Tuesday, May 17, 2022

M/V Carrie Crisp in morning light

 I wasn't planning to post this evening, but everyone loves a Crounse boat, right?

I went out this morning to get a shot of the Carrie Crisp, but I miscalculated and didn't get the shot I wanted in the light I wanted, but I came away with these two images anyway.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

M/V Martinsville, at last

 For some reason the Marathon boat Martinsville and I have never been within eyesight of each other -- at least with a clear angle to get a photo. Today was different, as I got it on approach to Catlettsburg.

I photographed and was on the Patoka, Kenova and Mt. Vernon at their christening a couple of years ago, and I've seen the Tri State many times, but this was the first time I was able to get a good look at the Martinsville.

Maybe it's because I tend to call it the Martinsburg or the New Martinsville (both are cities in West Virginia). Anyway, I got it.

A great place to be on a Friday evening


Thursday, May 12, 2022

M/V Tri State (again)

 One of my favorite boats to shoot is the M/V Tri State because it's the only harbor boat in this area with a retractable pilothouse. Here it is coming out of the Big Sandy and headed toward the Ohio.

The MAP Runner is a favorite, too, for what it's worth. The Tri State replaced the Kyova, which last I heard is in Moline, Illinois.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Greenup Locks and Dam

I was going to save this for tomorrow morning, but I figured, why not run it today when people are more likely to see it?

This is the Greenup Locks and Dam, Mile 341.0, as seen from the Ohio side looking over toward Kentucky. I had the long zoom lens on my camera that day. I didn't bring a shorter lens, and I was beginning to regret that decision.

To get the whole dam in the frame I used my cheap cell phone. It takes images that are small and barely useful for a 4-by-6 print, let alone anything larger. It didn't have a whole lot of detail to work with, so I ran it through three different software packages, each to do a specific task. This is a lower-resolution version of the final product. I have to take the resolution down so photos will load on Blogger and elsewhere. It still has more resolution than the original image straight out of my phone, and it shares some of the same flaws that are noticeable when I zoom in up close. You might not be able to see them here.

The image above is what I ended up with, and I have to say I like it. What do you think? Feel free to disagree, but be courteous. No flaming, please.

This photo has so many layers to it apart from the artsy way I tried to salvage it. Greenup is one of two dams on the Ohio that has a bridge built over it and is anchored on the dam. The hydroelectric power plant on the Ohio shore here has a story that is unique among such plants in this region. The dam itself has a story that I need to tell sometime.

Sometimes when you're taking a picture, things can go wrong. Sometimes the photographer has camera trouble. Sometimes the camera has photographer trouble. In the best cases, you work with what you have, and you make something out of it. That's what happened here.

M/V C.J. Queenan

When you have to leave your shooting spot because you have to get to work but you see another boat coming ...

A decade ago I got lots of photos of this boat. In recent years, a few but not many. Here is my favorite, and one of my all-time favorite river photos. When I saw it lightboat this time, I figured I could give it a couple of minutes to get in a decent spot before I absolutely had to leave.

When I was editing this image to post here, I noticed things I had missed that morning, like the waves on the starboard tow knee and how the radar antennae were in sync.

NOTE: Another post is scheduled to go live at noon. It's different from the past three.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

M/V Nashville

 One of my favorites. As a newspaper reporter, I rode it in May 1988, I think it was, from the Belleville Locks and Dam down to Kenova, I think it was. David Smith was the captain. David now writes the Old Boat Column for the Waterways Journal.

Back then it was the Valvoline of Ashland Oil. Now it's the Nashville of Marathon Petroleum.

This was a great morning for getting river pictures. There was plenty of light, but overcast skies muted it enough so that there were no shadows and no great disparities between light and dark. Sometimes you want that. Sometimes you don't. On this day it worked out just fine.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Checking in


The MAP Runner is a small boat that spends its days and nights moving barges around the busy harbor at the mouth of the Big Sandy River. Marathon Petroleum has a refinery acquired from Ashland Oil (now Ashland Global) a couple of miles up the Big Sandy. The MAP Runner and another small boat, the Tri State, ferry barges in and out of the Big Sandy to docks on the Ohio River, where the individual barges are assembled into large tows to be delivered to petroleum product terminals on the Ohio and other rivers. This was taken from Virginia Point Park in Kenova, West Virginia. That's South Point, Ohio, in the background. On this morning, the MAP Runner was headed to a barge fleeting area at South Point.

Monday, February 14, 2022

30 pictures, 30 days Part 30

 A few months ago, I was in a meeting with a prominent local politician. He said there's no such place as Utopia. I said actually there is. It's a small unincorporated community along U.S. 50 and the Ohio River maybe an hour east of Cincinnati.

Utopia has an interesting history. We can discuss that later maybe. For these purposes, living along the Ohio River isn't really Utopia, but it can be a great place to live if you like rivers, boats, bridges and so many other things on the river, in it, over it and beside it. This series barely touched on bridges, and it didn't include dams, wildlife or the people of the river. If there is another series — assuming readers want it — we will probably emphasize those photos.

Anyway, thanks for looking at these pictures. 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 29

 McGinnis' M/V Garry Lacey, seen earlier in this series of river photos.

Adam and I attended its christening at Cincinnati in 2016. When we went on the boat, we were surprised at how steep the stairs to the pilothouse were. We decided to come down them backward, as if we were climbing down a ladder.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 28

 One of my favorites, the M/V Linda Reed of Crounse Corp.

One more boat pic and then we move to the final installment in this series.

Friday, February 11, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 27

 This is the first of two photos taken after sunset on Christmas Day, 2021.

This is the Stacy Lynn.

HDR added for effect.

Next up is one taken after dark.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 26

 Back in December, my youngest earned another endorsement on his CDL. He could either go to the West Virginia DMV office in Huntington and wait for who knows how long, or he could drive an hour up to Point Pleasant and be in and out quickly. He decided to drive to Point Pleasant, as he had done before in his CDL training and certification.

Adam is pretty good at taking pictures of school buses. They're his first love, and he works as a substitute driver here in addition to another part-time job. On his trip to Point Pleasant, he saw this boat working some barges against the West Virginia shore. The problem was that this is a narrow part of the road. It's where the hill, the railroad track, the highway and the river all crowd up against each other. He didn't have his camera with him, either, so he had to slow down and get pictures with his phone. This is one of them.

The boat is the Sally Lapeyre of Canal Barge Company.

Adam does a pretty good job photographing school buses. Check out his YouTube channel (Project 681) for his video work.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 25

 I've posted this one before, but this time there's a small difference.

I photoshopped some of the lens flare out of it.

Tomorrow is another boat photo, but it's from a guest photographer who does some pretty good work in another specialty.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 24

The sternwheeler Kanawha showed up at Point Pleasant's riverfront park a few days early for the annual Tribute to the River festival. Another sternwheeler showed up the same day. Usually the riverfront is lined with sternwheelers during the festival, but it was not to be in 2021. High water forced cancellation of the festival.

 Some HDR editing added to see how it would affect the image.

Monday, February 7, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 23

 The Coast Guard buoy tender Osage stops at Huntington.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 22

 This was taken at the riverfront park in Ashland, Kentucky, looking west (downriver) toward Ironton, Ohio. I had been up the river a few miles at Catlettsburg getting photos of boats in the fog, and I was hoping to get a Crouse boat in the fog at Ashland — the one I had photographed earlier. But between downtown Catlettsburg and downtown Ashland, rain began falling and knocked the fog off the river.

I was encouraged when I got to Ashland and saw that wall of white off to the west. That lasted for maybe two seconds before I realized that wasn't fog. That has heavy rain that had been forecast for that day. When it got to me, it fell and fell hard.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 21

 If only I had been looking this way five seconds earlier ...

Thursday, February 3, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 19

 Nobody wants to sit in this swing this evening and watch the Ohio River go by. Oh well.

Tomorrow it's back to boats and barges.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

30 days 30 pictures Part 17

 The M/V Glenn A. Hendon

Cell phone pic. 

Monday, January 31, 2022

Sunday, January 30, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 15

 Crew change for the Glenn A. Hendon at Harris Riverfront Park.

And another one tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Winter's light

Light isn't everything in photography, but it's a lot.

I don't like most of what winter has to offer, but the light can be marvelous in late afternoon. Here's the M/V Tina Bowling of Crounse Corp. passing old Lock and Dam 27 this evening. This was taken in the last hour before sunset.

Crounse boats look especially good in this light. It must have to do with the shade of white paint they use.

In this particular photo, the presence of snow on the brown landscape helps. It's the reason I went, actually. About eleven years ago I got a photo of the Linda Reed coming down the river in winter. The snowy landscape played a big role in making that picture.

30 days, 30 pictures Part 14

 Sometimes you have your good camera with you when you're down by the river. Sometimes you don't and you see what would make a good image. You try your best.

In this case, I used a swing to frame the shot so the Crouse boat wouldn't be so lost.

Friday, January 28, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 13

Getting a bridge photo. I use different exposure methods on landscape (or riverscape) shots like this so I can choose the best one later.

After I bought this camera a few years ago, I bought what I thought was a decent tripod for it. I was wrong, and the stupid thing fell apart a year later. So last summer I went to Walmart and bought a cheap one for $35 or so. It's done what I've asked of it, but someday I'll need to get a better one. You can be sure I'll check it for build quality first.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 12

 And here's a panorama taken at Harris Riverfront Park here in Huntington, West Virginia, last year.

This is another cell phone photo panorama. Tomorrow we do something different.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 11

 Pomeroy, Ohio, as seen across the river from the boat ramp at Mason, West Virginia.

Cell phone photo.

Pomeroy is the county seat of Meigs County, Ohio. The courthouse is built into a hill, and it is billed as the only courthouse in the world with ground-level entrances on all three floors. Pomeroy's other distinctions are that it has no four-way intersections and it is where the first coal barge in the United States was built.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 10

 This is the last of the ferry pictures.

Tomorrow we try something different.

Monday, January 24, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 9

 Here's the August ferry as seen from the Ohio shore.

I wanted to emphasize the blue against the fog, so I desaturated every color but blue. One benefit of that is that the portable toilet's bright aqua green no longer stands out so boldly.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 8

 The ferry at Augusta, Kentucky, on a foggy October morning.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 7

Canada geese fly past the electricity transmission tower on the Kentucky side of the river at the Greenup Locks and Dam

Friday, January 21, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 6

 The M/V Carrie Crisp of Crounse Corp. has just exited the Greenup Locks and Dam and is heading for the navigation channel.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 5

 Same photo as yesterday only in black and white.

I like this version better.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 4

 M/V Garry Lacey pushing a couple of barges in the fog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 3

 The Bartow Jones Bridge over the Kanawha River, connecting Point Pleasant and Henderson, West Virginia. The bridge is at the mouth of the Kanawha.

The bridge has been in service for about 25 years, but I still catch myself calling it by the name of its predecessor — the Shadle Bridge.

Monday, January 17, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 2

 The M/V Bridget Cauley catches the last bit of fog as it approaches the Meldahl Locks and Dam downbound.

With a bit of HDR (high dynamic range) processing to accentuate the sky.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

30 days, 30 pictures Part 1

It's time to do something different. I went through the past 12 months of photos and picked out 30 to showcase over the next 30 days. Beginning tomorrow, they go live at 6 p.m. daily. Some will have explanations or captions. Some won't. If there are some you like, let me know. If there are some you don't like, let me know.

We kick off with a photo that probably doesn't need a caption. The only enhancement I did was to crop it down a little and give it a touch of HDR processing.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy Gregorian New Year

 I'm not a fan of starting the new year in the dead of night in the dead of winter, so I'll probably celebrate the new year on April 1.

Anyway, here's my first photo of the new calendar year.