USCGC Eagle in the Piscataqua River

This weekend, Portsmouth, NH is hosting the US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle. It’s a ceremonial ship. They don’t use it for rescues on the high seas or stopping drug dealers. It represents both the USCG in general and our country when visiting other nations. I really wanted to try to get some nice images as I’ve done when other tall ships visited Portsmouth. The problem is that while other ships had docked at a very accessible pier that was wonderful for taking photos, the Eagle was docked at the State Pier which is behind a security perimeter and not very picturesque. The Coast Guard has to follow certain security guidelines. I wanted to take photos at sunset and when I arrived, the pier was closed to the public. Also, the ship was positioned next to a large pile of something under white tarps. The tarps really didn’t help the image.

Undaunted, I realized that the harbor is in a river. If I could find an access point on the other side of the river (in Maine), then I could get some shots. Using satellite images from Google Maps, I saw that most of the Maine side of the river was occupied by private homes. It’s not a good practice to go into people’s yards. But there seemed to be one spot with a dirt lot that wasn’t linked to a home. I walked across Memorial Bridge over to that spot. The lighting was not ideal and the only reason that the photo below is usable is due to some good editing software (Lightroom). The picture above was made as I was walking back to Portsmouth across the bridge. I saw the small boat in the foreground and snapped the picture. It’s a funny thing, The boat gives the image life and makes it interesting. I was going to make another image after the boat passed, but when I looked through the viewfinder, the same scene without the boat was really dull.

21 thoughts on “USCGC Eagle in the Piscataqua River

  1. Robin

    Dedication of a true photographer! And using Google satellite images to find it there was a location was truly inspired. I love the photos, and I totally agree that the boat adds to the interest of the picture.

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you, Robin. I’ve found Google Maps helpful on several occasions to plan photo shoots and explore possible angles. It amazes me how much some detrail can add to an image. Cheers!

  2. Prior...

    Oh this is a good photo with or without the front boat!
    That front boat just changed the
    feel and the balance – and it tells a different story – a good one with scale and even
    makes the foreground change

    But without the boat (I am mobile right now so I zoomed in a bit and it cropped it )
    And without the front little boat –
    The waving flag on the right
    is more prominent and wrings changed- but not even close to dull – ha

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Hmmmm. Good point. I think I just preferred the image with the boat in it. It was a spur of the moment type of decision. I never made the second shot. I applaud your creativity with reframing the shot on your phone. Cheers

      1. Prior...

        Well it only took a second to use my fingers and zoom in a little – but glad I did because it was fun –
        And I like how you used those google maps to find access (well access without cutting into private yards)

  3. Sarah

    Hehe! This sounds a bit like you’ve joined some intelligence service or other – using Google Maps, “sneaking” around back yards to get near your target. Jack Reacher would be very proud I think. πŸ˜‰ And the shot was worth overcoming all those hindrances!


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