Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The eyes are easily deceived

I took a lot of pictures right after work today. I left the office at 5:00 p.m., a little while after sunset. The sky to the south was a beautiful red/purple and I hurried on to get shots of taxi boats and docks at dusk. I kept my exposure a bit on the low side to accentuate the colour in the sky so the boats and things on the ground ended up as silhouettes.
Later in the evening, I looked downriver and thought I saw something bright near to the middle of the river. At first I wondered if it was the rising moon although it lacked the colour that is often expected when the moon is close to the horizon. I decided it must be a barge or a barge and tug on the way north or the way back from further north. Moosonee is the port where cargo arrives by rail and is loaded onto barges to be delivered on both sides of James Bay.
I decided to get a shot of whatever it was and hoped that it was not moving too fast.
Went inside and grabbed a tripod and put the 100-400mm lens on a Canon 5DII.
Fortunately, whatever it was had not moved much if at all. It was too dark for autofocus so aimed for infinity and then adjusted by eye until it looked ok. Hey, these eyes did manual focus for years and can still manage it once in a while. Fortunately the object had some nice vertical lines that were easy to focus on.
It looked like the tail end of one of the barges. Probably headed north I thought.
Time to turn up the exposure and the ISO. The 100-400 at 400mm is an f5.6 lens so could not do anything that way. Should have left the 70-200 f2.8 lens on.
However there was enough light to make it clear what it was.
It was an empty barge, tied up on the river bank but long enough to appear that its stern was way out in the river. What I thought might have been the back side of the stern was the front. The barge is mostly black with some light colouring on the vertical structure at the stern which was reflecting the dock lights. When I cranked up the exposure and reduced the focal length got a picture of a dark barge at dock
Nothing so exciting as a barge on the move. Just something still tied up where it was earlier in the day.

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