Dinkerson Photo

Traveling Beyond my Bailiwick

Beginning The Restoration: A Historic Water Tower Project


Cutting our way in

Many of you may know that I inspect water towers. What you may not know is that, at times, I’m required to do a great deal more than just looking at these goliath relics. My company does everything from state and federal tower inspections to full tower renovations and comprehensive restoration work. We fabricate steel tank components, such as 200 ft. tall ladders, and we install them as needed.

We climb tanks, and repel from them; we swing from sway rods 150 ft. high with blast equipment that is strong enough to propel a 250 lb. man several feet off of the ground; we hang on with one hand and work with the other.

We’re not celebrated; we’re not distinguished; we keep your water clean.

All in a days work.


Taken 130 feet in the air, standing in the base of a 120 year old water tower.

The top image is not HDR. The effect was achieved through the meticulous use of brushes.


22 Responses to “Beginning The Restoration: A Historic Water Tower Project”

  1. Adèle d'Alleray

    Love the textures and hands of the first! I love the second one too but tell me please, what the black thing to the left is… Great abstract.
    You have a fascinating job!

    • dinkerson

      That is the hub of what was a spider rod assembly. When this tank was built, the spider rods were installed for rigging purposes. They allowed workers to install rigging in order to do proper tank maintenance.
      Over 100 years ago, that hub would have been built out of very thick, heavy gauge steel, and it would’ve been secured to the roof. You can see that, now, the hub is almost completely rusted away, and hanging by what few rods still remain attached to it.
      Thanks, Adele!

  2. saltypalette

    Fantastic work! I come from a coal mining family and I appreciate what it takes to work in a skilled, hands-on, sometimes dangerous job. Such captivating images, love them πŸ™‚

    • dinkerson

      Thank you. It’s a strange thing, when one becomes involved in an industry he loves, it really gets in his blood. This industry is a source of tremendous pride.
      I’m glad you like these shots.

  3. fragglerocking

    The first shot is fabulous, love the action and the hands wielding the torch thingy, the second one looks like you caught an alien being underground!

  4. lolabees

    Thanks for keeping our water clean! You forget that some things don’t just get done on their own, and someone has “that job!” I’m very impressed by your photo editing. I had a bowl of soup in my latest food blog that was slightly the wrong color, and I wanted to hide some pieces of broccoli in it, and I refused to devote much time to it. As I was losing patience, I was thinking about your photos and how much time you must dedicate to this. Impressive.

    • dinkerson

      You’re welcome.
      I liked the color of your soup. That is, if it was supposed to be orange. Which is fine; orange is good. I like oranges.

      Some of these photos do take a lot of time. I’m glad it shows.

      I used to hide my broccoli in my milk. I don’t know if that helps, but you can steal that idea if you ever need to.

      Lola, I’m glad that you’ve stuck around all this time, and supported both of my blog efforts. I think I stumbled across your blog through… that one lady who got freshly pressed and was so good at connecting people. Anyway, I’m glad I did. You’re support has been great. πŸ™‚

      • lolabees

        Well, I kind of cheated because it was a carrot soup that I used for a squash soup. It should have been a little more yellow, but not far off from where it was. I figured most wouldn’t know the difference if they even paid attention at all. πŸ˜‰

        Too funny. You must have really hated broccoli.

        And… funny you should mention that about blog following and support. I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about this, but it doesn’t really interest my new following as many of them aren’t bloggers, so I’m on the fence about it. It seems like the whole idea of getting traffic, comments, likes, and followers has gotten so out of control. It’s become an obsession, and it seems so transparent to me. Now many bloggers only come by and like your work, so you will check them out. How about the blogger that has no interaction with you about your post but follows you? Then you look at their blog and they have 40,000 followers. Am I paranoid, or what? Or the guy that nominates you for those stupid awards because your blog is “so awesome,” and they never show up to support your blog again? I could go on and on and just sound bitter or cynical (which I’m really not– well not about this, at least!) Anyway, I’m too busy to read everyone’s blog, so I’ve become really selective and just stick to a handful that are my favorites. I should give you an even bigger thank you– you still read my dental blog that probably has no interest to you whatsoever!! I do miss your Flight of Reason posts– they always have a way of making me laugh, get uncomfortable, or ponder a serious topic. And btw, if you remember, you were pretty pissed about all those a**holes who left awful comments on my post. I edited your comment b/c I was so overwhelmed with the horrible comments, but I wanted to publish it anyway. Now that I know more about you, I wish I wouldn’t have edited it. Aah, the memories…

      • dinkerson

        If you write that post, I’d love to read it. Would it be more about the faithful followers, and tenacity of community on WordPress? Or more about the award spooks and drive-by like harpies?
        Obsessive likers are aggravating, but I think it’s funny how you can start to almost think of some of your blog buddies like real friends. At least in some respect. Like you’ll be doing something during the day, and some blogger will pop into your head just like a friend. I dunno. That’s not what I expected, but I’m okay with it.

        As for the harpies… whatever, I guess. I’ll take the badge even if it came cheap. I’ve only been nominated for maybe… five or six awards (even one today πŸ˜‰ ), and I think they were all sincere. Probably just got lucky.
        I do remember not keeping my mouth shut about the choir boy comment haters. And I remember that edit. I understood. πŸ™‚
        I’ve followed your blog because I like it. I think that a person’s verve can kind of show through their writing, regardless of subject matter. I like the feel of your writing. If that makes sense. It does to me.

        I’m glad that you liked my little essays on The Flight of Reason. There was a lot of heart behind most of those, and I’ll probably get back to posting them again. Sometime. πŸ˜‰
        My last post fell somewhat dead, so I wondered if I’d lost the touch. Or maybe I’m just lazy or too busy. That’s more likely.

      • dinkerson

        And just a quick clarification on this line, “As for the harpies… whatever, I guess. I’ll take the badge even if it came cheap”.
        What I mean by that is I’ll take their “Likes”. If nothing else those likes are somewhat of a badge, or gold star; albeit, a cheap one.
        There was another way to interpret that, so I wanted remove any potential confusion.

      • lolabees

        That’s funny– I never expected that either, but it’s true. It’s funny how you can feel like you’re really getting to know all these random people. And I’m amused that some of them are people I would never expect to connect with.

        Harpies– that’s funny too! maybe I’m negative, but I feel like I’m being used by insincere likes or follows. As you mentioned, we’re forming these virtual friendships, and I don’t like being used in real life or in my virtual life. A lot of people feel the way you do– they are cheap dates, or however you would say that. And I’m glad you clarified because I had no idea what you were saying. πŸ˜‰

        What do you think? Should I write it even if it has nothing to do with my blog subject and might not interest my audience?

        Thanks for the kind words. I’m always thrilled to hear your input! Your last post fell flat? The one you posted? Or did you decide not to post something you wrote? I’ll look forward to the next one, whenever that comes. You’ll be inspired again someday, I’m sure.

      • dinkerson

        You ask a valid question; however, I can’t say if you should write the post or not. Only you can know that, because only you have an accurate feel for your readership.
        Here’s what I’m thinking though; in your personal life, eventually your going to move so far past the subject of dental health that you’ll almost have to lose interest in the matter altogether.
        If you continue to pander to a specific coterie of dentists, then what happens when you decide to update your blog with your current lifestyle?
        Not to be clichΓ©, but if I were you, I’d not get stuck in a box. Lol πŸ˜‰
        I say write what you want. I’ve never written for my readers; I write for me. And what if, for you, it means starting over? It seems like I remember you saying once, “I thought only my mom would read this”. Wasn’t that only one year ago?

        Oh, and it was the fashion post that flopped. There I was again, wishing for fame and fortune.

      • lolabees

        You make a lot of good points. Now that my blog topic has become so specific, I really do see how important it is to keep to one topic. (Though at the same time, I don’t care.) If your blog is general, that def gives more freedom to bounce around. Maybe that’s what happened with your fashion post. No one expects to read about fashion on your blog. πŸ˜‰ Haha! I wasn’t aware that it fell flat.

        We’ll see how it goes. I’m actually almost tapped out for dental posts anyway, so maybe I’ll work it in then. I have a few posts left in the works, but you are right that I’ll move beyond that topic. I have some ideas that I would like to execute moving forward that continue along with the career change path, and I think it could be a really nice transition. It is hard not to write for my crowd because no other website/blog exists that covers these topics (at least specifically for dentistry.) So it has almost become a bit of a hangout for people at times. It’s amazing how writing about it and hearing the experiences my readers share has really made what could have been a really tough transition for me a lot easier. So it helps me too. It’s like 1 big giant support group for anti-dentite dentists. Weird. Anyway, I could open doors to more conversations here, but I’ll stop hijacking your post!

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I didn’t know you were this man of action, Nathan. Climbing towers, cutting into – great stuff. And out there with the elements – no wonder you see the beauty in our surrounds…

    • dinkerson

      I know, right? πŸ˜‰ My job places me in a wide variety of situations. It’s not uncommon for me to meet with EPA officials in a sky scraper in downtown dallas one day, and be swinging off of a water tower in Topeka Kansas the next. Always interesting, and it breaks up the week. πŸ™‚

  6. George Weaver

    The cutting torch image is great. I’ve “liked” my way to this post since I read them from most recent to past posts until I meet myself. The tiny bit of landscape here anchors the tank to place, and it’s very effective, but I want to see the image without it. Do you know what I mean? The image would be an entirely different one, I think. I keep placing my thumb to block it. I really think I’m probably mistaken about liking it suspended with no anchor to place. Dunno’

    I just read your discussion with lolabees. I’m having something of a struggle with how to approach following, reading, liking, writing for the blogs. There are people like you whom I instantly thought I knew. I’m inclined to put you aside until I think I have time to devote to your work. I think that’s a mistake. I’m losing contact with people whom I genuinely like and enjoy. I also like the “likes” because I often do visit a liker’s blog and find really interesting work in them. What to do?

    I am impressed by your processing in these images. You have an artist’s eye. You’re also a fascinating character. Such talent, such skill. Like you, I worked in two worlds and loved both.

  7. dinkerson

    Mrs. Weaver,

    You are absolutely right. I’ve done as you suggested and updated the photograph on this post. There is a notable improvement. How did I not see that? Lol πŸ˜‰
    No matter what perceived skill I may have, these are the moments where evidence of my lack of experience emerges. And I make these mistakes often. Suggestions like yours are the only way I can improve on what I do here.
    I don’t know if you were aware of this, but I’ve known something wasn’t right about that photo, yet have been unable to identify the problem. I’ve even asked other photographers for some helpful criticism, but that didn’t work either.

    Your suggestion was remarkable, and it was a huge help. πŸ™‚
    You’ve even given me an idea that worked well while editing my post, “Burning Metal”. Thank you.

    I know exactly what you mean about enjoying the proper use of the “like” button. And even exploring the links on your page to build your growing community, while potentially discovering interesting blogs along the way. πŸ™‚
    I believe that the difference in the drive-by likers and folks who genuinely liked something they saw on your blog tends to become clear over time. And you’ve enough experience that you must know exactly what I mean. πŸ™‚

    And finally, what you mentioned, about waiting to visit certain blogs that merit more time and attention, makes perfect sense to me. I sometimes do the same. Not always.
    As your blog grows (and yours has certainly seen its fair share of growth πŸ˜‰ ), properly balancing one’s time becomes a balancing act.
    I always like seeing you around, and can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed your both of your blogs. Your images (especially the palms) are very good. I hate to use the word perfect to describe them, but they really are in a way. At least they are to me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: