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

Random Images I found in Rhode Island today

Business skater

Business man takes a skate during his lunch break in downtown Providence, RI.

So after a routine assignment for one of my clients, I dropped off a CD of the images to their offices. While walking back to my car I saw this guys skating on the ice rink in downtown Providence, RI, in full suit and tie. He noticed me after a few laps and waved.

business skater

Business man skates alone during his lunch break in downtown Providence, RI.

The business man was a pretty good skater. He was the only one on the ice and watching him just made me smile.

1963 MG

An original 1963 MGB convertible sitting outside Moses Brown.

And then onto my next random sighting in Rhode Island. I was delivering a DVD of images to Brown University and I saw this 1963 MGB convertible parked outside the gates of Moses Brown school. It brought back fond memories of my dad’s 1966 MGB GT hatchback that I learned to drive a manual on. Same color too. I got to drive it for a few years before it fell apart due to rust. The engine was great, but too many winters in Montreal took it’s tole on the body. What a fun car to drive.


The Pauly D Project

DJ Pauly D works on his signature hairstyle in the bathroom of his house, prior to going out to DJ at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

Back in early October 2011, I got a call from an agency out on California wanting to hire me to shoot the stills during filming of a MTV reality show in Rhode Island. After confirming I was available on the dates they were filming in RI, I was told to keep this silent. My contact at MTV told me where and when to meet them so I could ride along with the crew from 495 Productions to the home of Jersey Shore cast member, Paul DelVecchio, or DJ Pauly D.

DJ Pauly D shows off the tanning bed in his living room. © 2011 Stew Milne

There’s a lot to the crew that produces these reality show for MTV. We arrived at DJ Pauly’s home in Johnston in four vans. They had two camera operators, two sounds guys to go with them, and about eight other people, from assistants to producers all crammed in  Pauly’s house. My purpose was to shoot what the video guys were shooting and stay out of their way. So when we walk into Pauly D’s living room there is a pool table and the above tanning bed. In future posts all add some behind the scenes action showing the camera crew in operation.

DJ Pauly D relaxes by spinning some vinyl at his house in Johnston prior to going out to DJ at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

While waiting for his manager to show up, DJ Pauly D relaxed by spinning a bit. Lucky for him, his father lives upstairs and doesn’t complain about the loud music.

DJ Pauly D talks with road manager Mike 'Biggie' Morgan about Pauly's show that night at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

So that night DJ Pauly D was getting ready at his house to do a send off party at an old club in Providence he used to DJ at, Ultra. His mentor and now manager Mike “Biggie” Morgan came over to discuss the night and grab Pauly’s gear to take over to the club.

DJ Pauly D pins the sleeves of Ryan Labbe's shirt prior to going out to DJ at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

After Biggie left with the DJ gear, Pauly’s friend and “social coordinator” Ryan Labbe dropped by. Pauly was making fun of Ryan’s loose sleeves and showed him a trick to make them snug on Ryan’s arms.

DJ Pauly D, Jerry Gialanella, and Ryan Labbe toast to the night prior to going out to DJ at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

Soon DJ Pauly’s friend and head of security, Jerry Gialanella showed up. The three of them drank a few shots, played pool and played jokes on Jerry until the taxi showed up to take them to Ultra.

DJ Pauly D performs at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

DJ Pauly D entered the mobbed club and was secured in a private booth until his time to DJ. Above is DJ Pauly D deejaying with Biggie in the booth with him. The crowd was going crazy.

DJ Pauly D performs at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

This above photo is one of my favorite shots from the night.

DJ Pauly D and Jerry wait at the coat check after Pauly performed at a local club in Providence. © 2011 Stew Milne

After the show and after the crowd had gone home, DJ Pauly and Jerry goofed off at the coat check waiting for their taxi.

In future posts, I’ll add some scenes that didn’t make the show and behind the scenes images. I spent eight hours with the 495 Productions crew and DJ Pauly D that night. In the premiere episode of The Pauly D Project, it was edited down to the last 2:10 of the show.