Original post January 16, 2015 By: Tom Owens
I left Landguard in torrential rain on the afternoon of the 7th and determined that the overall magnitude of the scale of working at this terminal was better reflected either in the twilight hours or at night. These behemoths collect tugs and feeder vessels like parasites on wild animals. There is a whole food chain linked with vessels that ply a trade from Ipswich to the near continent and the relentless procession of these super-sized vessels chugging around the globe.
This image was made some 1 hour 10 minutes before sunrise. A strange thing happened just after I set up my tripod and focused the camera. All the container cradles swung back on all the cranes for about 2-3 minutes. I know not why but this was the second of some 95 images made and the best. I would have made no more than 6 large format images had I been using that format but I knew instinctively that I had my image when I saw the cradles swing into position. This was at 06:57:57. Thereafter, 6 second exposures drew colourful swirls of containers as boxes were hurtled through the air to the waiting straddle carriers below.
I will post another dusk shot in the next post from the same position showing how things have changed since the 4th March 2014. I really like this image and so far this year it ranks among my favourites. However, I miss the gaggle of tugs that used to frequent the foreground. They now huddle together out of sight at the Ipswich end of the Landguard terminal.
By the time she left port on 9th some 7000 boxes had been unshipped and shipped and she was no longer the largest container ship in commission in the world. How times change.