Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Three more of the M/V Ohio Valley

 Maybe one more to come after this.

Monday, September 26, 2022

M/V Ohio Valley: One photo, several versions

River photography would be simpler if I were to just take a picture and post it online. But I can't. If it's around solar noon on a cloudless day, I need to adjust some settings so the contrast between light and shadow is more lifelike. Then I see how it looks if I make a few editing changes. Such was what happened when I started working on photos of the Marathon Petroleum towboat Ohio Valley yesterday.

When the guy steering the boat started doing a 360, I set my camera on continuous shooting so I was more likely to get the boat straight on from front and rear. And I had to get the perfect three-quarters angles from front and rear. All in all, in a few minute I shot more than 200 images. Tonight I pared that down to about 16 to 18, depending on how you count them. If I take 10 minutes to look at each image to ensure I get it right, that's a lot of editing time.

So here is one image, front three-quarters from the port side.

First, the basic image after I made slight adjustments to the bright parts and the shadows, and then took the resolution down so I could upload it to Blogger.

Lately I've been in a black-and-white mood, so here's how it would look that way.

And I had to zoom in on the front of the boat because a guy was standing outside the pilothouse door. In this one, if you zoom in you won't be able to see much, but the original has more detail.

So anywhat, that's how I do things. I probably won't spend so much time on each image these next few days as I work on them, but it's the process I go through.

And now that I've uploaded these, there are a couple of other adjustments going through my head. Not tonight, though.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

M/V Ohio Valley (again)

 Feast or famine, they say.

I'm still figuring out how to process a lot of images I got yesterday during a trip to the sternwheel regatta at Pomeroy, Ohio. Today on a hunch I go down to Catlettsburg KY and see the M/V Ohio Valley heading downstream lightboat. I get to a decent shooting position and the captain or pilot slows down and does two 360-degree rotations so I can get some nice shots. Here is one.

In a few nights I should have a few others ready to post, and some from the regatta trip, too. Please be patient.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

More of that electric car fuel

 The M/V Paula Ruble of Crounse Corp. pushes coal down the Ohio River past Pomeroy, Ohio.

Friday, September 16, 2022

LST-325 at Ashland KY

 I had to finish with my job and eat supper first, but I made it down there. Lucky for me, there were two boats coming from downriver at different speeds, so I was able to get each towboat with the LST-325 in different places.

First, with the M/V Ohio Valley of Marathon Petroleum.

Then with the M/V West Virginia of Amherst Madison.

I got some others, but these were the best, I think.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

M/V Gene Neal

Every now and then I look at photos I made weeks before to see if they age well. I wasn't excited about this one when I took it and processed it originally, but now I like it better.

One thing about the Gene Neal is that it reminds me of the former Ashland Oil boat Tri-State, which has been sold and now operates down south as the Temple Huckabee (last I heard). In 1980, I rode the Tri-State from Vienna WV to South Point OH and back over to Kenova WV.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

M/V Glenn A. Hendon at Catlettsburg

I went down to Catlettsburg hoping to get a few good river pictures in the moments right before sunset, but I was too late. I did get some good pics, though, thanks to the guy steering the boat and the rest of the crew of the Glenn A. Hendon.

I don't know if the guy doing the steering was posing for my benefit or the older couple up on the bank, but I do thank him and the other crewmen for posing for me. These are a few of the photos I got this evening. More to come soon.

One disclaimer: These photos are all in lower resolution than the original. Most sites like this don't like the large files in the full-resolution images. On here, it's best to view the images as large as your device will allow.

Again, my thanks to the crew of the Glenn A. Hendon, and coming soon are more pictures of this boat and of the Laura S. and the Laura Tamble.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Saturday, August 13, 2022

American Queen, 2 of 2

 Here are a few more of the American Queen's passing through this area two days ago before everyone's mind moves on ...

Friday, August 12, 2022

American Queen, 1 of ? posts

 Passing Ashland KY yesterday evening after leaving Huntington WV.

And here it is a few miles downriver as seen from Russell KY with Ironton OH in the background.

More photos to come. I've been fighting COVID-19, power outages at home (really convenient when you have to work from home) and my regular job.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

One more Nedra K photo

Gasoline is expensive, and I've spent a few days with a granddaughter, so not much boat chasing lately. So here's another beauty shot of the Nedra K I got a few days ago.

The Ohio bank behind the boat's stern was kind of distracting, so I just cropped it out.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Aubrey K and the Nedra K

 The river has reeled in another Ross.

My youngest grandchild won't be 3 for another six weeks or so. A couple of weeks ago, she and her mommy were crossing the West 17th Street bridge when Aubrey noticed boats in the river. She kept asking about them, which meant her daddy and I had to give up part of a Sunday afternoon to take her to the river to look for boats. Oh, the burdens I bear. Today we got to see several, and a couple blew their air horns for her. She had a good time watching boats and throwing rocks in the river, so we will probably have to go back.

And my thanks to Jeff Cumptan of Ohio & Kanawha River Photography for talking the pilot of the Nedra K to come close to shore and do a couple of 360s for us. He needed some closeups for a favor he was doing to the person the boat is named for, and his request helped my Aubrey have an ever better time down by the river.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Four Marathon boats at Catlettsburg

 So am I spending too much time with black and white? I don't think so.

With my first real camera in 1976, the first few rolls of film I shot were black and white. I went to color a few months later. In early 1977, I shot my first roll of color slide film, and that hooked me on color.

But we all tend to regress to our early days sooner or later. I am no exception. I'm even thinking about buying a decent film camera and learning to develop black and white film. I can always scan the negatives to have prints made.

Black and white also gives a more timeless look to some photos. When I went aboard the Belle of Louisville when it was in drydock in November 2020, I edited some images in square format to make them look like a photo from the 1950s.

So, am I spending too much time with black and white?

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

M/V Sally Lapeyre

 I knew this boat looked good in color, but she also looks mighty fine in black and white.

Seen this morning in the rain at Catlettsburg.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

M/V Cincinnati

I knew before I walked to this spot to get this shot that the angle of the bright morning light would make for difficulty in getting a good image.

After playing with it, maybe it's not so bad, but it could use a little more work. The bright light allowed the sensor to pick up some details that might not have been so obvious otherwise. The texture of the water is interesting in some places. The photo is OK. Not great, but OK.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Life finds a way (as always)

 I don't know the name of this plant or anything about it other than it's all over the river's edge here in the Greenup pool.

My lack of botanical knowledge holds me back in describing what I see at the river's edge. The question is how much time and effort I want to put into correcting that deficiency.

UPDATE: So I got to thinking about maybe how this is an invasive species a professor at Northern Kentucky University told me about in 2004 when I was working on article for the Huntington newspaper. From what I've found online, this could be something called purple loosestrife, which grows in wet soil and under water, which explains why it's all over the river banks and shorelines here. There were larger plants nearby. They had started to flower, which allowed me to match photos with what I found on the web.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

M/V AEP Mariner, 7/16/22 (again)

 This time entering the locks at the Gallipolis Locks and Dam.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

M/V AEP Mariner, 7/16/22

 How about a different kind of boat picture?

Between Mile 281 and 282, I think.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

M/V Ed McLaughlin, 7/12/22

Instead of a "photograph" where I search out the best light and just the right background for a boat photo, here's a snapshot I got today of the M/V Ed McLaughlin of McGinnis Inc.

I was about to head home after finishing up a couple of errands in Huntington when I saw this boat coming. Wait or leave, I asked myself. I wanted to leave, but I talked myself into waiting. I'm glad I did, because although I wasn't trying to get a great photo, I think it did turn out to be a pretty good one. Now if I wanted to nitpick it, I could find a couple of things. But I won't.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

M/V Marci Gale 7/10/22

Passing the Highlawn neighborhood of Huntington WV this morning.

I believe the building in the background is the St. Mary's Convent.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

M/V Debi Sharp (again)

 I haven't been able to get out to the river this weekend, so here's another one of the Crounse towboat M/V Debi Sharp from last month.

I hope to get down to the river tomorrow, but my plans are always subject to change due to circumstances usually beyond my control.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

M/V Debi Sharp and electric car fuel

 About 25,000 tons of it, I'm guessing.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Mid-river tow work at Big Sandy harbor

I got this one yesterday from inside my truck during a pouring rain. You might know that I had the window down so I could shoot and the rain was coming from that direction, but the guy who really had it bad was on one of the barges out in the river.

Sequence of events:

I go to Kenova WV and get photos of the M/V Tony Lippman up against the bank.

I head over to Catlettsburg KY to shoot the Lippman from the rear over there. By the time I get there, bright morning sunlight had been blocked by some nasty storm clouds. It felt like almost night. After some shots of the Lippman and a couple of other boats, I figure it's time to go home, so I leave for home by way of Kenova.

Crossing the U.S. 60 bridge into Kenova, I see the M/V Bus Brown coming down the Big Sandy River toward the Ohio. It's pushing one barge loaded with rock or sand. Amherst Madison has been dredging the Big Sandy, so this barge probably had sand from that dredging work. They don't call it the Big Sandy for nothing.

I arrive at the boat ramp at Virginia Point park just as the first raindrops fell. I walk to the river bank when I see a lightning flash. I take shelter under a tree and ask God to protect me from my own foolishness. He's done it many times before, but I fear that some day his patience will run out.

Looking up the Big Sandy and waiting for the Bus Brown to pass, I see the leading rake end of an empty barge. It looks like it's barely moving. Then the Bus Brown comes by. It has overtaken the boat that's pushing the other barge. I get a few shots of the Bus Brown, then I see the rake moving. It turns out the M/V Bruce D is pushing four barges down the Big Sandy. It has two empties on the port side and two covered barges loaded with coal to starboard.

I'm back in my truck and headed for a parking area closer to the mouth of the Big Sandy as the downpour comes. The Bruce D goes past the Lippman and out toward the middle of the river. I see another McGinnis boat, probably the M/V Chris Arden, approach and face up to the lead empty barge. The rain keeps falling, and in the background the M/V Mary Arte Brannon crosses the river. It had arrived earlier upbound and dropped 15 empties at South Point OH before heading over to Catlettsburg for supplies (I assume).

After taking maybe two dozen pictures, I check the time and see that I need to be in the West End of Huntington WV (America's Best Community) to drop off something at a ministry for the homeless. So I leave. I assume everyone was able to do their jobs without my camera recording the action.

And that was the tail end of a fun morning on the Ohio River.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Cleaning time (souging time?)

One thing I don't like about digital photography -- other than the fact I take way more pictures than I can afford to print -- is that camera sensors are dirt magnets and you have to clean them. I've talked with two professional photojournalists about cleaning sensors, and neither of them like it any more than I do.

Take this photo I got this morning. It's cropped down from the original so you can see what I'm talking about.

The black dot next to the cell tower is the largest of several I see on my images when I'm shooting at a high aperture. This wasn't so high, but the dust or oil spot was so big that it showed up in most of my pictures. When I shoot at f/10 or higher, all sorts of black dots appear on the right side of the image.

I should say "appeared" instead of "appear," thanks to these things.

My sensor is clean now ... I think.

I don't like touching the layer of whatever it is that covers the sensor, but I must do it from time to time. I can remove the dots in Photoshop, like so ...

... but it's better to have a clean sensor. While getting rid of that big spot, I found two fainter ones that probably won't show up unless you really zoom in. Once I knew they were there, I had to get rid of them.

Maybe guys on the boats would say I need to souge my camera from time to time.

Friday, July 1, 2022

M/V Ohio ... again

 From June 2.I was looking at some photos I shot last month and thought I'd share this one.

As I went through some of the pictures from June, I realized I got several good images. It must have been a better month than I thought.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

M/V Judith Ellen

 I saw it as it passed South Point, Ohio, yesterday evening.

First, a beauty shot.

And then one that's more of a throwaway shot as it passes the Marathon Petroleum terminal at Kenova WV.

Same shot but processed as black and white and cropped to a different ratio.

Good light overall. Kind of bright,but the kind I can work with.