Thursday, August 30, 2012

The James R. Barker on the Detroit River

The last time I saw the Barker was the last time I was at the Soo Locks.  I don't think I've ever seen the James R. Barker on the Detroit River so when I saw that she was going to be on the Detroit River, I decided to head downtown.
 I was hoping to catch her at the top of Belle Isle but traffic didn't cooperate with me, so I headed down to Milliken State Park.  Here you see the Barker coming out of hiding.
 I know that the Barker has been down this way before, just never could catch up with her.
 I like the shots I can get at Milliken but I would have rather have been on the other side of Belle Isle because I could have gotten a proper head shot.
 As it is, I'm pretty happy with this shot.
 I am more happy with this shot because it gives you an idea of the scale of the ship.  I think I like this style of 1000 footer over the other style.
 I think it has more graceful lines.
 She gets closer.
 ...and closer.
 And the almost straight on shot.  I couldn't get the full straight on shot though.
 A shot of her bow.
 And superstructure.
 A close up of her pilothouse.
 A shot as she heads downriver.
 The Ambassador Bridge in the background.
 A closer shot.
And an almost full shot of the Ambassador Bridge.

A Helicopter Flies Over

I decided to head down to the Detroit River after work tonight since I saw that the James R. Barker was coming downbound. 
I think this is a Bell Jet Ranger but not sure what version.  It might be a news version based on the camera under the nose.
It flew right over me.  Not sure if I like this shot or not.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jackson Civil War Muster - Post Activities

They did some stuff after the battle.  Mostly just the soldiers passing in review and some rifle volleys.
 The Union soldiers did a rifle volley.  I kind of wish I would have caught it a little sooner so that the smoke wasn't in the way.
 The Sharpshooters coming towards the review.
 The Cavalry soldiers leading the way.
 I thought this was kind of cool.
 The main cavalry officer.
 Some of the soldiers.  It's amazing how they captured the tired look of soldiers after a battle.
 A Confederate volley.
 And the Confederate guys did a bayonet charge for the crowd.
One of the Jackson County mounted sheriffs.

Like I said, I had fun and I think I will try to make the one next year.  Maybe I should try to look for other ones so I can get some better pictures.

Jackson Civil War Muster - The Battle

This post is dealing with the battle itself.  The Battle was supposed to be the Battle of Stones River but I don't think it really matters because this look very similar to another re-enactment I went to a few years ago.

The battle was fought December 31st, 1862 to January 2nd, 1863.  The battle was technically a draw but the Union was able to repulse two Confederate attacks and cause the Confederates to withdraw so it was technically a Union victory.
 The Union artillery soldiers coming into position.  It was kind of neat to see the cannons fire but it made for tough photography as you will see later.
 One of the Union cannon crews in position.  There was a photographer sitting in front of me and he told me to focus on the guy in the back to my right of the cannon.  He was the cannon captain would be the one to key on to tell when the cannon would fire.  That didn't really help though.
 I thought I didn't leave this in with my pictures but I did and so you get a comparison.  The battle started out with the Union soldiers running away from the advancing Confederate group.
 I wasn't really happy with the above picture, so I cropped it.  I think I like this one much better.
 The Confederates fire one of many rifle volleys.
 And the Union soldiers return fire.  One of the difficulties I had with this was keying on a specific area of the battle.  There was too much going on to follow.  The narrator was somewhat helpful.
 And this shows one of the difficulties of trying to capture a picture of a cannon firing.  While I like this shot, the smoke really obscures the rest of the crew.
I like this one a little better.
 These are guys representing one of the Union sharpshooter units. 
 While I like this picture, you can see the smoke becomes an issue.
 Another volley from the Union lines.  If you see the guys in the red pants, they are Zoaves.  I think the guys in the white pants are Marines.
 Another volley.  I think I like this picture a little better.
 The Confederate Cavalry rushing into the battle.  The Cavalry was typically used for scouting and occasionally they could outflank the infantry.
 I really like this picture with the Confederate flag flying.
 One of the Cavalry guys taking a shot.
 A Confederate officer leading an infantry charge.
 The Sharpshooters trying to prevent a flanking move.
 The Confederates advancing.
 They ended up doing two half hour battles.  This is the Union soldiers getting in position again.
 This time, the Union had the Cavalry.  I believe they would have been setting up a charge here.
 The Cavalry flag bearer.
 Charging into action.
 A Cavalry soldier looking over the battle.
 I really like this shot.
 I think I would have liked this shot more if I had gotten his face in the picture.
 Another volley about to be launched.
 And it gets launched.
 Another fire of the cannon.
 This guy was acting as a scavenger.  He was checking the "dead" bodies for stuff.
 Another volley.  The sad part about this is that unless you catch it at first, the smoke obscures much of the shot.
Like this picture.

While it was cool doing these pictures, there were many difficulties.  I kind of wish they would have set up the infantry lines closer to the crowd but I would imagine there are some safety issues involved with that.  While I kind of whish I had brough my bigger lens, I'm not sure I would gotten better pictures.  But I still had fun.