Spillway in the Chilly Mist

July 14, 2010

Travel Photography

Photographers are often asked about the story behind a photograph. Here is the story behind this image.

I have lived near the New Croton Dam in Croton-on-Hudson, NY for about 25 years. I have dozens of shots of the dam. This image is my favorite, and I have to thank DPE’s Jeremy Pollack for helping to make it happen.

I made the image during one of my Croton Workshops. Late one afternoon, we where all huddled around our laptops, processing our images from the previous few days. Young Jeremy Pollock got restless, and wanted to go back to the dam, where we had previously shot. He split.

About 20 minutes later, he sent me a text: Get here. Mist is fantastic.

Well, although it was chilly and snowing and late in the afternoon. I said to the group, “Let’s go!”

Everyone wanted to stay cozy. :-(

I left the group to meet Jeremy, and man o’ man was I glad I did. The conditions were perfect for a “moody” shot. I had waited years for this type of image. Thanks to JP, I got it!

Here is a side note on Jeremy: I first met him on that fateful workshop. I was so impressed with him and his work that when Wiley asked me who would be my #1 choice to help with a travel book on NYC, I recommended this dude. Here’s a link to his book.

I also asked him to join the DPE team.

I guess the message of this homily: First impressions are important :-)

Explore the light,


This post was written by:

- who has written 171 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon has published 36 books, including Exploring the Light and Digital Photography Secrets.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

You can follow Rick on twitter at http://twitter.com/RickSammon and visit his website at http://www.ricksammon.com

Contact the author

9 Responses to “Spillway in the Chilly Mist”

  1. Jim Denham Says:

    Awesome shot Rick! Great decision…both recommending Jeremy and going back to get the shot! Well done!


  2. Rick Sammon Says:

    Thank, Jim. Yes! Jeremy is the man… although he is young enough to be my son!


  3. Jeremy Pollack Says:

    You know, I still feel a bit cold and damp remembering that evening. But we got some wonderful shots in wonderful company, so it was all worth it.

    Thanks for the praise Rick, and consider it returned. It has been an honor to learn from and work with you. :)


  4. jose Says:


    Hello, as usual my regards for your great work and tips along with the rest of the DP team. I follow DP everyday and because of that I did found awkward that this post is basically the same one you posted here on DP back in February except for the picture and the homily.


  5. Rick Sammon Says:


    Thanks for following us. Indeed, I posted a similar story/photo earlier this year – but Jeremy’s book was not yet printed.

    Because Jeremy’s book is finally out, I wanted to give him some exposure on DPE. He deserves to be discovered. The world should know about his book, co-authored with my friend, Andy Williams. The main message of this recent post is a bit different – that first impressions are important. The previous post was about bad weather.

    That said, as a writer, I sometimes feel like Dr.Sigmund Freud. Someone asked the good doctor, How do you listen to all those problems day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year? How do you listen? Dr. Freud smiled and said . . . “Who listens?”

    Well, I write so much – 36 books, 100s of magazine articles, stuff for my apps, dozens of blog posts, scripts for countless presentations, and so on – that I actually sometimes forget what I have written over the past 30 years.
    If someone asks me about something in my books, I may say, with Dr. Freud in mind, “Who reads ’em?” :-) :-)

    Or, I may remember a picture and may use it for a new post – for new subscribers. We get new subscribers here all the time.

    One thing is for sure, however, we at DPE enjoy helping young people get started. That’s one of the reasons why we have our Tuesday Talented Twitter Find and our DPE Flickr group. Our recent contests – HDR and Our Beautiful Nation – also help folks along the path to creating a name. We also take questions for our podcast in an effort to help other photographers.

    Anyway, thanks for the follow!

    Explore the light – and explore older posts :-)

    P.S. Other photographers have been known to photograph the same scene many times. Ansel Adams was one of ’em.


    • jose Says:


      Thanks for your prompt reply. I have read three of your books and enjoy them very much and seen most of your videos in Kelby Training. In fact I find myself going over them frequently as reference for certain situations. Face to Face is great and Digital Photography Secrets specially for reference of all sort. The HDR book is going to be the next one to buy but still need to learn more about the bread and butter of photography before getting there.

      I was looking forward to attend the San Juan workshop but I have been told is a no go! :(.

      You guys do a great job, keep the fire burning….


  6. Rick Sammon Says:

    Jose. What!!?!?!?!??! Only 3 of my books? :-)

    Seriously, thank you.

    P.S. Yes :-( San Juan is a no-go. Sorry.


  7. Bruce Himelman Says:


    I remember that shot since this is the shot from the workshop I attended. Not only that, I have the print you made of that when you brought it to the restaurant.

    Needless to day it is a great shot and Jeremy is great as well.



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