Two friends and I boarded a fishing boat before sunrise in Rockport, Massachusetts. I couldn’t betray the fact that I was as excited to photograph the voyage as I was to fish. The weather was perfect, the company was great, and the fishing was fair. We all brought some fresh seafood home to cook. I apologize for the big green frames obscuring the photos. Something I put on there at some time and can’t figure out how to get them off. I think you can click an image to start a carousel.
While we were underway, I was free to run all over the boat at the thousand shots that called to me. The dawn is always a special and typically photogenic time of day, and I was excited by the salt air and swells of the sea. For these shots along the rail, I was so obsessed with the composition that I forgot about the Giant Atlantic Ocean behind it. It’s always better to have the horizon level. You can fix the tilt a bit in your photo software. Or sometimes it looks good on a rakish angle.
I was getting warmed up on our 45-minute ride to the first fishing site. On the upper deck, I was keen to shoot the low morning sun over the wheelhouse, or through it. The image just speaks of heading out. I like the emotion that evokes; it’s excitement, adventure! So, I’m moving all around a boat that’s moving all around on a sea that’s moving all around (we were graced with shallow and long swells). The only thing not moving is the sun itself. First it’s left of the mast, then right, then dead center. No doubt some of this was my “framing” of the composition. A boat rides the swell, which will cant her off course a bit, depending on how you’re facing the current. On the slope side, the Captain adds the correction to keep us on heading. The shadows danced about, first there, then not. Broad then slim. The geometry of the shot is a little overwhelming, and the shapes of the shadows were one more thing to keep track of along with the sun and the wheelhouse and the rail and the deck. I hope you’re proud of me, the sea is pretty level in all the frames. (Everything I post for Photoshoot is unedited)
Well, when we dropped anchor, of course I stowed the camera because I was busy fishing. I kick myself for not taking at least a little time to shoot some ubiquitous shots of people actually fishing. I guess I’ll do that next trip. As you can see, I continued to be fascinated with the rail, the foreshortening, the sweeping lines. I spent ten minutes composing and shooting the handrail at the stair, mesmerized by the different lines and angles of the railing, the deck, the stair and the shadow. I tried to capture the rolling roil of the boat, the green foamy sea. I often shoot a reflection of myself in glass, or a photo of my shadow, arms poised in camera-wielding position. I got the shadow “self-portrait” in the briny wash on that last frame.
After more not-photographed fishing in a couple of locations, we hauled anchor and headed for home in the late afternoon of a beautiful August Saturday. Anglers forwarded their fish to the crew, who filleted the day’s catch and bagged it and iced it. The sight of a fishing boat returning to port is as good as a dinner bell to the gulls and other seabirds. I tried to capture their quantity, and their tenaciousness as they dove into the wake to retrieve the scraps thrown overboard. Joe and I spotted a gull that was missing a foot, and we wondered at how that may have happened. I had to get a pic of that one.
All in all, a good shoot. Didn’t drop my camera in the Atlantic, nor skewer myself on a fishhook. I’m fairly pleased at the photostock I brought home, with the exception of the missing fishermen. Really it was an easy shoot as so many are, especially in good weather. An interesting subject, shapes and lines galore, light and shadow and even the sun to play with. The compositions were the things that grabbed up all my attention, and I mean all of it. It’s a good lesson I learn over and over again, to look at everything in the shot. I’ve tossed a lot of winners because of some unwanted distraction that I was completely blind to when composing the shot. Target fixation it’s called among fighter pilots. That’s where you’re so busy following your foe through the dog fight you don’t see the Earth coming up at you.
Good thing I wasn’t flying!
Shot with Nikon D3200 DSLR and Nikkor zoom VR lenses.
The longest I own is 300 mm. Some shots use a wider lens.
I always shoot in full manual.
Hope you enjoyed the shoot or the shots or the chatter.