Summer Wedding In Connecticut

Here are a few shots from the latest wedding I shot this summer in Connecticut. The ceremony was held at the Ethel Walker Chapel in Simsbury, CT. The church has great window light from both sides of the building, which is wonderful from a photographer’s point of view. The reception was held at the Riverview in Weatogue, CT. We did a quick post-ceremony portrait shoot at the beautiful Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge in Simsbury, CT. It was recognized as a 2014 “Editor’s Choice” winner in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide in New England.

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Pre-manhattanhenge sunset

Today was supposed to be the big Manhattanhenge. Lots of people anticipated the bi-annual phenomenon by hitting the streets of Manhattan with their cameras and phones. However it turned out tonight was big dissapointment, especially for those who missed last night (see my previous post), the reason being that the clouds completely blocked the sun when it was perfectly aligned with the street grid of the city. Only 30 minutes before there was a gorgeous sunset which I was able to capture a little bit at the Meatpacking District were the hight of the buildings is not an obstacle to seeing the sunset. I think they came out alright although they might not officially make it to the Manhattanhenge archives of the world.20140712-232943-84583177.jpg

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Manhattanhenge brings the Big Apple to a stand still… For a moment

Here is my second attempt at capturing the Manhattanhenge tonight at 42nd Street in Manhattan. Twice a year the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The neologism is derived from Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect. The sun peaked for only a couple of minutes between the skyscrapers but it was stunning. Lots of people flooded the streets taking pictures of this unique phenomenon, much to the regret of the cab drivers. For a moment it felt almost as if this city that never sleeps came to a stand still as people stopped to take it all in. Much to the relief of the cab drivers it was all over in a couple of minutes.
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A Beach Wedding In Beautiful Maine

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the wedding of a beautiful couple, Daudi and Sarah. The wedding took place on a beach in Lubec, Maine at the easternmost point in the USA. The day before the wedding it pretty much rained all the way as we drove 15 hours from NYC to Lubec. But thankfully on the day of the wedding  the weather was great!

Great Captain Island Adventure

Beautiful summer day in New York! Wanna take a break out of the city; smell some fresh sea air and feel the breeze blowing on your face? Wanna leave the crowds and the dust of the city behind for a short escapade. A trip to Battery Park won’t cut it this time but Newport would be too far? Don’t wanna drive the car? A train ride would sound more relaxing? Ready for an adventure? Wanna be back home for the night?

Why not try a quick day trip to the Great Captain Island just off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut. Its a 40 minute ride by Metro North from Grand Central Terminal to Greenwich. Check out schedules hereCost of roundtrip: $18 off-peak, $24 peak. Then a 5 minute walk from the train station to the Greenwich harbor right behind the station at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. The ferry ride is just about 20 minutes long. Be sure to check out the ferry schedule as it changes from day to day! In addition to the ferry ride you must purchase daily pass from the for $10 from the Greenwich Town Hall at 101 Field Point Road. You must get the pass before going to the ferry. 

The beaches at the Great Captain island are nice and quiet (at least on a Monday afternoon). A lifeguard is on duty on one of the beaches. For birdwatchers the island might be especially interesting as it is a home and nesting ground for a number of  migratory bird species and is considered one of the Connecticut’s 26 “important bird areas” according to the Connecticut Audubon Society. We saw a large number of quite noisy adult and baby egrets as well as cormorants. Early August is the end of the egret nesting season. Signs had been set up to stay away from certain areas of the island to help let the egrets nest in peace. I observed a number of sanderlings at close distance at the beach. These extreme long-distance migrants breed only on High Arctic tundra but live on most of the sandy beaches of the world.

Besides enjoying mother nature, the recently restored, beautiful light house at the island is worth checking out. And one more thing, I highly recommend bringing bug spray as some of the horse flies we encountered were ferocious man eaters!! The lifeguards at the beach said that other bugs are also abound in the island.  Friends warned us of ticks also which would be a concern, especially if you plan on bringing kids along. But we didn’t get a confirmation on this. It wouldn’t surprise me though; the conditions are just right.

If the Great Captain Island sound a bit too adventurous, you might want to consider the Island Beach,  which is smaller but has more services such as clean drinking water! The drinking water system at the Great Captain Island was contaminated by salt water during Sandy, so be sure to bring your own water with you!! The Island Beach ferry leaves from the same dock as the Great Captain Ferry.

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Photos © 2013 Juha Photography

Swedish Midsummer Festival in Battery Park, Manhattan

Scandinavians celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, with a festival of light, flowers, food, and music. The Consulate General of Sweden organizes an annual festival in Battery Park, Manhattan. Thousands of people gather to sing, dance around a massive maypole, eat Scandinavian foods and just have a good time. Many women wear flower wreaths on their heads, and some people dress in traditional folk costume.

The summer solstice celebration has its roots in pre-Christian practices and belief that the spirits of nature join the human community to rejoice in the long days of summer. Midsummer was originally a fertility festival with many customs and rituals associated with nature and with the hope for a good harvest in autumn.

Today in Scandinavia midsummer is a time to escape to the country to spend  relaxing time in nature – a time to connect with friends and family and exuberantly celebrate the joys of life.

Take A Stroll In Central Park

For those of you who would love to visit Central Park but are unable to do so, Google maps has expanded their services now to cover a lot of previously uncovered paths in the park. Of course its not the same as actually being there, but its the next best thing. So come along and take a stroll in one of the greatest parks in the world!  Hope you enjoy it!