Corn, Sunset and Pipeline

I was rocketing along a levee road trying to get a good angle to shoot the suspension pipeline over the Mississippi River between Grand Tower, Ill., and Wittenberg, Mo., when I saw the sun light up the tassels on on a corn field. It was worth stopping for 45 or 50 seconds. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Longest suspension pipeline in the world

When it was built, this pipeline was said to be the longest in the world. Someone saw some of the photos I’ve taken of it over the years and suggested it would be a nice souvenir photo book to go along with a couple others I’m working on.

I have shot it from below while working on a story about a ferry that crossed under it; I’ve shot it from the north, west, south and the air. This was the first time I’ve shot it from the Illinois side.

Must be getting old

I had been there about an hour earlier and got some nice pictures, but after heading north along the river and not finding a good angle, I decided to race the sun back to here. I made it with about five minutes to spare. When I blasted over the top of the levee and screeched to a halt, Mother yelled, “Whoa!”

She never yells. “Whoa!”

She yells “Gun it!”

She must be getting old.

9 Replies to “Corn, Sunset and Pipeline”

    1. 1. I’m not GETTING old, I AM old.

      2. People complain I never take photos of myself. I try to include some hint of me in random photos. The shadow accomplishes that.

      3. You wouldn’t complain if I used a tripod. My van is a mobile tripod with air conditioning.

      4. The inclusion of the shadow was an artistic device to create a visual tension in the dark areas.

      5. The van shadow was included to entice someone to comment on it. Worked, didn’t it?

  1. Beautiful shot! The sky and reflection on the water! Your Mother knows when to yell “Whoa” !

    1. She didn’t yell “Whoa!” because she liked the shot.

      She yelled “Whoa!” because she couldn’t take enough breath to finish her thought, “We’re all going to die!”

      I don’t know what’s happened to her sense of adventure.

  2. Ken, I think Matt is just picking on his old man. The shot was worth the unfortunate “necessity” of including a shadow of either the photographer or whatever might be hiding him. Of course, I don’t need to tell you, but the inclusion of one’s own shadow can also be intentional, to humanize a landscape otherwise devoid of human existence.
    Bottom line; another great photo in my books. The pipeline photo was worth the trip.

  3. I’ve always been intrigued by Wittenberg, Tower Rock and the pipeline. I remember deciding to take backroads all the way from my home in southwestern Cape County (home of the block hole and so much more) to Tower Rock one day, as I’d never had the fortune of seeing it before. I was totally fascinated by Wittenberg and the landscape of the area. I just remember thinking, “how did I not know about this giant pipeline ABOVE the Mississippi River?!”

    Next time you head to Wittenberg to shoot, head to Kaskasia, IL–which is of course in main land Missouri! Too cool!

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