I was in Norfolk, Virginia for a couple of days earlier this week. I had been informed that it was worth seeing the USS Wisconsin battleship if time permitted, and that it was close by. I did not realize how close by it was until I could see it looming from two blocks away just a wee bit away from my hotel.
My trusty mirrorless Canon M3 with 18-35mm IS lens accompanied me during this brief one hour opportunity to get some fresh air and check out my immediate surroundings. Below was the first shot taken from about a block away at the full-on 35mm focal length.
Because it had been raining, and the sun was nearly on the horizon with scattered low grey clouds under an overcast sky, I chose to edit and present these images into black and white instead of the normal bluish cast one typically sees from color pictures taken in these conditions.
I believe presenting in black & white evokes a mood that I wish to convey. That mood is one of beauty—in the lines of the ship—but also the seriousness of a mighty military vessel with a primary purpose to defend and destroy if necessary.
This ship was launched in 1943 and served in World War II, the Korean War and the 1991 Gulf War. After serving in Operation Desert Storm it was decommissioned. It was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 2006 and now serves as museum ship owned by the City of Norfolk. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit onboard.
This was my first trip to the Norfolk area, even though I had resided in the relatively nearby Washington D.C. area for 10 years (1998-2008). One definitely can tell there is a strong military component to the local economy. Lots of shipbuilding going on, home to the largest Navy base in the world, and I’m informed one of NATO’s Strategic Command HQs is located here.
In these last two images you’ll notice the shipbuilding. They can make a quite a racket when building these things! From this distance there was a pervasive hum, but not too loud. I’m guessing the locals are used to it.
If you like ships, especially Navy ships, you’ll love visiting the Norfolk area.