Monday, December 31, 2012

A Detroit Police Car

I've always been meaning to get a picture of a Detroit Police Car but I can never really get one in a spot where it is relatively background free.
 Today I had that opportunity, so I took it.

The Detroit Police Department was established in 1865 and covers the city with 5 districts and two precincts.  In 1921, the Detroit Police Department became the first police department in the country to use two way radios in their cars.  This was an attempt to stiffle the illegal alcohol trade going on at the time.  Since 1878, the Detroit Police Department has lost 225 officers in the line of duty.
I wish I would have found a better police car but I suppose this one is a symbol of the city that it's driver is supposed to protect.  A little rough around the edges.

My Last Ship of the Year - The Indiana Harbor

I suppose it is fitting that my last ship of this year would be one from the American Steamship Company.  My last ship last year was the Sam Laud which is also part of the American Steamship Company but she's not a 1000 footer.
 So my last ship of the year is the Indiana Harbor.  She's been on this blog a few times before.  I think the last time I caught her was in Port Huron but I could be wrong on that.  At any rate, it is always cool when I get a 1000 footer.  So here she slowly makes her way past the Ambassador Bridge.
 She gets a little closer but she's not moving fast enough for my taste as it was cold and windy this morning.  It is times like this that I wonder what the heck I'm doing.
 As I was waiting, a piece of ice floated by.  So it has to be at least 32 degrees.
 She is definately a big ship and was coming from Conneaut, Ohio to head back to Superior, WI.  Not sure if this is her last trip of the season though.
 As I was taking the pictures, I noticed a bit of steam coming off the forecastle.
 But I didn't bring the right lens to zoom closer, so I would have to wait.
 Here she passes Caesar's Casino.
 A close up of her bow, you can definately see the steam.
 The almost straight on shot.
 The definately straight on shot.
 As close as I could get to her pilothouse.
 I kind of liked the sky in the background.
 And she moves on.
And one more shot before I decided to move on.

The US Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay

I decided to head down to the river today to catch what was going to be my last ship of the year.  I was going to grab pictures at Belle Isle but it was still not quite plowed out so I didn't stick around there.  That meant I went back to Milliken State Park to grab my pictures.
 As I was heading out of the car, I noticed this boat heading up the river.  So I snapped some pictures of her and it turns out that she is one I've not seen before.  I've seen her sisters but not this one.
 She is the US Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay.  She is one of the Bay Class tugboat/icebreakers.  She is similiar to the other Bay Class Cutters that I have taken pictures of.  Normally she is stationed in Rockland, Maine but she was brought here to help with icebreaking duties on the Lakes.
So we here at Michigan Exposures give you a friendly welcome and hope that you enjoy your stay here on the Great Lakes.  Sorry it was cold this morning.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review

Wow, 2012 is almost behind us.  So I guess this is a good time to look back at the year that was.  Will it will be the year that was in about 26 hours.

Well for the most part, I thought that 2012 was a pretty productive year for me.  I got see quite a bit of new things for me but I also felt like I was stunted in the second half of the year.  It's not that I lost focus, I had too much focus on one subject and I feel like I lost a little ground because of it.  With that, I would like 2013 to be better for me.
January found me at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  It the first time that I'd been there in about ten years.  It was fun but not very public friendly.  Despite that, I think I'm looking forward to the 2013 Auto Show because it is going to be in the renovated Cobo Hall.
Ever since I got myself into photography seriously, I've wanted a picture of the St. Joseph Lighthouse covered in ice.  So in February I headed out there with a friend.  I didn't get the picture I was looking for but I did ask myself what the hell I was doing on an ice covered pier in a heavy wind.
March found me at Opening Day for the Soo Locks.  The Locks were opened by the Mesabi Miner.  This was pretty cool and I'm pretty sure I'll want to do this again but I think they normally open at midnight.  This year they decided to open at Noon.  I hope they do that again next year.
April found me out in Pennsylvania with my mom.  As I was checking into the hotel, I discovered a brochure that mentioned this train, so I took a ride on it.
In May, I took what is now becoming an annual train trip.  This year I headed east instead of west, so I went to Washington DC on the Capitol Limited.....
...New York City on the Northeast Regional and back to Chicago on the Lake Shore Limited.  There was alos a brief trip on the Wolverine at both ends.  My visits to both cities were fun, I just wish it were a little cooler in both cases...oh well.
June found me up at the Soo Locks again for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the International Bridge....
....and Engineer's Day.  It looked like it was going to be bust for ships going through but my favorite ship decided to hang back a little bit to give us a treat.   She also gave us a salute and that was pretty cool.
July found me in Amish Country near Clare to get pictures of the wheat sheaves again. 
August found me at a Civil War Muster.  This was the first time I'd been to one of those in a while.  After seeing the many photography opportunities, I'll have to catch some more.
September found me down on the Detroit River for Navy Week.  The crews of the USS DeWert, USS Hurricane and the brig Niagara were all very gracious hosts and I hope that the US Navy doesn't remain a stranger to the Lakes.
September also found me taking Eastern Michigan pictures again.
October found me up at the Mackinac Bridge to catch a shot I've wanted for as long as I've been following the Roger Blough.
November found me back in California.  I was able to visit the USS Iowa and caught a couple of other ships.  It was pretty cool setting foot on a battleship.
December found me getting my groove again.  I hope to continue series like this in 2013.  There are plenty of tales to tell in Detroit.
As always, thanks for visiting my blog.  I hope that you will continue to do so through the next year.

Random Sights of Detroit

These are just some shots I took of Detroit as I was leaving the stadium.
 Looking down Brush Street towards the Renaissance Center.  I kind of like this view and would like to take this picture again when there aren't so many people in it.
The tall building in the center of the picture is the Penobscot Building.  Constructed in 1928 and for a time was the tallest building outside of New York or Chicago.  It remained Detroit's tallest building until the completion of the Ren Cen.  When it was completed it was the 8th tallest building in the world.  It stands at 47 stories.
The tall building back and to the left is the Comerica Tower.  I've taken a few pictures of it.  I'm not sure what the building in front of it is.  The building in the center is the Cadillac Tower and I'm pretty sure I've taken pictures of it before.
I believe this is Monroe Street.  It runs through Greektown.  The spires towards the back are of the St Mary Catholic Church.  One of these days I need to take pictures of it as well.

The Detroit Police Headquarters

This is a building I've been meaning to take pictures of for a while.  Since we took Beaubien Street to get back to the car, we passed right by the Detroit Police Station.  Since it is an Albert Kahn building, I wanted pictures of it.  Now that I've looked at them, I need to go back on a warmer day.
 The Detroit Police Headquarters was built in 1923.  You can see some of the stylings of Albert Kahn in the building itself.
 I like the look of the front door, even though it looks like it has seen better  days.
 A shield above the door.  Again, I'll have to come back when it is warmer.
 Some of the decorations on the building itself.
One more shot before moving on.

I think there are plans to move the headquarters from this building to the old MGM building after it is remodeled.

Detroit Lions Vs. Da Bears

My dad and I decided to go the Lions game.  This is only my second Lions game at Ford Field.  The first time I went, they gave me a problem over my camera and I couldn't get in.  The second time, they gave me a minor problem over my camera but they let me in.  This time, I decided to use my smallest lens but they still gave me a minor problem.  Before the game I looked on their website and my camera falls within their restrictions.  Funny thing is that if I had a point and shoot super zoom, there would be no problem but since my camera looks "professional", I must be going in there to take pictures to sell.  Never mind that the pictures you get from the stands are nowhere near as good as the ones from the field but still.

So because of that, I didn't take too many game shots.
 The Lions play in Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.  It is across the street from Comerica Park (who don't give me problems over my camera).  It was originally planned to be an outdoor stadium but the decided on a dome.  Ground was broken in 1999 and the stadium officially opened in 2002.  Super Bowl XL was hosted here in 2006.  The stadium seats 65,000 people which is probably the average number of tickets sold at the Silverdome on a game day.  This minimizes the chances of a TV blackout because the game didn't sell out.
 The Chicago Bears punting.  We didn't see this enough during the game.
 Another overall shot of the stadium.  It is actually a pretty nice stadium.  The field is made out of "Field Turf" which behaves mostly like grass but it made from recycled tires and plastic grass blades.  They use that at Rynearson and maybe one of these days, I'll get a closeup picture of it.
 The Lion championship banners in the rafters.  They are pretty sparse given that the Lions are one of the earlier teams in the league.  The last time they won a championship was in 1957 which is before I was born.  Heck, my dad would have been 11 then.
 The skyboxes and some of the retired numbers.  Given the number of crappy teams that the Lions have fielded, it's no surprise they don't have more.
 Nick Harris punting.  We saw this far too often.
 The Dunkin Donuts race.  One of the ways they entertain the fans.
Jason Hanson putting the ball through the uprights.  He broke his own record for Lions points.
 This was one of two Stafford fumbles.  The  Lions had a total of four turnovers.
 The Lions would bring these flags out after a score.
 I wanted a shot of Ford Field with something going on.
 Calvin Johnson after catching a ball.  He was 36 yards short of being the first player to have 2000 receiving yards in a season.  After last week's game, he holds the record for single season receiving.
 Stafford about to pass.  He has a very unorthodox style of passing.  He's more of a sidearm passer.
 Will Heller after catching a touchdown pass.
 The flags coming out.
 Someone singing the Lions fight song.
 I liked the Old English D for the D-fence thing.
 Chicago in the victory formation.
 The postgame handshake.
Chicago ending up winning 26 to 24.  The Lions made a game out of it despite their 4 turnovers.