"The Deadliest Catch, Caught"
or "Thank God for Zoom"
by Bill Hudson
On June 3rd, I flew to Seattle to help my son Joe drive a moving van back to Orange County, CA. I arrived on Wednesday night and we planned to leave the next day. But Joe had to work on Thursday until 3pm and that gave me the morning to take some pictures of the area. Being a maritime painter, this was a morning I was looking forward to. I've been to Seattle many times in the past and taken many pictures of the ferries and tugs. However, what I really wanted were pictures of commercial fishing vessels. I asked the lady at the desk of our motel for ideas and she suggested Ballard, a port town northwest of Seattle by a few miles.
I took off early that morning driving through historic downtown Seattle toward Ballard when I saw signs for "Fishermen's Terminal." It sounded like a good location so I turned off, parked my car and began walking the harbor. This was an ideal setting with many old vessels, old buildings and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. I could see shipyards far across the harbor which I realized was Ballard. I took many pictures with all the zoom I had. My camera is not expensive, but it is an SLR with an 18X optical zoom and 8.1 mega pixels. I have the option to compromise the fidelity of my photos and increase zoom up to 115X which I did. I particularly liked the far off view of a shipyard and work boats on the other side of the canal in Ballard. I had about 3 hours of photography and recognized many of the boats as crabbers from their resemblance to boats I watch often on the TV series "Deadliest Catch." I took about 300 photographs that morning. I knew from previewing some of the shots on the LCD that I had some potentially great compositions. I was anxious to get prints.
The Northwestern In Ballard
Watercolor, 9" x 12" by Bill Hudson
It was only after I returned home and sent the photos to Sam's Club that I realized just how lucky I had been. When those pictures were printed, particularly the ones taken on max zoom of the shipyard, I immediately knew the boats. I had gotten the Wizard and the Northwestern during their off-season in the Pacific Fishermen, Inc. Shipyard. My first painting from this trip was "The Northwestern In Ballard." I'm now looking forward to a couple of other paintings and perhaps another visit to Ballard.
As a note, when I went to Sam's to pick up my prints I looked at their cameras. For only $249 there was a Kodak, SLR with 14 mega pixels and 26X optical zoom. It was tempting.
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