Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You Just Keep Shooting

In the Lynnhaven Anchorage, 2011 (click on image for larger size)

I went out Sunday afternoon to take pictures. It was raining, which is usually as good an excuse as I can think of to stay in and do something else. But it was the one afternoon of the week I had available for spending a couple of hours in pursuit of pictures. So out I went.

I didn’t have a subject in mind. Rainy days are usually good for the even light they produce. There are few shadows. I’d spied a tree on the way home from an errand earlier in the day that I thought might make an interesting subject. But all it turned out to be was an excuse for me to get wet and muddy tromping across the field to the tree. And the tree pictures? They were the first to be discarded when I got home. So much for that idea.

I’d also thought I might take pictures of the ocean. There was a strong southeast wind blowing surf onto the shore. But that, too, turned out to be an opportunity to stand in the driving rain with an expensive piece of camera equipment.

By now you must be asking yourself, “What part of ‘rainy day’ did this guy not get?” I assure you, I got it. But I see so many interesting pictures that people take in the rain that I just had to try to do it myself.

I finally ended up around on the north side of the city, where I found more than a dozen colliers in the anchorage near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. They’re waiting to get to the piers in Norfolk and Newport News to load up with metallurgical coal for use in steel mills and steam coal for use in electrical power plants. Once they’re loaded, most of these ships will be bound for ports on the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.

I’ve always enjoyed photographing ships. But to be honest, I wasn’t getting anything interesting. I’ve always believed that you have to keep shooting, even if you don’t think anything productive is coming of it. Sometimes you get surprised with something good. On this particular Sunday afternoon, however, the only productive thing was the runny nose I came home with.

Elegant Sky, 2011


  1. I tried to take some of the same shots on the way home from the Eastern Shore Saturday with minimal results. I added them to a folder of coal pier and railroad track shots with a mind towards a future post.

  2. These are great--I love the pop of red in the boats, and the skies in that first shot are dramatic!

  3. But it really wasn't a wasted couple of hours..........a good blog entry came out of it.

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