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Baltimore's Inner Harbor Skyline at Dawn

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The Baltimore on fire in the spring of the 2015 riots was not the Baltimore I saw in spring of 2014. The Baltimore I saw was a picturesque city with a beautiful inner harbor waterfront downtown.

Photo of Baltimore, Maryland at Sunrise

After driving about eight hours through the night, I arrived in downtown Baltimore on Memorial Day in the wee hours of the morning. By 6am I had all my shots from an absolutely glorious sunrise. Being in such a historic site, on this particular holiday, with such perfect and peaceful morning is something I'll never forget.

Federal Hill provides a great panoramic view of the city, and served as a defensive stronghold during the War of 1812, as well as a Union fort in the civil war. It's been made into a city park, and is a great place to photograph the city.

Riots are nothing new to Baltimore. The city has been looted and burned many times throughout history. The most famous was in 1861 between anti-War Democrats (the largest party in Maryland - Abraham Lincoln had received only 1,100 of more than 30,000 votes cast in the presidential election the year before), and members of the Massachusetts militia en route to D.C. to serve the northern Union forces. Hundreds died in the encounter, producing the first deaths in the Civil War.

Photo of Baltimore, Maryland at Sunrise

Following the riot, Federal Hill was occupied by Union troops, who entered the city under cover of darkness and during a thunderstorm, from Annapolis. Much the same way the Indianapolis Colts would leave for Indianapolis over a hundred years later.

During the three hours I spent shooting the Baltimore skyline and the Federal Hill area, I saw very few people. No roaming gangs or any trouble in sight at all. There were park rangers in the area, and also a television news van setting up for an early morning live newscast from the park. There could not have been a more perfect setting for the images I was able to capture on this morning.

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