Tim's One Photograph a Day

Lock Gear on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Lock Gear.

Lock Gear on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

The paddle gear at Aldermaston Lock.

To raise or lower boats on a canal, you usually have to go through a lock. Or series of locks. The design of these remains largely unchanged since they were first invented in the late 1700s.

The lock gear allows water to flow in or out by raising a paddle. At the bottom end, they are usually located in the gates. At the top, however, there are quite often two pairs – one in the gates, and one in the ground.

This particular lock gear is on the top gate at Aldermaston. The horizontal metal bar at the top runs along the lock beam to box which has a ratchet mechanism in it. This allows you to wind the gear up, but you have to lift a handle to wind it back down again.

I took the photograph late evening, which meant I had to use flash to illuminate the subject. This has created a black background, enabling the mechanism and supporting woodwork to stand out. The white line visible to the left is part of the handrail for the other gate. The light-coloured area in the bottom left-hand corner is part of the wooden walkway enabling people to walk safely across the gates.

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 6 Mar 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 70mm
  • F/2.8
  • 1/50 Sec
  • ISO 100
  • Flash

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