USS Iowa

Traveling Light on the USS Iowa

I took the day off from work and spent a couple of hours on the USS Iowa!  What a wonderful day it was!

USS Iowa

For those that don’t know what the USS Iowa is, it’s a Battleship.  It was built in 1940 and served our country in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War.  The Iowa (a.k.a. the Big Stick) was one mean ship.  She has 3, 16″ Gun Turrets, 12, 5″ Guns, 4 Phalanx Guns, 32 Tomahawk Cruise Missile Launchers, and 16 Harpoon Launchers.  She’s also fast for a ship weighing 57,450 tons, and is 887 feet long.  During a Cold War exercise, she could travel over 35 knots (43 mph).

Before I made the trip to San Pedro, I had already decided on my camera equipment.  The choice was simple for me, it would be my Olympus E-P3.  Why?  Because I wanted to travel fast and light.  There is a lot of walking on this big ship, and that includes climbing up and down some narrow and steep stairs (which sometimes looked like ladders).  The last thing I wanted was to get snagged on something, or be bogged down with heavy gear.

My little Oly worked perfectly!  I carried the camera and 1 extra battery in a very small LowePro bag.  For the couple of hours I spent on the ship, and all of my walking and climbing, I never once regretted my choice.  Most of my pictures were taken in Aperture Priority mode, bracketing 3 exposures for future HDR work, and sometimes I quickly switched to the Art Filters (black & white).

The more I use my E-P3, the more impressed I am.  It’s sized just right (at least for me), has just enough knobs and buttons to make changing settings quick and easy, and has more than enough photo quality for my taste.  I’m very tempted to trade in the rest of my Canon gear for the new Olympus OMD E-5 to complete my transformation to a smaller equipment footprint.   You can check it out here: Adorama – OMD E-5.

I think that’s enough for now.  Here are some of the photos from my visit to The Big Stick!

USS Iowa

USS Iowa

USS Iowa, 5 Inch Guns

USS Iowa

USS Iowa

USS Iowa

USS Iowa, 16 Inch Guns

All but one of the images above are black & white.  I did actually shoot color, but I really think the black & white does this amazing ship more justice.  When you’re on board, you can almost feel the history, and I started to visualize how things would have looked back in the 40’s.  I wanted to try and preserve that feeling with the black & white tones.

I highly recommend that you see this ship for yourself.  For more information, check out this link – USS Iowa, The Battleship of Presidents.

Until next time, Happy Shooting!

4 thoughts on “Traveling Light on the USS Iowa”

  1. I have posted your trip to USS Iowa on our group, called “USS Iowa…Gray Ghost of the Korean Coast” and thank you so much for the splendid photography.

    1. Thanks for sharing Dale, I appreciate it! I enjoyed my visit so much, and took so many pictures I think I’m going to do a part 2.

  2. Love both your photo blog entries on The Big Stick. Thank you for sharing them with Pacific Battleship Center’s FB page! That’s how I found them. 🙂 My brother served aboard the Iowa in 1989, and last summer my family and I went to the museum opening. It’s a fantastic ship!

    1. Thanks Amy, I’m glad that you liked them! You’re right, it is a fantastic ship and I’m looking forward to going again!

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