08 October 2015
Story Behind the Image – The Waverley
Not every photographic trip is fun ...
As a studio and portrait photographer I seem to have a bit of a death wish. I like to get out and about and try things that stretch me a bit photographically. So when I saw an opportunity to follow 19th Century Paddle Steamer “The Waverley” along the Thames for the day with a visit to “The Forts”, I thought to myself “what could be finer?”
I turned up not knowing what to expect at all. It soon emerged that it was about 15 blokes on a fairly small but powerful speedboat following the paddle steamer all day. It didn't bode well when the organiser said that the captain had been in touch because the forecast was a bit dodgy.
A BIT DODGY!! - that turned out to be force seven and frankly one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life. We followed the Waverley - which is indeed an impressive and historically important boat (or it might be a ship - who knows) but after about 5 minutes, you’ve seen it and it doesn't do much other than race ahead at around 13 knots, goading us to keep up in our somewhat insubstantial speedboat.
The other jolly folk were tucking into their egg sandwiches and M&S Sausage Rolls and I just got greener and greener until I threw up copiously over the edge of the boat. Mercifully, though, not into the wind.
Finally we left the Waverley to its thing (everyone insisted on calling it “her” and “she” for some outdated reason) and we arrived at the Forts. I managed to keep my insides inside long enough to take a couple of snaps - this one being the best - and then headed back to the pier slowly because the engine of our boat was smoking furiously, threatening to spontaneously explode. The end to a perfect day!
I like the shot, but I will, in future, be shooting on Terra Firma and in the comfort of the studio.
Image © Peter Parker