Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

Four images.

I can do technically accurate captures, but I’m generally more interested in presenting my own spin on reality. In these photos, taken at Bay Shipbuilding, I played with the color–increasing saturation–and buffed out any graininess in order to achieve a more painterly effect.


 Then, some creative cropping to remove distractions: Bottom of the door is boring! or redirect the eye:  Look at the little overhang!


Most of the chalked notations throughout the yard are in a no-nonsense, businesslike hand, but in the case of the photo above…very interesting.  Flourishes. Drama, even. The artist seized the moment and his canvas.


I’m not sure if there’s a style or genre for the pictures in this set: Shipyard Romantic? Maybe Sheet Metal Moody?


Five images, best viewed at full size.

I have the suspicion  that my muses arrived at the shipyard several hours ahead of me and staged countless perfectly balanced scenes for my photographing pleasure.

For example:




The arc of the pipe above is purely wonderful and its cool silver looks elegant against the flat gunmetal gray. What I didn’t see until I was reviewing my shots at home was the cryptic scrawl “God is.

If there was more to that message, I missed it. On the other hand, perhaps it is such a profound sentiment that it needs no other words. Enough said.

The entire yard is filled with ship parts patiently waiting to be assembled (or reassembled) into fully-functioning freighters and barges and, as you can see in this next shot, carefully labelled.  I can only imagine that, when the time is right, all those pieces are fitted together like a sea-going Rubik’s Cube.


My personal favorite. It would appear that original measurements have been crossed out and reworked, leaving the impression that the barge has been covered with runes:


Oh, wait. This is a favorite as well:


Six images.

One final collection of shots from Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. Best viewed at full-sized.

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It is cold here. Numbingly cold. Hell-is-freezing-over quality cold. I believe that today in Green Bay we warmed to a toasty +1 degrees F…but that doesn’t factor in the brutal wind chill factor. I was–reluctantly–out and about and can tell you that every single penny spent on the heated seats in my car was a splendid investment. However, despite the ravages of the cold here in Green Bay, there is little snow on the ground and this means that my snowshoes are still hanging in the basement.

I expect that I am whining to the choir on this score. The Minnesota branch of La Famille Wabi Sabi is also under siege by the same bitter cold. My family in Atlanta will be looking at single digit temps tomorrow. Our New Hampshire tribe has endured not only great cold, but over 10 feet of snow so far this winter.

Which brings me to my friend, Karen, whom you’ve met in these posts before: the last time we were together, we were poking around in the abandoned saw mill. Yesterday, her home of Marquette, Michigan was awarded the dubious title of “Snowiest City in America,” having logged over 150 inches of snow so far this winter.


The Puppeteer

The Man Behind the Curtain

The Ghost in the Machine

I took a series of daytime shots at the shipyard this weekend, concentrating on the huge Manitowoc crane which transports material across the yard. Even though the crane was carrying steel plates and giant ladders onto the ships, I was struck by the slow and graceful movements of material suspended from chains and advancing purposefully above the yard. I felt as though I was watching acrobats performing high above the audience at a circus.

Ahhhh…but who is the mover and shaker here? Who directs the show, keeps acts moving?

Meet the Ringmaster.



Pretty sure you are going to have to view these shots full-sized in order to find the fellow in blue jeans and a flannel shirt.


I’ll show you the series this week.

Once again, I’ve chosen to mute the colors and lights.



Image #1 is not as crisp as I would like, but it is the best I have showing the entire crane and I couldn’t leave this series behind without showing you how Star Wars-worthy this massive beast really is.

A Shipyard Lullaby in six images.

Continuing to roll out captures from Bay Shipbuilding taken last Thursday night.

With this collection, I deliberately chose to under-saturate colors, looking for a muted palette. What it feels like–to me, at least–is a collection of illustrations in search of a children’s book.







The largest freighter featured in this collection is the CSL Assiniboine.  CSL Assiniboine was built in 1977, is 740 feet long and flies the Canadian flag. Next to her (showing red lights) is the Hon James L Oberstarr and farthest to the left can be seen another Canadian vessel,  the CSL Laurentien.

Four images from Thursday night and a fifth to put them into perspective

Thursday night’s expedition to Bay Shipbuilding for some Industry-After-Dark shots. The weather was more than cooperative with great lights, little cloud cover, and a bright comma of a moon in the indigo-blue post-sunset sky.

I’ve been trying to decide how best to present the series. The shots I am posting here were actually minimally processed and I have spent some long minutes just drinking in the richness of the colors.

Does anyone else do this? Sometimes I just stare at an image and think “I could not possibly have taken that picture. It does not belong to me but instead climbed into my camera looking for a warm place to take a nap.”

The structure you can see on the left of each photo is the pilothouse of the freighter American Century. The following are simply different versions of the same scene and I am perfectly delighted with them as they stand. However, I thought it would be helpful to include a fifth picture to show you the sheer enormity of both the ship and the crane.





The American Century, of which you could only glimpse portions of the pilothouse in those earlier images, is a thousand-foot-long Great Lakes freighter that generally hauls coal on the Lakes.


In that perfect light right after sunset.

crane and moon

Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. The sun set 20 minutes earlier behind this scene and there is a lot of super-industrial light bouncing around that is responsible for the violet-blue sky.

I really really REALLY wanted to call this post “Niles and Daphne” but considered that I might be the only person on the planet who found that amusing.

Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay at night. Tonight to be exact. Like…two hours ago. This is one hopping place–they are obviously working around the clock.

A calm and methodical woman would process the pictures she took and then present them to you in an organized fashion.

Yeah…right. Not happening.

I selected just one shot to post this evening.

The rest will be coming soon.

First Crane sized

Playing around with lines and shadows.


 I should have spent more time on site, but I guessed the crew had gone up the road to The Settlement Bar for lunch.  I didn’t want to be there when they returned as I clearly did not belong to their union.

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I think the pearls would have been a dead give-away.

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