Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Sometimes getting a good photo of a boat is luck. More often, though, it's a matter of planning and experience. A good football photographer knows the game and has figured out where to place his camera so he's ready as the play unfolds. Likewise, if you want to get better-than-average pictures of towboats, you need to know about them.
That means knowing where they are, where they will be, where the sun will be, what the background will be and where you will be. Often when I'm near the mouth of the Big Sandy River or the Kanawha River, I can guess whether a boat is going into the tributary or passing it just by watching how the pilot steers it before he gets there. I'm not always right. That's what makes it fun.
So here are some photos I have accumulated in the digital era of photography. I had fun getting them. These aren't my favorite photos. Those are coming Friday. These are a sample of what I've gotten in the past few years.
First, the Yvonne Conway as it passed Huntington one evening.
When I showed this picture to some friends, one person said it reminded him or her of an old Batman logo. I took this from a distance and had to crop it down.
Next, a couple of years ago I had my son and one of his friends at Point Pleasant, W.Va., on the last Friday of summer vacation. We saw the Paula Ruble come down the Ohio, but it acted odd as it passed the mouth of the Kanawha. I speculated that it was about to back into the Kanawha, and it did.
If you wish, you can read more about that day here. As with the cold-weather picture of the Paula Ruble yesterday, the originals of these two are lost on my hard drive somewhere, or they may be lost for good. I'm working with copies of low-res copies here.
Speaking of the Kanawha, here's the Donna York coming out of the Kanawha in 2013.
And here are two of the Paula Ruble on the Kanawha. Thanks to the way lenses work, there was a lot more clearance between the boat and the bridge than how it appears in the second picture.
And finally, here are a couple of Crounse boats leaving the locks at R.C. Byrd.
Next: Deckhands at work on a cold December day.