Connecticut's Other Shoreline Beach
Well, it's April and I am still wondering where Spring is. We actually had snow showers on Tuesday. It's April! Luckily nothing stuck but it was just the thought of snow in April <sigh>. At least I was blessed to get a glimpse of what's to come (hopefully). I just got back from a great time a few weeks ago, attending the Create Photography Retreat. I not only got to meet a group of great photographers but I was able to get the juices flowing again, Spring or no Spring. It was an awesome experience and I would recommend it to anyone who would not only like to learn from some great teachers but also go out and put that learning to the test with some awesome field work and outdoor sessions.
Still fresh in my mind I wanted to keep up the momentum of getting out and shooting so I decided to go out, even though the weather was a little suspect. Driving along I-95, my first thought was to go to Hammonasset Beach State Park. Connecticut actually has several Parks and State Parks along it's shores, some more accessible to the public than others but Hammonasset seems to be the most popular by far (at least in my estimation). Today however, I decided to go down the highway a little further and visit Rocky Neck State Park. Rocky Neck shares many of the things that make Hammonasset so popular. It has some extensive walking trails, and marsh areas with varied birds and other wildlife. You also have your standard picnic areas and a section of beach that actually has sand on it! The sand area is definitely not as large or long as Hammonasset (which may be a good thing) but it's still nice.
The thing that sets Rocky Neck apart and what many photographers as well as people into rocks will appreciate is the unique geology along the shore. For the budding geologist you will find minerals such as Biotite, Garnet, Tourmaline as well as Feldspar. Both Igneous and Metamorphic type rocks can be found here and the thing that I find interesting are the different geologic features ranging from pegmatite veins to geologic folds.
As with any of the popular beaches in Connecticut, if you want to photograph them relatively people free, you will need to get there really early or do it when it's really too cold for normal people to be out and about. Of course when all else fails just enjoy the beach area or take a long relaxing walk on one of the many trails. Back to the geology, this is what is great for photographers. If you want to get an intimate or abstract picture of these interesting rocks you can easily do it no matter how many people are there as you will be really close to the subject or using a long lens to isolate the scene.
Hope you enjoyed the read and the photos but one last thing, actually two. Double bonus! The Amtrak train runs through the shoreline part of the park for anyone who is a train spotter. Next bonus is the pavilion. Also along the beach area there is a very interesting, large, curved stone pavilion. it could make a very interesting main subject or used as a backdrop for a portrait session. So the next time you are traveling along I-95 in the East Lyme area stop by and give Rocky Neck State park a little love. I think you will like it.