The second of two images I “rediscovered” while going through photographs for my master’s project. One thing that I noticed throughout that day on the Albert C. was that my shutter speeds were remarkably high all day long–relatively large apertures (for limited depth of field) combined with the all-white ship resulted in a great deal of main and fill light all the time. What was amazing about that was I only needed my flash a couple of times, and even then only inside the pilot house.
In preparation for weaving together a narrative for my master’s on Asian carp, a river flowing the wrong way, and people’s livelihoods caught in the mix, I have been going back over some of my photos for the project, and in the process I have found a couple that I had not toned and ranked only “one star” in Lightroom. This image, and the one I will post tomorrow, is now a three star image storytelling image and shaped up nicely with some simple white point, black point, and curve adjustments.
I’ve been spending the better part of the week processing my photos for my master’s project. The trips to Chicago were surprisingly productive. And the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens that I’ve been borrowing from my dad–I briefly reviewed it here early this year–proved to be invaluable in the city. Sure, the images aren’t as sharp as they would be with a 70-200 lens, but it’s a smaller, less “obvious” lens for street shooting: the black barrel doesn’t draw attention to itself.
As always, comments and criticism welcome! And more photos after the jump!
Chicago and the river that bears the city’s name are a large part my project about Asian carp: the river is a conduit through which the fish are likely to find their way into Lake Michigan. (In all fairness, they have already found alternative routes that take them into Lake Erie.) Here, then, are a few more photos of this city that is the seat of so much controversy.
A few more frames from my day on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with Illinois Marine Towing. I wanted a little “more” both from the portrait of Dan Egan and the image below, with Steve Gray growing in proportion from one frame to the next. As for the third image, I can’t help but be drawn to photos of flowing water, although usually I try to make it silky, I enjoyed the way that the faster shutter speed froze the large droplets.
Before I even got onto the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, I found myself outside the office of Illinois Marine Towing in Lemont, Ill., talking to some of the deck hands who were scheduled to start work that morning, and would remain at work for three weeks. Crews on the tugboats that push barges up and down the waterways live on the boats for three weeks at a time, sometimes four if they’d like to earn a bit more money, before coming home for a few weeks. There are a lot of moving parts in the discussion about Asian carp and the Great Lakes, and these people who make their living working on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are a part of that debate, as is the cargo that they help to push up and down the waterways.
Last Wednesday I had an opportunity to spend most of a day on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with three men who make their living pushing cargo up and down the man-made waterway created 110 years ago. Bill Russell at Illinois Marine Towing, a small barge company in Lemont, Illinois, granted me access to one of the fleet boats as it repositioned barges and other tug boats around the shipyard and up and down a stretch of the canal. Capt. Dan Egan, Antonio Lopez, and Steve Gray were all very open to the idea, and basically allowed me great access to the work that they do, although there are some safety precautions that certainly limit how much of their job I could photograph from close range. But I didn’t want to be the victim of a snapped line or fall into the water, either! Be sure to see the rest of the images after the jump. And there will be more to come!
I’m beginning to wrap the shooting for my master’s project. One of my last days was spent playing tourist in a city I used to live in. While barge companies would be adversely affected if the Thomas J. O’Brien lock on the Cal-Sag Channel was closed permentntly, closing the Chicago Harbor Lock would mean an end to boat traffic from Lake Michigan to the Chicago River, and hurt tour companies like Wendella Boats.
As I go through my take from Thursday, I find a new image I like each sweep. It’s interesting to me how different my editing process is with storytelling photographs than with my more traditional nature and architectural fare, where I am far more ruthless in the initial sweeps of the takes. I suppose it’s part of learning…