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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default USS Constitution - special access to the ship

Mid last year, I posted a thread on the USS Constitution and Boston.
I really did not think that they would turn out so well when I took them. Got home and I was very presently surprised. Which got me thinking since I had to return about a month later. In surfing the Navy's website for the Constitution, they offered access for special events (to anyone who makes a request). So, I applied for an early morning sunrise 4.30am to 6am and late evening sunset, 6pm to 9pm. It was granted. I also started doing some figuring and decided I needed a really wide angle lens - the Sigma 8-16 to capture the ship from the top of the main mast down to the waterline in a single frame. I did not think that stitching would really work out.

When I got there, my heart sort of sank, because about 70% of the access I was counting on was all roped off and a 200 foot crane was sitting there. I just made the best of it and shot what I could.

I also screwed up royally - I was going for the highest quality shots I could get so I used the lowest ISO available 80. Normally this if just fine, however it slows down the shutter speed and I forgot that ships move with the tide, and the breeze does move the rigging like a banjo string. The bottom line is in quite a few of the images, the background is perfect while the ship has some slight movement - just enough to not be perfectly crisp. Oh well - live and learn.

I took about 500 images across the two periods of access. I tried a lot of things. Some worked and turned out very well, while others were - well a learning experience.

Here are the images - enjoy!

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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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Here are some more.... These are much better.

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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:50 PM   #3
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I made a shot plan, laying out everything I wanted to try to do. Sort of a checklist - a reminder list. It worked out very well. I brought too many lenses. Tried to do way too much. I should have just kept it simple.

I found that you get shooting, and you loose track of what you want to do, and how you want to do it.

I did think that I may be able to have access to the deck of the Constitution, but that was not permitted - you need to go on a tour during the regular scheduled times during the day.

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Old Apr 14, 2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Here are a few more...

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Old Apr 14, 2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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As I posted initially, I went out and acquired a Sigma 8-16 for this (an excuse to my wife - the Chancellor of the Exchequer). I had not practiced with it at all, and things went rather well. Other than for one specific shot. I thought that I would try to be cute and grab a shot with the ship to the extreme side of the frame - so as to exclude the crane that was parked next to it. The lens does have some distortion to it, I found.

I used LR4 to correct the distortion, straighten up the ship, cropped it and adjusted for the keystone effect. However, it wound up stretching the ship out of proportion on the vertical axis. Still trying to figure out how to fix it - as it turned out to be a pretty decent shot.

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Old Apr 15, 2013, 8:09 AM   #6
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Nice job on the shots, you picked a great time of day to add drama to the images, I really like the 3rd from last overall shot. Well done

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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Great work! Some of the first set looks a little blurry. Hand held low light?

I love the first photo with the rope. That photo plus the second and third to last overall photo are my favorites. Great stuff!

EDIT: Sorry, I just read your post and realized you commented about the blur. My bad!
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 2:15 PM   #8
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Would be cool to get shots of this one in the deeper waters I would find out when they sail her again and if they plan to shot those guns off!? Think that would be a great shot to capture those cannons going off.

Nice subject for sure... Very good shots you did a great job even with all the extra...
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 6:18 PM   #9
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I really like # 1.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 9:05 PM   #10
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Beautiful lighting in all the shots..did you use HDR on the last set?

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