Wednesday, June 20, 2012

War of 1812: Bicentennial Sailabration

     This past week, the Baltimore inner harbor welcomed over 40 ships from all around the world.  Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, Canada, and Indonesia were only some of the countries represented in the lineup.  The ships sailed in on June 13th, and sailed out on June 19th.  The event was the commemoration of the war of 1812 and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. 

     Walk-around tours of the ships themselves were offered at no charge to all spectators.  Should you have been lucky enough to actually survive the wait line, and still have visiting time to spare, I'm sure it was quite the spectacle.  I, however, took a different approach.  One a bit less "touristy".

     At night, after all the crowds have disbursed and the sailors went in for the evening, the ships were strung with lights and lit up with all the brilliance of a christmas tree.  It was a beautiful sight, indeed.  One to be cherished, and definitely not to be missed.  Anticipating the crowd of spectators and tourists alike, I made sure to get there will after the mainstream crowds had gone for the evening.

Photos inside!

All shots were taken with a combination of the following:

Nikon D800
Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8D ED IF
Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM IF 
Nikon 300mm F/4.0D ED IF 
Kenko 1.4x PRO300 Teleconverter
77mm B+W Slim CPOL

Baltimore Constellation 

     The next day, I decided it would be a good idea to see the ships during the day.  Needless to say, I was wrong about the good idea part.  These are the only shots I got from the whole day worth looking at:

This little lad was sitting atop Federal Hill overlooking the harbor all by his lonesome for quite some time. 

On the last day of their visit, all 40+ ships left Baltimore in one swoop.  Many times throughout the day, as the ships passed Fort McHenry, cannons were fired, and all the sailors stood attention on the ship.  It really was quite a sight.

     Well, at least for a while, we have to bid the ships farewell as they sailed off, homeward bound.  It has been almost 40 years since they have been seen in Baltimore, but we are lucky enough to expect them again in only two more years.  Who knows when they will be seen again on our shores.  Until then, I feel incredibly fortunate to have seen such an eclectic group of ships right here in my home town.  

As always, thanks for stopping by.

P.S.  Here's a guy I ran into shooting a D4.  Seeing the beast in person is quite a bit different than reading about it online.

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