Thursday, October 3, 2013

On getting up close and personal with a fire boat...or how do YOU like being hosed?

   ...from a photographer's notebook

Nozzle, No.1 - Detail from an Alexandria Fire Boat    ©2013 Steve Ember

Of course, you’d never have guessed from the title that this entry was being written by a furloughed government employee. Nahhh…

But here I am on the third day of the experience, and with my customary belief in whuppin’ up that lemonade when life is dealing you lemons, I’ve decided to put the experience to good use, like catching up with my laundry, reading my junk mail, clipping grocery coupons that I know I’ll forget to redeem...  

Oh, yes, and scanning some recently shot film images.

Couple weeks ago, on a perfect early autumn afternoon, I had occasion to be in Old Town Alexandria to pick up and leave some photos at the gallery where I exhibit.

I had a camera along, and as the weather was so inviting, I decided to spend some time at Founders Park along the Potomac, and watch people feeding the geese or rowing on the river, or…

I’ve often reflected on how being a photographer has made me a keener – and more inquisitive – observer of the world around me. Well, there, bathed in the golden late afternoon sunlight as it sat at a dock along the river, was Alexandria Fire Department Fire Boat No.201, looking pretty spiffy in her bright red paint.

How do you spell Relief? A-F-D                                         ©2013 Steve Ember

I’ll often get up close and personal in shooting details of machines that interest me (locomotives come to mind), but this was my first close encounter with a fire boat.

To be honest, I’ve never really followed fire boats. I mean, you’ll see them in the harbor of any city on a river, and they are very important in their line of duty. News footage might show these nozzle-bristling waterborne fire engines battling a warehouse fire…or shooting great plumes of water across the bow of a new ship, or in other festive events.I just hadn't yet been inspired to add them to my shooting list.

But this particular fire boat was close at hand, and it was just a lot of fun to aim my "new"  Canon Elan-7 wearing the EF 35-135mm lens at some of the interesting details on No.201.

My favorite capture, on this (freezer-stashed) roll of Agfacolor, was the one up top. I liked all the sturdy detail, but it wasn’t until I opened the scan I’d made in my editing program, that I realized the apparatus just happened to look like a happy little red robot with a genuinely “can-do” attitude represented by the black gloved “hand” on the arm coming out of his right “shoulder.”

I hope Mr Nozzle makes you smile, too.

As for now, I’m going to drink me some lemonade. The laundry can wait.

©2013 Steve Ember

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home