Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tall Ship And Towering Sky

Click image to view at 800 pixels wide

This photograph I find so reminiscent of the maritime artistic tradition of the 19th century that sometimes I have to blink and remind myself I took it. It was December 2006 and the S5600 and I were in Portsmouth for a day visit, specifically Portsmouth Historic Naval Dockyard, to see HMS Victory, the Mary Rose, and this one, HMS Warrior. In many ways she is in the best condition of any of them; for one thing, she's afloat! In 1869 Warrior was the fastest, most powerful battleship in the world, and her restoration (8 million pounds, if I remember correctly) has returned her to amazing condition. I took many photos that day, but this one, with the sun pretty much gone and a towering Atlantic sky coming up over the vessel's masts and rigging, while the low tide stranded many small craft on the mud, was so powerfully evocative of the art of Turner and his ilk, that it feels like a 19th century scene. Yet within half a mile were a modern aircraft carrier and a futuristic harbour control tower: past and present can coexist in the most amazing ways. The camera was supported for a steady image, and the frame was digitally enhanced only slightly, some sharpening, some gamma correction to bring out mid-tone areas, and tweaks of contrast and colour saturation. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic exposure. Image by Mike.

1 comment:

  1. Fabntastic picture, yes Turner and the 'Fighting Temeraire' come to mind - I have an oil on canvas half size copy that In am looking at right now. Next time try and get the Carrier in the background! Mike Hong Kong