I'd seen these beautiful boats from the opposite shore and had even tried to get a photograph with a zoom lens on my DSLR, but the results were never satisfactory. The day I went on a slow photowalk along the Thames Path riverside walk through Wapping in London, I'd forgotten all about them. So as I left St Katharine Docks and came around the corner to where I could see Hermitage Moorings, I was pleased that I had decided on this route, even if the only camera I had on me was my Canon SX220 HS compact and not my DSLR.
The SX220 is a competent-enough camera for a superzoom compact, the 'super' in this case being a 14x magnification going onto a 12MP sensor. But for this photo, I didn't need to zoom, or not very much, and 12MP is only a little smaller than my Nikon D5100's 14MP. When fully zoomed in Aperture priority mode, this compact camera can show characteristic over-sharpening noise, but in Program mode shooting wide, there's hardly any noise worth mentioning.
Thames sailing barges were used to carry cargo such as bricks, hay and grain along the river. Being flat-bottomed and with a draft of only 3 feet, they were as well suited to shallow waters as to the deeper estuary. They plied the waters, usually with a two-man crew, throughout the 19th century. Today they're more likely to be used for pleasure cruises, parties, business meetings, or as restaurants. Sitting at Hermitage Moorings, they look beautiful enough. When fully rigged, they're stunning, as the photo on Wikipedia shows.
Processing my photo in Lightroom 4.3 and Perfect Effects 4 resulted in a photo that I would be happy to call 'fine art'. And it has me hungry to create more.
Schneider Xenon 18mm T2.4 Full-Frame Prime Lens
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