One day last week the USS Nimitz rolled through my backyard. Sailors lined the deck from one end to the other. It was quite an impressive sight. Doing a little research I found she has been undergoing an extensive refit in Bremerton, this was her first trip out in over a year.
Of the many things that blew me away watching the ship and the people was that main radar array. It's to the left of all the flags. It was turning at about one revolution per second. You see all the dark blobs on the three walkways just above the 68 numbers? Those are sailors! So how tall does it make that spinning radar, just the "barn door" part - 25 feet?
I have found that many Navy ships have their own Facebook pages. I posted a couple of these images and I got a ton of happy responses from appreciative family members. Boy are they proud of their sailors! So am I.
Canon 5D Mark II, 400mm F/5.6, f/5.6, 1/400, iso 400
Long time readers will recall that I have done several posts that I call "Channeling" where I display an image that reminds me of other photographers' work. I have featured the marvelous work of Diane Varner several times.
As I began working on today's image, it came to me that this one reminded me of Michael Reichmann's work. Michael is the man behind the Luminous Landscape website. His site has been a source of knowledge and inspiration since I began taking photography seriously in 2001. I continue to read it and learn from it weekly.
In my opinion, Michael's work is exemplary no matter what the subject matter. But some of my favorites of his have been all about form and color. No doubt why this shot reminded me of his work.
I made this image in The Palouse three weekends ago. My wife and I were driving back from our sunset in Endicott when I noticed this combine plying the hills. I pulled over and mounted the 400mm on my tripod. I was hoping for one of those classic Palouse tractor shots with dust and grain flying, but alas it was not to be. In amazing last light of day, he was headed back to the barn.
The next week I noticed that the lead image on Luminous Landscape was a shot from The Palouse. After a bit of checking I discovered Michael was there to lead a workshop. I missed being there with him by just a few days. Michael has been gracious enough to email with me occasionally over the years. Back when he was doing photo reviews on his site he reviewed one of mine. One of these days we will meet in person! In the meantime, I will enjoy his site and photography, and once in a while "channel" a shot he might make. (Here is a page with several images from his recent Palouse trip.)
At the car show in Auburn a month ago there were also a few choppers. I find these very interesting to photograph.
Back when I was a kid (and very into motorcycles), nearly all choppers were something else entirely. A guy would take a stock motorcycle, put some long forks on it, and you had a chopper. Real, purpose made choppers weren't that common, and the ones that were around looked like they would just fold up on you.
Now it's really amazing, there are bikes like this all over, and they cost a bunch. Like 100 grand. And as you can see, they are like artwork. Incredible, paint, chrome, curves. I could get into photographing these more often. Hmmm, wonder if chopper owners are looking for "chopper portrait" photographers? That would be quite a specialty.
A couple of years ago I was out with two friends in an area outside Auburn CA. It was a Sunday morning, we were just seeing what we could find. We ended up with some nice tulip shots, and even some cool goat shots of all things. I'll get around to showing you those.
But we also found a bunch of derelict trucks, in a working aggregate yard.
Canon 20d, 24-70 F2.8 L, 51mm, F8.0, 1/40th, iso 100
We drove onto this large property, expecting someone to come and ask us what we were doing, but for about an hour we had the place to ourselves. There were at least 50 of these decaying trucks, probably spanning 40 years. We each got many good shots.
I'm fond of this one. For one thing, with cars and trucks, I prefer to isolate various elements, rather than try to shoot the entire vehicle. This shot makes me think that day after long day, this truck just watches his buddies slip into oblivion. It was kind of an overcast morning. So nearly all these shots were on the tripod. I'll have to revisit this spot eh? What say Dayna and Stephen?