Jake Egbert Photography Blog

Mukilteo Lighthouse

I had a chance to visit the Puget Sound north of Seattle a few weeks back on business. It rained all day, but by evening the drizzle stopped and I spent a couple of hours at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo, Washington.

Before my trip I struggled with the decision of whether or not to bring my camera along. As much as I enjoy taking pictures, there are trips (business trips in particular) where I don't ever take my camera out of its case. Lugging the camera on and off of airplanes only to not use it can be a pain. Well, as you can see, I finally opted to bring the camera along again... I think I chose wisely.

Finding myself alone for several hours with my camera in tow in a place as picturesque as this... Well, there are worse ways to spend an evening on a business trip. I watched the ferry boats running back and forth across the sound in tandem, I observed lots of wildlife, and I generally just had a great time. I capped off the evening with a delicious dinner at Ivar's followed by another half hour on the piers watching the sunset.

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USS Constitution - Boston

October 22, 2011 we took my parents to visit Boston and one of the highlights of the trip was touring "Old Ironsides" at the Charlestown Navy Shipyard. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world (there is one older commissioned war ship in England, HMS Victory, but it is in permanent dry dock and no longer afloat...)

The sky was a bit threatening, which made for some pretty good contrast in the cloud cover. Last time we climbed aboard for a tour the top deck was covered by a canopy and the masts were not in place while they were doing some sort of maintenance. This time the ship was moored with its bow pointed towards Boston Harbor, and its masts were all in place. Another difference this time was that they didn't limit the size of each tour group. This meant that there was a much shorter wait but the tour was a bit less extensive than when they send smaller groups through.

Probably the biggest difference, though, is that last time I wasn't shooting on manual settings. This means my below-deck shots now have much better exposure and contrast without popping a flash. What do you think of them?

Tall masts reaching into gray skies

Sepia life ring

Our energetic enlisted tour guide, proud active member of the US Navy

I don't think the cannon mounts were meant to hold little boys, but don't tell him that

Stairways to the upper deck

I was amazed to get a shot of our tour guide and an otherwise empty deck as our group filed back up the stairs

Rows of cannons

The coils of rope are almost decorative

Tourists are encouraged not to play with the cannon balls

My son takes a turn steering the ship

Hello? Anyone down there?

Looking out into Boston Harbor

Not everything about the visit to the ship yard was positive, though. After the tour I stood at the stern of the ship taking in the entire scene. Imagine my dismay, nay, dare I say HORROR, when I spotted some clown greeting Navy personnel and walking around like he owned the place!

Raise your hand if you find this photo disturbing.
(Note to parents: If you wallpaper a young child's bedroom with circus clowns, they may just grow up loathing them... I'll have to ask my brother some time if that's true. Of course my wallpaper featured Butch Cassidy and a bunch of cowboys and I still don't care for those that dabble in the clowning arts.)

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Tall Ship Gazela - Sailfest 2011

The wooden barkentine Gazela, currently sailing out of Philadelphia, graced the Custom House Pier in New London for Sailfest 2011. Visitors were invited to climb aboard, look around, and talk with the crew.

I enjoyed visiting with several crew members while listening to the New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums performing at the bottom of the gangway. Each of the volunteers aboard the Gazela has an appreciation for their ship and for sailing that was evident in the way they spoke of their different responsibilities and experiences aboard and abroad. They spoke of the different harbors they've visited and described the complexities of running a sailing vessel with a volunteer crew. The art of sailing one of these tall ships is nearly lost, but there are a dedicated few that still find satisfaction in keeping the traditions alive.

I've been playing around more with Lightroom to do my post-processing. What do you think of the results?

Securing the Ship

Fog rolled in over the New London skyline ahead of the rain

The Wheel and Compass

Wooden Dories

New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums

Lines in Order

Ship's Bell


Forward Mast with Square Sails
(the rear two masts don't have square sails)

Lines on Deck

From the Custom House Pier

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Composition: Foreground Study #2

The red dinghy is back again. I received a few good comments on yesterday's post, thank you. While similar to the first pics, this set is more focused on keeping the foreground in focus rather than the objects in the distance, if you get my... um, focus.

This photo is nearly identical to this one posted yesterday. Shifting the focus forward and the horizon up seems to reduce the crowded feel that it had before.



Angel emailed and suggested that I crop this picture, which I posted here yesterday, to improve it. Did it work?

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Composition: Foreground Study

I've been trying some different things with photo composition lately. The other night I took these with the object of keeping objects in the foreground in an attempt to create a sense of depth and make the pictures more interesting.

What do you think? Does the technique improve any of these shots for you?

The Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge over a rack of dinghies. I like the solid red and green in the foreground, I just wish I could have taken this from a slightly higer position to reduce the crowding of the boats on the river with the dinghies.

Another shot over the dinghies. Again, I wish I could have positioned it so the boats on the river weren't obstructed.

Bridge over grass #1

Bridge over grass #2.
These two shots are similar and there are things about each that I like. Which one do you like better?

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Pocket-Size Speedboat

Another set from the Connecticut River at sunset. This is the smallest speedboat I think I've seen. They were having a great time tearing around the river and jumping the wakes of other boats. I cropped these down and kept them simply because of the way the spray lights up in the golden light from the sunset. I did minimal post-processing to these except to increase the contrast in order to darken up the trees.



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