“Taking a trip to go to work” – On the road to and from Connecticut
Over 2,000 miles round trip…
A major metropolitan city…
A well known historic landmark…
An Ivy League school…
I’ve said many times that one of the things I really love about photography is that it affords me a chance to travel to different places. If a client wants to hire me and bring me halfway across the country, who am I to say know or that I can’t do it? I’ll find a way to get there. The most recent example of getting there was to get to West Hartford, Connecticut to photograph a wedding. With my parents along for the trip, we found a way to get there and see a good stretch of America that was on our route.
Our first leg of the trip saw us leaving Odenville, Alabama on Tuesday, August 7th with my aunt and uncle’s home in Deale, Maryland as our destination. They live right on the water, and it’s always a refreshing sight to end a long car ride, walk in their back yard, and see waters that flow into the Chesapeake Bay greeting you. When I visit, the first thing I do after unpacking is usually to take a few photographs and this time was no different. It’s just a serene and soothing dynamic to capture.
We spent a quiet evening in Deale before getting up the next morning and making the drive north to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area. I hadn’t been to the city since I was about to go into 6th grade, so I wanted to see how things had changed. The Inner Harbor is definitely the chief tourist area of the city, but it’s not without its charm… after all, Baltimore is “Charm City”… unless you’re in the parts that earn the nickname “Harm City”. I tend to get like a kid in a candy store when photographing a new and different city, especially in a dense metro area with skyscrapers and other structures filling the landscape. The harbor along with the docked U.S.S. Constitution only added to the canvas that I was able to work with when we arrived.
We didn’t spend too much time at Inner Harbor because we decided to visit Ft. McHenry, which of course played heavily into the creation of “The Star Spangled Banner” as our national anthem. A water taxi took us from Inner Harbor to Fell’s Point and then to Ft. McHenry so that allowed me to get a lot shots of the various structures dotting the rest of Baltimore’s harbor.
Arriving on Ft. McHenry was interesting as I’m a history buff so it was something to see the location described in “The Star Spangled Banner”. We watched a brief video highlighting the assault on Baltimore the British Navy launched during the War of 1812 before we set out to walk around the remains of the fort. Some might find these historic sights passe or touristy, but if I’m in a city that has something like this… I’m going there, and I’m going to photograph it. I want my own record of the location.
We then said goodbye to Ft. McHenry, rode back to Fell’s Point for lunch, and then back to Inner Harbor before we departed Baltimore. It was nice to see the city again, but I know there’s a lot more of it out there that I hope to visit sometime in the future. Soon after we said goodbye to Baltimore, though, we met back up with my uncle for nice little boat ride out into the Chesapeake where we didn’t catch much fish but did rather enjoy the scenery around us.
Our time in Maryland came to an end, but our journey was just beginning. We had another long stretch in the car awaiting as we drove from Maryland to Farmington, Connecticut, just outside of West Hartford. We got to experience the “joys” of toll roads in Delaware and New Jersey along with taking a detour through the quaint little town of Nyack, New York as to avoid driving through New York City proper. The hotel in Farmington, though, eventually came into our view. We settled in the room for a bit before heading out that evening to get a bite to eat and for me to finally meet the wedding clients in person. I’ll have more on that in the blog post about the actual wedding, though. I was ready to get things underway for the next day because that meant we’d be visiting Yale University down in New Haven.
We made it to New Haven and Yale just in time for the tour of the university. A large group of us were taken through the historic institution as we heard about the school’s residential college system, which was quickly compared to the houses in the Harry Potter series as an easy way to get a perspective on how they operated. I definitely got a kick out of that. I also enjoyed seeing how active the campus was, even in the summer, as various high school and tour groups dotted the various quads and open areas throughout the school’s grounds. The tour also featured heavily on the various architectural methods used during the construction of the campus, and I thought it was fascinating. Unlike a lot of schools, the buildings on campus each had a different style and feel to them. The lack of uniformity was refreshing. A personal favorite of mine was being able to see an original Gutenburg Bible in one of Yale’s libraries. Being able to get a few photographs of it was a highlight of the trip.
After New Haven, we made our way to Mystic where I looked forward to photographing the various small buildings in the town and the seaport that made it famous. The weather was questionable all day, but after a lunch at Mystic Pizza, the bottom fell out and put the nix on any photo plans in Mystic. I was disappointed, but I understand it’s something that happens when you travel. Besides, I wasn’t going to risk my camera the day before I had a major wedding to work.
A chance to photograph things on the way back to Alabama wasn’t in the cards either because:
1. I had photographed the wedding the day before, and I didn’t want to bother with a camera the day after.
2. We wanted to get home.
I credit my dad for making the decision to drive all the way from West Hartford to Odenville in a day. The trip was long and tiring, but we did it. We went through Pennsylvania to again avoid driving through New York and this time the Baltimore/D.C. area. It was a nice change of scenery, especially as we got into the higher elevations. Still, the best sight to see was my parents’ home in Odenville as we reached the end of our trip. I enjoyed taking it with my parents as we got to spend a lot of time together and see a lot together. I look forward to my next destination wedding not only because that means I’ll have a job to do, but it’ll mean I’ll have a new place to go photograph. I rather like that feeling.
I invite you to check out photos from the trip by visiting http://www.dsmithimages.com/site/places/maryland-2012/1/ and http://www.dsmithimages.com/site/places/yale-university/1/