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Juggling jobs on the water

The Baltimore Sun

Sometimes, in the course of our jobs, people will ask rhetorically, " ... you get paid to do this?" Last Saturday was one of those occasions. With two assignments on the Chesapeake Bay, sunny skies, and temperatures in the 80s, it seemed like it was going to be a better than average workday. A sailboat race to cover and a feature story about a schooner cruise to illustrate set the day up nicely.

An early arrival in Annapolis in time to board a "press" boat covering the Hospice Cup regatta was the first order of business. The "press" boat would be able to return from the races in time for me to shoot my second assignment. A call from reporter Madison Park resulted in a slight change of plans and an opportunity to sail with a crew of race participants. It also became apparent that getting to the race course and returning in time for a scheduled schooner cruise, were in direct conflict.

While it was important to photograph the racing crew that Park was interviewing, it was also important to photograph the large gathering of sailboats on hand for the event. I wrongly assumed I could do both before returning to the dock. A nice selection of images were made as the crew got used to each other and their vessel after catching a stiff breeze on the open waters of the bay. But getting close to the race course was out of the question if I was going to photograph my second job.

A hasty drop off in Annapolis allowed me to arrive at the Waterfront Marriott dock in time for a 12:30 cruise aboard the 74-foot wooden schooner, Woodwind, and illustrate Rob Hiaasen's story for The Sun's Today section. The two-hour cruise allowed plenty of time to gather another batch of images of the Woodwind's crew and passengers. Luck, in the name of captain Duncan Hood, also brought us close to the Hospice Cup race course. Close enough (with a long lens) that I was able to shoot the only image I needed to complete my first assignment.

Logistics and planning become an important part of what photographers focus on. On this particular Saturday, a little luck came in to play.

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