember what the assignment was about, but the mill is really cool. Moffett Mill, located on Great Road, is believed to be the first machine shop constructed in Rhode Island.

Horseshoe Falls, Shannock Village, RI


After an early morning assignment in Wakefield, RI, I asked my subject about the local area and what was scenic. He told me some nice spots in Charlestown that he saw while riding his bicycle. On my way to check those out, I ran across Horseshoe Falls in Shannock Village, RI. The falls are on the Pawcatuck River and used to be the sight of an old mill.


After Horseshoe Falls, I ventured onto North Rd, heading north. There was some scenic photos there, which I’ll add to another post, but the one above is from Beaver River Rd. My subject today told me there was about a 1/4 mile of tree canopy. I was hoping the trees were changing color, but these ones still haven’t. I’ll be back when they do though. If you look close, you will see a bunch of greenish tubing going from tree to tree. Those are for maple syrup season. The trees are tapped and when they “bleed” their sap, it’s collected in the tubes.

Pontiac Mills – Pawtuxet River


Since it’s fall in New England, I’m always out looking for create scenics of the changing foliage. Trees are beautiful when they turn, but if I can add an element of architecture, all the better. In Rhode Island, we have lots of old mills along the rivers. Above is part of Pontiac Mills, a historic textile mill complex on Knight Street (named after Robert Knight and Benjamin Knight), which was built beginning in 1863 along the Pawtuxet River in Warwick, RI. The mills produced uniforms for Union soldiers during the American Civil War. In 1920 Webster Knight sold Fruit of the Loom and the Pontiac Mills. The mills were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Above is only s small portion of the mills.


Above is a view showing more of the mill. On the left Nylo hotels has renovated part of the mill back in 2007. Along with hotel rooms there is also a restaurant, Loft, which offers nice views of the river.

Rhode Island’s only public covered bridge


Pictured above is the Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge, Rhode Island’s only “public” covered bridge. I was surprised to find out that Rhode Island only had one bridge, while other states in New England have up to 100 of the beautiful structures. After determining where it is located, off Route 6 and Route 94 in Foster, I went out to photograph it with some fall color. It’s not as rural as you would think. There are a a couple of houses right next door to it, with power lines running down the street. It’s hard to get a nice photo of the bridge without modern technology in the frame.

I was pleased with what I came back with and was editing and processing the files so I could post on the blog. I wanted to find out a little more info about the bridge. It turns out that it is a replica of an early 19th-century structure and was built by volunteers back in 1994. The timber was logged from nearby forests and the 40-foot-long bridge straddles Hemlock Brook. They went as far as putting up a Rates of Toll sign to make it look authentic. toll

Fall in New England

Burnside_House_smallAfter a shoot for Brown University, I stopped by the historic mile long Benefit Street in Providence, RI to see how the foliage looked. The fall colors looked great, but there were too many cars parked on the street. Sunday morning is best to shoot this street. I didn’t go away empty-handed though. Above is the Burnside House.

The was built for General Ambrose Everett Burnside in 1866. Burnside was a prominent rifle manufacturer before the Civil War. His company, Burnside Rifle Company, was one of the most respected arms manufacturers of the 19th century. When war broke out, Burnside severed all ties with his company in order to command the Rhode Island Volunteers. He became famous not for his war exploits, but for his facial hair. He grew his sideboards until they connected with his mustache and this style has ever since been called “burnsides.”



The above photo is the Roger Williams National Memorial in downtown Providence, RI. The memorial commemorates the life of the founder of Rhode Island and a champion of the ideal of religious freedom. Williams, banished from Massachusetts for his beliefs, founded Providence in 1636.

Just a little trivia for you. Rhode Island technically has the longest state name: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

HDR of downtown Providence as springtime arrives.

Storm clouds roll over downtown Providence as the spring blooms on the trees of Pratt St. © Stew Milne 2012

Springtime in New England is beautiful. Especially after a long grey winter. This year we had very little snow to cover the ground, so we were without color on the trees for a good five months. This year we had an unseasonably warm March, which lead to an early spring and blossoms. If you know Providence, they you’ve probably viewed the city from Prospect Park on Congdon St. It’s a great view, but cliche if you shoot photographs from there. This photograph was taken from just below the park on Pratt St. I love the juxtaposition of the blossoms on the tree with the mostly dead limbs framing the city as the storm clouds roll in. This is an HDR image shot using six exposures, processed in Photomatix and finished in Photoshop.

Providence College Campus

Harkins Hall

Spring clouds move past Harkins Hall on the campus of Providence College. © 2012 Stew Milne

The other day I walked over to the Providence College campus to take some photos and entertain my two sons. They both brought along their cameras as well. I was hoping to get some nice images of the campus as spring had arrived and many of the trees were starting to bloom. Unfortunately there aren’t any trees near Harkins Hall.

St. Dominic Chapel

The trees are abloom as spring arrives around St. Dominic Chapel on the campus of Providence College. © 2012 Stew Milne

However, over at St. Dominic Chapel the trees out front were covered in beautiful pink blooms. The ones out back were all white and I’ll take a photo of those soon, but when I was there the sun was in the wrong position to make a nice photo from behind the chapel.

Both of these images are HDR, or high dynamic range photos. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s a process where the photographer takes several, anywhere from 3 to 7 photos, of the same scene with different exposures. The exposures range from underexposed to overexposed. Later all the photos are combined with photo software to create an image that displays the full dynamic range of the scene. Typical digital cameras only capture a small portion of the dynamic range.