Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One Big Hunk of Metal

prop (1 of 1)


Prominently located in the plaza of the Columbia River Maritime Museum is a gigantic ship’s propeller.  This prop’s specifications are impressive;  fourteen feet in diameter and weighing in at nine tons.  It’s one big hunk of metal!  Propellers such as this once drove the Charles Adams Class destroyers across the world’s oceans.

As impressive as this hunk of metal is, the reaction of the people relating to it is even more interesting.  Young children will scale the smooth surface of the blades then slide down  laughing as they go.  Teenagers will climb behind the blades and pose for a picture with only their head showing.  Middle age men can often been seen just standing before it and staring.  I suspect that they are former sailors and appreciate a thing of beauty when they see it. 

When I look at it, I see it as an object of raw power. Two of these propellers working together were capable of driving a ship that was longer than a football field through the ocean at nearly forty miles per hour.  In my book, that’s pretty impressive!

I decided to see if I could capture some of that power with the camera, so over a period of two months I made multiple images during different times of the day.  Hopefully, the following images convey a sense of what I saw.


The energy radiates from within


propeller (4 of 4)


The energy flows across the surface


propeller (3 of 4)

Everything is interconnected


propeller (2 of 4)