Life in the Western Pacific


Hello from the Marianas Islands, also affectionately known by hundreds as the middle of nowhere!

The last two months have been crawling by as I realize after 45 days without seeing the sun that each day was exactly the same as the preceding day, only with different meals. I chose not to shoot many pictures underway for lack of space--since we carried almost twice the nominal personnel payload for the last month and a half. There literally was nowhere to go and hide just to get away; every last corner was packed full of either Seals and divers and ship's crew working out, or Seals' and divers' equipment.


So it was easiest to just zone out and spend as much time in the time machine (the rack) as possible. Slide in, and poof, five hours goes away!


But amidst all that, I have still been doing my part as the ship's photographer. We are setting up a Cruise Book for the deployment--basically a yearbook for the crew. I've been taking portrait shots like the one above, and candid shots, and shooting pictures of the boat coming in and out of port. I learned some valuable tips for shooting the boat, especially when shooting from another boat: Things can change more quickly than you think! There was one point when I saw the boat turning toward me--there was about a 10° starboard angle on the bow--so I bent down to switch lenses for the 0° shot, but when I came up the boat had already crossed and was opening to port. Blast!


Another time involved me running a half-lap around the tugboat as it spun around 180° to position itself to tie up with the submarine. It's hard enough to pan with a moving subject, but when you pan while the ground you're standing on is rotating the opposite direction, it quickly becomes twice as tricky, and naturally you have half as much time to capture the shot. I did capture some great shots, though. Some of them are those I see in magazines, hanging on walls in the Squadron HQ buildings, pictures I look at saying, "Man, I wish I could shoot that." Well, I did!



I will be uploading more pictures if and when I can find the time--trust me, I have literally a thousand pictures I want to upload but it takes so long at this internet place. I'll do what I can, but for now, thanks for reading.