Beginning this morning, the 2012 Star-Spangled Sailabration began with the arrival of 40 vessels in Baltimore Harbor. Celebrating the Bi-centennial of the War of 1812, these ships are sailing along the eastern shore stopping at various ports.
Baltimore will be filled with a week of celebration and ship tours throughout the inner harbor. Departure of the ships will be on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
In hopes of capturing the Tall Ships arrival under sail, I planned on heading out to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge either by land or by sea this morning. A large rain storm passed by yesterday, which always results in high winds the following day. With an early departure, we got to the mouth of the Magothy River and were accosted by three to four foot white-capped swells. Quickly turning back, my friend and I jumped into a car and drove to Sandy Point Park in hopes to capture passing ships.
With hazy skies and 20 mph winds, the morning proved to be a photographic challenge. First, the winds were coming in from the north – the direction the ships were heading, so no ships were under sail. Secondly, we were facing east through a hazy sky.
Luckily I had packed my Manfrotto 290, a B& W UV filter, a Hoya HRT circular polarizer filter and the Canon 100-400mm F4.5 L IS lens. Trying to not get knocked down by the wind, we were fortunate to capture the tail end of the ships sailing into Baltimore Harbor. Lightroom adjustments made included noise reduction, sharpening, exposure corrections, addition of blacks & contrasts, and clarity.
Even with my best efforts, one can only work with the light that is available. I also learned that if I really wanted to have the full experience, I should have gone up to Fort McHenry early and staked my photographic location for the Armada arrival. Nevertheless, it still was a really cool morning, and I’m excited about being able to visit these ships this week while docked at Baltimore Inner Harbor.
CLASS “A’ TALL SHIPS
ARC Gloria, Colombia
Launched: 7 September 1968
Length: 257 feet, four masts, 23 sails
ARM Cuauhtemoc, Mexico
Launched: 9 Jan 1982
Length: 220 feet, 3 masts, 13 sails
Sister ship of Gloria
Length: 191 Feet, 3 masts
FGS Hessen, Germany
Launched: April 2006
Length: 469 feet
USS Fort McHenry, USA
Launched 1 Feb 1986
Length: 610 feet