Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Solomon Juneau is a tugboat that is docked on the Milwaukee River just south of downtown.  The boat was built in 1947 and was renamed the Solomon Juneau in about 1982.  I assume it is used primarily for private party excursions.

I was drawn to the boat because of its use of rich primary colors and the fact that its age gives it some character.  The day I chose to take photos was very overcast.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, as it avoids having shadows detract from the composition.  This is particularly the case where the focus needs to be on the use of color.  (This was the case also with the Victorian home that I featured in an earlier post.)

Although I probably should have incorporated larger parts of the boat to give a better overall feel for its character, I kept finding myself looking for simpler, more limited compositions that make it easy to avoid distracting elements.  The lights and ropes on the boat made for easy compositions.

It was obvious that the boat had been painted many times over the years and combined original components with contemporary updates (compact florescent bulbs, for example).

The boat's flag was one element that could use some updating:

I particularly liked the ship's bell.

Even though the cloudy conditions flattened the images quite a bit, Photoshop did a nice job, I thought, in bringing the colors, contrast, and definition back to what would have been the result on a brighter day.

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