Jefferson County

Sarah at Flower Memorial Library

Model Sarah Dingle enjoys the beautiful Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, New York, in this series celebrating the spirit of knowledge and literature. This was my first indoor photo shoot, and it’s clear I could have done some things differently. For one, I didn’t want to disturb anyone at the library, so I didn’t use a flash. I also didn’t have a diffuse box for my flash at the time, and I didn’t use a tripod. So we got plenty of great shots, but I was using a very large aperture so there’s a lot of unnecessary blurring. I also had to use a high ISO. The noise isn’t too bad, but it’s more than I’d like. Overall, I think these turned out really well.

Saint Lawrence River in Winter

The St. Lawrence River forms the border between the U.S. and Canada in Upstate New York, flowing from the Atlantic Ocean all the way into Lake Ontario. Alexandria Bay is one of my favorite spots along the river. I love visiting there in summer, but it’s beautiful in winter as well (although everything is closed for the season). I did sneak a picture in here from Clayton, New York (about 20 miles southwest of A-Bay). Some adventurous soul made a snowman on the river. This is also called the “Thousand Islands” region because of all the little islands in the river, many of which are populated by majestic vacation homes.

Boldt Castle in Winter

Few places in Upstate New York are as romantic as Boldt Castle on the St. Lawrence River. George Boldt, general manager of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City and manager of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, began construction of the 120-room mansion in 1900, but it was never finished.

It was to be a grand tribute to the love of his life, Louise Kehrer Boldt. Tragically, Louise Boldt died suddenly in January 1904. Heartbroken, George Boldt sent workers at the castle a telegram telling them to cease construction immediately.

For the next 73 years, the partially-completed castle sat empty and abandoned, left to the mercy of vandals and the elements. In 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought Heart Island and agreed to commit all proceeds from tours and events toward its restoration. Today, much of the structural damage has been reversed, and the ground floor is beautifully furnished. It looks particularly romantic, like something from a fairy tale, covered with snow and ice.

The Black River in Winter

The Black River originates in the foothills of the Adirondacks and flows west to Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. It gets its name from its dark-colored water, stained by natural tannic acid from slowly moving through vegetation in the Adirondacks. I took most of these photos from a bridge in Watertown, but got a couple of shots in Dexter, Brownville, and Great Bend as well.