Sunday, March 22, 2009

Industry, from Above


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A domestic air connection on a clear morning is a moving canvas for a photographer. I try to keep my lens to the window, and you see the most amazing things, some of which even photograph cleanly. You're working with the ever-changing lighting angle, the cleanliness of the window, and your own reflexive ability to frame and shoot moving targets in some meaningful way. This was a chilly morning in November, 2006, at the end of a tiring series of connections from Australia. The domestic had left London just after dawn and was not far from landing at Newcastle, maybe 30-something minutes later, when we passed over this river industrial complex, and I spotted this ship. It looks like a service and support vessel for the North Sea oil rigs, and makes a fascinating sight with its cranes and helcopter pad. See how low the sun angle is, the shadows of buildings and cranes crossing the hull. I'm not sure whereabouts this is, on the Humber, the Tees or the Tyne, I don't remember exactly how long it was prior to landing. The shot was taken at maximum optical zoom looking hard down as the aircraft banked, and was the best of three. The frame was sharpened and colour-balanced to compensate for the dulling effect of the aircraft window. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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