Old Personal Ships

The QE2 in Liverpool

On September 21st the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth 2) Ocean Liner visited Liverpool on her 40th anniversary tour. The day started with torrential rain. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and I was on a ferry for what was the best light all day. I am incredibly happy with this photo for many reasons, but mainly because I feel that I’ve come full circle. Back in 1990 I was 11 years old. I had spent 1 day that summer, I memory serves, on a photography day trip. I used a film slr and we wandered around Birkenhead. We got to process our photos in a darkroom, which was pretty cool. The photo appeared by magic. It was my first real taste of photography. I took a photo, that I wish I could find, of Birkenhead Docks in black and white. The guy running the course said it was one of the best he’d seen, though I imagine he was simply being kind to a kid. That same summer the QE2 visited Liverpool for her first time. It was an incredible sight. I’d never seen a ship that size before. My parents and I were down at Wallesey watching it all with some photographer friends. I remember hearing their stories and wanting to be a photographer. They told me of the fabled 500mm lens that could look across the Mersey with such zoom that you could see the individual pieces of the Liver Buildings clock face. I didn’t know till then that it was actually a mosaic. I wanted a 500mm zoom lens from that day on. They told me of the guy panning with planes who fell backwards over his camera bag as they passed overhead. I remember seeing their giant steel cases packed full of gear. Most of all that day stuck in my mind all my life, till I got distracted by computers. Looking back now if there was any one single event that inspired me to be a photographer it was that day.

Over the past few years people have asked me how I got into photography and I’ve said its just been a hobby over the past 4 years that grew. Its always been something I’ve wanted to do all my life as I remember playing with cameras as a kid. My Dad was into photography as well so I’ve always been around them. I miss using my Dad’s Topcon SLR, the thumb action winding the film on, the feel of the lenses. It reminds of me being a kid and I don’t get that from my current DSLR’s. The QE2 visiting has reminded me of all this. I don’t often remember being a kid that much, but this visit has brought it all out. I’ve realised that I’ve always wanted to be a photographer but I got distracted along the way. Now I am a photographer and yesterday I knew I had to get the best ever photo of the QE2 that I could. This is why I am so happy with this photo. It was also taken on my 10D, not my 30D. Totally by accident but quite nice that it was taken on my first DSLR.

10 comments on “The QE2 in Liverpool

  1. Lovely picture Pete. What processing did you have to do to get those dark and dramatic storm clouds?

    Did you manage to get any of the fireworks in the evening?

  2. Very picturesque. Looks like a picture taken of an old ocean liner.

  3. “I knew I had to get the best ever photo of the QE2 that I could”
    With great success too, I would say. Brilliant.

  4. Outstanding! Your processing on this is very good. I would like to see the before process shot.

  5. Stunning image and very interesting caption! Reminded me of the 70s, when I was using a Retina IIIc.

  6. Good work as always.

  7. Lovely, i like the way the light is coming from around the centre of the boat, gives a lovely depth to the image.

  8. Aaron

    amazing mate.

  9. I have permission to use this fantastic photo
    (in part) for a post dedicated the last voyage
    QUEEN ELIZABETH to the Dubai. Of course know the source of the image. I apologize very much!

    Thank you. I apologize

    Silvano Nessi – Lugano – Switzerland

  10. This is an outstanding image. Love the light, the clouds and the perspective. I would love to see this ship one day.

    Wonderful story as well. I find myself the same way about childhood memories. Can’t always recall them easily, but then something will trigger them and they come back with amazing clarity.

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