Friday, July 30, 2010

Loretta Ann


Following along with the theme of the last two days, boat names...here's the Loretta Ann. This is day six with the 70-210.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What We're All Looking For







I posted about shrimp boat names yesterday...here's a couple more. I had to wonder if the Prosperity was named before things got so bad for the shrimpers. If the owner had to rename her today, she would probably be called Desperation. Dream I would probably be different too...maybe Nightmare 13. I was able to get pretty close to this egret...he thought he was hiding in the grass...he was at Community Park which is a nice place for the family here in AP.

Rambo and the Boat With No Name




Back in the 70's we all heard the song about riding through the desert on a horse with no name...well, here's a boat with no name. Really, it's called Capetown...it's been tied up here for a long time and they started painting it a couple of years ago...maybe they'll finish the job one of these days. Shrimp boat owners come up with all kinds of names for their boats. Most are named for wives, children or other family members but some are named after movies I guess...guy must be a hardcore Stalone fan.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Black Clouds



It was another rainy day on the coast. I took advantage of a break in the weather and made a run to the harbor. It started raining again soon after I got there but I managed to get these two boats before I had to give it up and return home...no, I don't mind getting wet but one drop of water in the wrong place can kill a digital camera so I don't take those kind of chances. Tomorrow's another day and the weather guessers say it's going to rain again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Twins Redux and a Red Boat From Georgia




I hate to be repetitive...well, about most things anyway but I wanted another shot at those twin red boats. I think this one is much better than yesterday's. These boats are from Panama City, Florida. The other red boat is all the way from Georgia and really shows some rebel spirit...it's flying the Georgia state flag...well, at least what used to be the state flag. The stars and bars were taken off the flag in 2003...as if removing the confederate element could change history. I guess those symbols are offensive to some...but not half as offensive as having to listen to Al Sharpton! Oh, excuse me...The Rev. Al Sharpton!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seeing Red Times Two


These identical twins were tied up at the harbor today. This week, I'm shooting with the Minolta 70-210 f4. A lens from the 80's, it's still a good performer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Begining and the End




Nature's cycle is endless but for all living things, there is a begining and an end...except for me of course...I'm timeless, she told me so...oh, wait, maybe she said clueless! I'm sure today is the begining of something but it's the end of my week with the Sony 30mm f2.8 macro.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Requiem for a Lost Soul




Steve Crow died this Tuesday. It's hard to characterize my association with Steve as a friendship but maybe it was. Steve and I worked for the same guy for about 15 years...we saw each other just about every day. We were friendly, we shared conversation on the job and tried to help each other out but we didn't hang out together after work or socialize much other than just on the job. You see, Steve and I were from different worlds...I was just an old working family man and Steve was a drug addict. He was a functioning addict and always seemed to be able to hold a job and keep a roof over his head. Steve was one of those guys that you liked in spite of yourself...though you may have detested the lifestyle he was trapped in, Steve's personality and antics always made you smile. He tried to clean himself up on several occasions and succeeded for short periods of time but he could never stay completely straight for long. I guess the monkey on his back finally killed him, his body was found in the second floor bathroom at the Jackson Hotel, here in Aransas Pass. The paper said syringes and narcotics were found in his room and that an autopsy was ordered. So, why am I telling you all this? I guess because nobody deserves to die unnoticed and unremembered and this is probably as close to an obituary or eulogy as Steve will get. I know only a couple of people will read it but at least I know that it's here, on the web...on a public forum and maybe a few people will glance at it sometime. Steve wasn't a pillar of the community, wasn't a role model for ANYONE, wasn't a shining star for sobriety but neither was he a blackhearted villain...he had worth as a human being. So, was Steve a friend or just one of those characters that come and go? I guess if the measure of friendship can be as simple as whether you miss someone when they're no longer around, then he was a friend. RIP Steve.
I found out about Steve's death while reading our local paper...I was shocked...because of his death but also because it was printed in the paper. The Aransas Pass Progress can't rightly be called a newspaper...that's a complete misnomer. It's more of what's called in the trade, a fluff rag. If you want to know who has an 83 chevy for sale or what was on the menu at the Garden Club luncheon or who's grand kids are visiting for the week, then the Progress is for you. If you want journalistic integrity and concise accurate reporting of an actual news story, you better look someplace else. It's just not what they do. Bodies are pulled out of the harbor, people kill each other and commit suicide...you would never know it by reading the Progress...never a word! They'll tell you what was covered at the city council meeting or the chamber of commerce meeting or any such thing but not a word about what happens on the streets. Aransas Pass is a rough little town, always has been. There are probably a dozen deaths by drug overdose here every year but you never read about them in the paper. That's why I was so stunned to see the story about Steve...on the front page, above the fold. Why does everyone else get a pass and Steve gets dragged through the mud? I don't know. Could it be because they knew nobody would be buying space in their paper for an obituary? ...nah. Could it be because it was a slow news week and they had to have SOMETHING to fill that empty space on the front page? ...don't think so. Maybe it was because the Jackson Hotel is only half a block from the Progress office and when they heard the sirens down the street , they all rushed out of the office with visions of Pulitzer Prizes dancing in their befuddled heads and ran across the street for the realization of their dream...a real news story that they didn't have to pull off the wire, get in a press packet or receive as a reader submission? ...a real possibility. Or could it be that they just screwed up? The city is trying to reinvent itself. The council and the good old boy network that runs this town are trying to attract the tourism trade...to do that, they need to sweep the rough and tumble image of this town's past under the rug and paint a picture of sweetness and light. Could it be that in this one particular case, with the flush of excitement still fresh from their visit to the sordid scene, they forgot to follow the party line...NO NEGATIVE NEWS? I don't know but this little paper seems to go through quite a few editors, like the city goes through city managers. When I was a young man in college, studying journalism, they taught us that the holy grail of the reporter was the five W's...who, what, where, when and why. Any good story had to have those 5 things but they also taught us that there were two essential things a paper must be in order to stay in business, one; you have to be right...better not print it if it's not true and two; you've got to be fair. I guess they got the five W's right and I guess they got the facts straight but I don't think they were very fair...not to Steve and not to their readers!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Double E




The name of this boat is Double E. I guess there's some significance to that...don't know what though. There was a boat that stayed about a year, a couple of years ago, that was named Double T...I know there was significance to that! I liked the long tow headed for the bridge and decided to put it in the post too. I didn't post yesterday, was feeling a little under the weather, so this is day five with the 30 macro.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Floating Restaurant?







Gulf shrimp season opened on July 15th. That used to be a really big deal in this town...boats came and went, ice and fuel merchants did a booming business and so on...even the local grocery stores made money hand over fist selling and delivering a month's supply of vittles to just about every boat. Now, opening day doesn't mean much...a few boats trickle in and out...mostly because this happens to be the closest port for an unexpected repair or to pick up some forgotten essential item that was not taken when the boat left to go fishing. As far as I know, there's only one place left at this harbor where a boat can sell it's catch or buy fuel or ice, and that's a very small business. The city council has placed a moratorium on the leases at the harbor now...they will only grant a one year lease. Who's going to invest and try to build up a business if they know there's an excellent chance of being booted out after a year? I sure wouldn't! There are much better equipped ports and much friendlier governments up and down the coast so the boats won't be back...not unless things change...big time! I saw this boat at city dock today...she was from Galveston and was named Thai Express II. With her bright yellow paint job and that name...I was reminded of a drive through asian take-out restaurant. I wish her a good and profitable season.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happiness is...Lowered Expectations


Happiness used to be a full tank...now it takes thirty bucks to fill up halfway...so I guess happiness is half a tank. What kind of person are you? Is the tank half full or half empty? Personally, I'm the broke kind!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Beast in the Sand






Day two with the 30 macro. I traveled around a little today. The Tiger Lily was actually beside my driveway, the Beast in the Sand was at Steadman Point...don't be alarmed, it's not a man eating monster...just a little crab in his hidey hole. The Sunflower was at the harbor...I love macro lenses!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where the Good Stuff Begins


























Went out to prowl the county roads this afternoon and the sign struck me as yet another thing that I could poke fun at. County maintenance ended so to me that meant that there might still be some wildflowers left on the other side of the sign. I'm shooting this week with the Sony 30mm f 2.8 macro...it's very sharp and will do 1:1 macro, as promised, but at 1:1 the front of the lens is only about 3/4 of an inch from your subject...OK for some things but not so good for anything that will bite, scratch or sting...and after all, this is south Texas and most living things that you come across will do at least one of those things. So, it's not a lens to get REALLY close to critters with but it's a fun little lens with lots of other qualities. I'm looking forward to a week with it. The grassburrs and barbed wire are Texas staples and both qualify in the bite, scratch or sting category!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Livin' on the Edge


Last day with the Minolta 500mm f8. The heat index was 106 this afternoon so I was pretty wilty by the time I got around to my photo therapy. I didn't stay out long but I wanted to make the last day with the big telephoto memorable (to me anyhow) so I threw caution to the winds and sought out the most dangerous situation I could find...and if you don't think looking up at a seagull is dangerous, you should come on down to the coast and give it a try! ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Portrait in Profile






It's day six with the 500...I've been having fun with it. You can really bring things up close with it. You can get good headshots from a distance that won't spook your subject...like the seagull. You can get different perspectives than with lenses of shorter focal length...like the flags...I was able to shoot them from a long distance and still fill the frame. With a shorter lens, to fill the frame, I would have to have been much closer and would have had to shoot up at a pretty high angle...might have been OK but it would have been a completely different perspective, different picture. Of course, sometimes the high magnification power makes it a little challenging to get everything into the frame...like the big Kirby tug...I was backed up about as far as I could go and just barely got the whole boat into the shot. One more day with the big gun, then on to something shorter...gotta be shorter, I don't have anything longer!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Do Ya Think?
















Who do you think does the most to keep this country going? Is it Mr. Obama and the Sunshine Gang? No, I think it's these guys...and all the other men and women who work hard every day. This rig is at Conn Brown Harbor and these guys are working over one of the wells there. These workover crews usually work from daylight till dark...blazing hot... freezing cold... pouring rain... if you don't respect that, you might ought to get a job and see what it's like to work for a living! As always, click on the images for a larger view.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Julie and the Chuck Wagon Gang




It was a very hot, busy and trying day for yours truly...among other things, I managed to pull the front bumper off of my truck when I was trying to pull out a stuck tractor...don't laugh, I feel foolish enough, thank you. By the time I made it to photo-therapy, I didn't feel like sticking around very long...so here's the Julie from the harbor. The USA, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay weren't the only countries represented at the tall ship show on the 4th of July. The great nation of Texas had a contingent in attendance also...we might not have a tall ship, but we had a tall chuck wagon...and a cook with a really big hat!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Barker's Birds







Had dinner with the Barker family tonight...good food, good company and a chance to sit on the back porch and shoot the birds at the feeders. The tall ship shot is pretty self explanatory.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hokey Pokey and Gone to Seed






I swear this Great blue Heron was doing the Hokey Pokey till he noticed the camera, then he tried to act like his usual regal self. It was day 2 with the 500mm and I decided to have a little fun with the high grass. When I decided on the 500 for this week, I didn't stop to think that all my favorite bird shooting spots were still flooded from the storms but I guess that just makes it more of a challenge. The tall ship shot is, once again, the Eagle from the U.S.A. She's 295 feet long and is home ported at New London, Conn.

Bummer Day #576837463545465893




Why is it another bummer day today? The water pump went out on my truck and I tend to get petulant when I have no wheels! I had decided to shoot with the Minolta 500-f8 this week and I managed to catch this little guy foraging around on the concrete. The tall ship shot is of the national flag of Uruguay...pretty cool huh?