"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Tugboat Pushes Barges on the Mon

Shot through a chain-link fence.

I was in the passenger seat and I had my camera out. The 70-200 lens.

We were headed to the wedding reception from McKeesport to Greentree. (Lots of double ee)

Crossing the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge. A truss bridge.

And there was a tugboat pushing filled barges on the Monongahela. (Monongahela means “Falling Banks”)

Pushed the shutter and shot shot shot as fast as I could, no chance to change settings. Lucked out with the cables on the edge and the gull in flight. The chain link fence gives the photo a soft haze and fuzz to the sharpness.

I’d asked my friend to drive a little more slowly but everything whizzes by when you are moving and it was unrealistic to go slow on the bridge. Couldn’t have done it if I were driving as there was no place to pull over. It was a squeeze.

and might as well show you the failed shots, the ones with the bridge cables, the blocking the view, the actual fence.

Photography can be exasperating. You would like to get it right.

There was no time for a turnaround, rerun, do-over.

It was the one shot that worked. Lucky day. Oh yes, at least three below that didn’t.

8 responses

  1. I’ve seen/watched barges before and it always amazes me how the tugs can maneuver them with their cargo.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:53 am

  2. BEth Piraino

    I love it

    May 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

  3. Sue Reinfeld

    Those pictures are so Pittsburgh. It’s what I think of when I think of the 3 rivers.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

  4. You really are in coal country. Great shot.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

  5. Erica Wells

    Thanks for giving the translation of Monongahela: first I read “failing banks” and thought “how appropriate” :-) – but “falling banks” works too. :-) Because you gave the 3 “failed” shots, I better understood what you were dealing with to get the very evocative shot!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm

  6. thirdhandart

    Great capture Ruth! Photography can be exasperating when there is no time for a do-over. But, if I’m lucky and get one great shot (like you did), all the bad shots don’t matter.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm

  7. I saw a scene like this in New Orleans on the Mississippi River. For some reason a tugboat looks like a cartoon character to me! Nice pictures!

    May 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  8. I wouldn’t want to meet up with you in a wild west shoot our – you’re too quick a draw!

    Pretty darn impressive lady. Pretty darn impressive.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm

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