The Lexington Chapel

Old churches and cathedrals make for great subjects for the type of photos that I enjoy taking. Things like architectural designs, large rooms  and stain glass windows all contribute to making a wonderful image. But it doesn’t take a huge church or fancy dwelling surroundings to go and worship. Matthew 18:20 reminds us that it just takes a few believers to come together, no matter how simple the accommodations might be.

This is the small chapel aboard the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Simple, yet effective.

 

This is the small chapel on the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Intruder on the Lexington

The A-6A Intruder flew from 1960 to 1997 carrying out its mission of close air support and tactical/strategic bombing.

The A-6E Intruder carried an impressive array of weapons and electronic devices.  The missions range from aerial refueling and close air support to tactical/strategic bombing, electronic counter measures, reconnaissance and SAM suppression.

This rugged and reliable aircraft was the first all weather, day or night, low level attack bomber and has set high standards that similar aircraft will be measured for generations to come.

This aircraft on the USS Lexington is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.

 

This A6-E Intruder on the USS Lexington is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Guns Over Corpus Christi

Big warships have big guns. The battleships had the largest artillery (see Guns Over Mobile) but even an older aircraft carrier, with all it’s airplanes, still had a few access up its sleeve. On the outside chance that another enemy vessel had to be fired upon, the USS Lexington was equipped with 4, twin 5 inch (127 mm) 38 caliber guns on turrets. Most of these types of weapons are out-dated with the use of guided missles, but they sure do look great sitting idle, as if waiting for its next victim. In the top right, you see the Lexington’s bridge

Some interesting background from wikipedia.comThe ship’s World War II-era gun battery is also being partially restored using guns salvaged from scrapped ships. Most notable among these are 5″/38 DP gun turrets saved from the scrapping of the heavy cruiser Des Moines. They have been mounted in the approximate locations where similar mounts once existed as part of the ship’s original World War II-era fit.

On the outside chance that another enemy vessel had to be fired upon, the USS Lexington was equipped with 4, twin 5 inch (127 mm) 38 caliber guns on turrets. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

While this shot isn’t breathtaking, it is still a great example for using HDR to balance the dark shadows of the foreground against the bright sky and water. Tip: The use of a foreground object gives more depth an the image.

Island #16

Aircraft carriers are easy to spot. They are huge ships with flat tops and a tall, but skinny building off to one side. The “island” sits in the center of the starboard side of the carrier deck with a great aerial view of the flight deck below as well as miles out in each direction. The multi-level island will typically house the primary flight control, the bridge, the flag bridge, and operational centers, including the flight deck control and launch operations room. The #16 island belongs to the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. The inside can be seen here.

 

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The Lexington Engine Room

Deep down in the USS Lexington aircraft carrier you find the engine room.  With eight boilers and four steam turbines, it’s pretty crowded area. Back then, everything was all analog, including the gauges. This is one of two engine boards where things were monitored closely. With the size of the boilers and turbines, plus the close proximity of everything, I”m guessing it was probably loud and hot. Not a place most sailors think of when they set out to see the world.
 

Deep down in the USS Lexington aircraft carrier you find the engine room.  With eight boilers and four steam turbines, it's pretty crowded area. Back then, everything was all analog, including the guages. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Playtime

Almost every kid that goes to Sea World or other water park dreams of becoming a dolphin trainer, or at least this kid did. The thought of swimming with these incredible animals has always intrigued and fascinated me.  Many of these parks have a dolphin show where you can watch them from above, but the Texas State Aquarium has a large viewing room with a floor to ceiling window where you can watch them swim and play. Being down beside them this way, you realize how large these creatures truly are. 

Photos like these can be hard to shoot, as the light is relatively low, the subject is moving, and the thick window has reflections, finger smudges and other challenges. Don’t use your flash, set your ISO to a higher setting and shoot several photos so you can pick your favorite.
 

Many of water parks have a dolphin show where you can watch them from above, but the Texas State Aquarium has a large viewing room with a floor to ceiling window where you can watch them swim and play. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Carrier by the Beach

When you first walk up to the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, you are caught a little off guard, but I’m guessing it’s the same feeling you have by any carrier. It’s size is much larger than you expect. Sure, it’s big, but when you are next to it, you truly start to appreciate what an undertaking it must have been to build something this large, and still expect it to float. 

 

When you first walk up to the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, you are caught a little off guard, but I'm guessing it's the same feeling you have by any carrier. It's size is much larger than you expect. Sure, it's big, but when you are next to it, you truly start to appreciate what an undertaking it must have been to build something this large, and still expect it to float. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.