Helpful navigation toolbar

Friday, December 10, 2010

Trio of shots from Ft. McHenry

I took these shots yesterday after visiting Ft. McHenry for the first time. I would estimate the Fort itself is about two miles from the Inner Harbor, but if you have never visited I would highly recommend it. While I was talking with the park volunteers yesterday I learned that the visitors center (which I thought looked pretty new) had just opened this week, but the "official" ceremony will not be until March, when the park resumes normal operations. I learned quite a bit about the site in my discussions with the volunteers and some of the knowledge I will share about the photos below.

The first shot is one room of the Artillery Corps Enlisted quarters. Up to 16 soldiers called the room "home". With the exception of the hardened walls, the interior actually doesn't look that dissimilar from the tents and connexes that service members reside in while deployed overseas. You have a small bed, a small area for personal items, a place for your weapon, and that is about it. What stood out to me in this photo was the name of one of the enlisted men on the foot of one of the beds and the inclusion of military artifacts from the era (muskets, canteens, etc). You can view the photo up to X3 by clicking on it and try to find more details that I did not discuss. If you find something of interest, please leave a comment below or on the photo in my smugmug gallery! (That always applies for any of my photos, getting feedback on any shot is very much appreciated!)

The second and third shots are "powder rooms" located within the complex. The first photo is of one of the above-ground storage areas. Once again, there are several aspects of this photo and details that you can best view by choosing the X3 viewing option, but two that I wanted to point out is the date on the powder kegs and the roof. The date is from 1814, the year of the attempted attack on the fort that made this location famous. The authenticity of the entire site is pretty amazing, while they do have modern touches for the convenience of guests, it still feels as if you are stepping back in time to what it was like to be at the Fort nearly 200 years ago. The second portion is the roof. During the battle which led to Francis Scott Key composing what would become our National Anthem, a cannon ball from a British ship landed a direct hit, crashing through the roof and landing in the middle of the room. For some reason, be it the cannon ball was a dud or if there was an issue with the fuse, it did not explode. Had it exploded, it is possible that the outcome of the battle would have been quite different. The actual cannon ball itself is located directly outside of the building among several cannons from the era. With regards to the photo itself, the sun was directly behind the building so it was difficult to get the lighting exactly how I wanted it. I was able to make some minor modifications using Viveza to over/under expose certain areas via control points. If you have been reading my blog and keeping up with my posts you know that I have a very special place in my heart for the Nik Software products, the "Control Points" that allow you to tweak small areas of the photo is such an amazing feature to have in a photo editing tool!

The third photo is my favorite picture that I took yesterday, it is of another powder room, except this one is located underground just outside of the walls of the Fort. I mentioned the date on the kegs in the last photo, the date on these kegs are from 1864. The room is protected by a locked wooden door. To get this shot I placed the camera on the tripod with the legs unextended so the overall height was approximately 18" from the ground. I did my best to focus on the powder kegs while retaining some focus on the wooden bars in the door so they were not completely out of focus. I must have taken over 30 shots from this vantage point making minor tweaks to the aperture, length of exposure, and focus point trying to get the shot exactly perfect. Out of all the photos I took yesterday of the Baltimore Basilica, the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, and Fort McHenry, this is by far my favorite shot.

Fort McHenry Artillery Corps Enlisted Quarters

Above-ground powder room at Fort McHenry

Underground powder room at Fort McHenry

No comments:

Post a Comment