Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Local Color

Bait stands are usually colorful and endowed with lots of character. This one is at the harbor in Fulton, TX.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Heading For The Barn

It was a good day to come home. I don't know how long this boat has been out but it's always an exciting day for the crew and their familys when the trip is over and a pay day is earned. Shrimpers are truly one of the last groups of workers that get paid according to what they produce. The crews pay for their own fuel, groceries and supplies. They also pay for maintainence of the nets. When they return to port and the catch is sold, a percentage goes to the owner...off the top...the bills are paid then the crew splits the rest...The captain gets the biggest crew share, of course, then the rigman gets a little less than the captain but more than the others because he is a more skilled fisherman and has a lot of the responsibilities...a good captain can put you on the shrimp but if the rigman doesn't have the rigs working like they should, you're not going to catch much shrimp...he sets up and maintains the rigs (nets, bags, doors, flippers, cork line floats and the tickler chain)and he is the boss of the back deck. The others are either headers or deck hands and their share is the smallest. A normal crew used to be 4 men but with the tough times, lots of boats go out with 3 now. Some of the big freezer boats go out with 5 or 6 though. Everybody has their job and if you don't pull your weight, your career in the fishing industry will be a very short one. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bait House

This is a popular stop for the sports fishermen in Aransas Pass. Minolta 50 f1.7

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A little Color

I went prowling the county roads again today but didn't find much to shoot...but there's still a little color left out there if you don't mind wading through the weeds to find it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Down On The Farm

I went to an area of cotton farms around Taft Texas today. Cotton has been king on the coastal plains for years. Robstown High School sports teams have been called the cotton pickers for as long as I can remember. So I wasn't surprised to see lots of the fluffy white stuff. The reason I came to the area though was to check out a new kind of farming...wind farming. The wind farm is booming and I think it's about the coolest thing I've seen around here for years.

I was impressed with the sheer size of these things...they are huge!

Monday, August 23, 2010

In The Beginning

In the beginning, there was a wonderful medium called film...and there were great old cameras, like this one, that used that medium to produce art, memories and journals of their owners lives. This was my fathers camera. It's a kodak 620 junior, made in the 1930's. My dad loved to take pictures and vacation time was always filled with opportunities to break out the Kodak and record our adventures. Dad was a railroad man...from a railroad family and he was killed on the job in 1962. The camera sat in a drawer in my mom's dresser for close to 50 years, I guess. My mom passed away last year and I brought the junior home with me when I went up for the funeral. I take the camera out and just hold it quite often...it's a real connection to my past. I took my first photos with it and it reminds me of my dad. Everytime I feel the camera I remember his infectious smile and my heart overflows with emotion as I remember that kind gentle man that loved us so much. I can almost hear him say...bring me the Kodak...I miss you Dad!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Howard Blank

I haven't posted in a couple of days due to serious constraints on my time. There's been a sudden, serious health issue in the family and the blog has sorta fallen through the cracks. I'll try to get things back on track.

This is the Howard Blank from New Orleans. I love to hear these big tugs when they're really working hard...especially the ones that are powered by the big Caterpillar engines. What a big powerful throaty roar they have! Some of the smaller boats are powered by Detroit Diesel...higher rpm and a screaming whine. Comparing the two...it's like the difference between a big Harley and a 125 Suzuki...I'll take the Harley (and the Cat) if you please!

Of course, I don't think the pelicans care what they sound like, they seem to disregard both with equal disdain!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Oh come on now, if someone sneaked up on you and started taking pictures of your backside, you'd try to cover up too! Sony 30mm f2.8 macro.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Liz and Bill

The Elizabeth Bleiler form Houston, TX...note the crewman on a stepladder scraping paint. Scraping and painting is a never ending job on the boats.

Mr. Bill from Rockport TX pushing a spud barge with a crane and a barge load of pipe. Yhe large vertical structures are called spuds. When the barge is positioned , the spuds are dropped through openings in the barge into the bottom of the bay. This is a very effective way to hold the barge in place. This particular rig does a lot of work in the local bays...mostly on oilfield structures but also setting pilings for various projects like docks, bulkheads and bridges.

Hey, I told you I dig sunflowers...I also like to play with selective color sometimes...all three of these shots were with the Minolta 70-210 f4.


Sometimes I like to play in Photoshop

Sometimes things just need a little tweak in Photoshop

And sometimes I like things just as they come from the camera!
All these were taken out in front of the office...all were with the Sony 30mm f2.8 macro and all were taken with flash.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to the Weeds

I went back to the weeds today and found some pretty, wild things...I dig things that are pretty and wild!

These seeds were backlit so perfectly...I tried to capture that effect but I can never seem to get it just right.


Not many blooms are left so I felt very lucky to find a few.

All these were along Allen St. at Conn Brown.

All these were shot with the Sony 30mm f2.8 macro

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cap'n Jack and The Wild Grass

Capt. Jack Green from New Orleans came down the ICW this afternoon pushing a big string of barges. Capt. Jack is a big boat and two crewmen were on top of the wheelhouse to lower the masts and antennas. Some of these bigger boats can't make it under the bridge unless those things are lowered. As soon as the boat clears the bridge, everything is put back into place. Tugboat captains tend to get nervous when they don't have their radar and radios.

Some of the native coastal grasses have a pretty interesting look when they have headed out with seed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It was very blue today at the harbor...blue sky, blue water, blue boat...what else could I ask?

These were taken at the south end of Conn Brown Harbor with the Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6 DG-EX. As always, click on the image for a larger view.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tower Revisited and Dusty Dawn

The past few weeks have seen a beautification project at the Memorial Tower on the south end of Conn Brown Harbor. A lot of work was put into the project by local citizens. A few weeks ago, I posted a shot of the tower from the base...looking up. The tower was rededicated today and I thought I would revisit the site. The last shot was taken with a 28-75 f 2.8 so I thought I'd go a little wider with this one. I used the Sigma 12-24 f 4.5-5.6.

While I was at the harbor, this clean looking boat slipped down the fairway and tied up at city dock. She's the Dusty Dawn from Cut Off, Louisiana. I love to see obvious displays of owner pride with these boats ...this one was sharp as a tack!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Provider and Sweet Nectar

This is the Provider. She's been a Conn Brown Harbor regular for many years...most bay boats are built of plywood but the provider and a handful of others were built in the old school manner, laid up with individual planks. These boats were built to last...but nothing lasts forever and it looks like the Provider is getting close to the end. Due to the cost of building with this method, we've probably seen the last of her kind. It's too bad but the bottom line is the bottom line.

I can't resist sunflowers, especially when they have a bee in attendance. This specimen was at the harbor and this guy was very involved in the task at hand. Sunflowers are about the only wildflowers left at the harbor these days...the hot summer has burned up about everything else. The bees and I don't mind too much. They love the pollen and sweet nectar and I love the vibrant color...especially when it's presented with a beautiful blue sky. The Provider was shot with the Minolta 500-f8 and the flower with the Sony 30-f2.8 macro.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Father's Business

Got this shot from across the harbor. Shot using the Minolta 500 f8 and 1.4 teleconverter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Enemy

This is the enemy and this is my new challenge. I'm trying to get free of tobacco and today is my second day of this new and very difficult challenge. Today is day seven with the 24-105. I have quite a few more lenses that I could use in this "one lens for a week" challenge but I guess one challenge at a time is enough for me...so, I'll concentrate on getting free of my nasty habit and suspend the lens challenge for now. I've been using this crap in one form or another since I was 12 years old so I guess it's time to quit...it's hard to do! Your support in this will be much appreciated! This was taken with the 24-105 but with a 12mm extension tube added to allow for the closer focus that I wanted.

Day Six

Yesterday was day six with the 24-105. This is Carmella Marie and she's been an Aransas Pass girl for a long time...one of the few working boats left in AP. I hope she and all the other die-hards have a good season and can hold on for a few more years.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Boats at the Harbor

Spent the afternoon in Corpus but made it back in time to go to the harbor for my daily dose of boats.

The Nina

Posting yesterday's shot...got sleepy last night and went to bed before posting. As promised, I tried for another shot of the Nina. The light was really bad at this angle and I think I'll try again before she leaves.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

View From the South End

I don't usually spend much time at the south end of the harbor...that's where all the touristas go...the boat ramps are always busy. I heard that the Nina was being towed from Corpus to mile 533 shipyard for repairs and wanted to try for a shot or two. The replicas of Columbus's fleet were brought to Corpus from Spain several years ago...it was supposed to be a temporary visit but they're still here. The ship was there but was surrounded by other boats and equipment and I could never find a place to get a good view...sometimes things just don't work out...the first time around! I'm a persistent old cuss so I'll keep trying...never was one to give up on a good thing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Boats...What Else?

I know everyone is getting tired of shrimp boats but I had a busy day and it was hot as all get out...so I only spent about 15 minutes out and about with the camera today...so here's a couple more boats!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Let's Secede

If Texas ever decides to secede from the union, Aransas Pass can provide the artillery and air power...'course you might have to give us a little time to get things back in shape! Really, these relics are located at the local VFW as a reminder of those who served. I think the VFW is a fine organization that does a lot of good things for the veteran...I never joined, I guess after I got back from 'Nam, I wasn't too keen on joining things anymore! This week I'm shooting with the Minolta 24-105/3.5-4.5.

Texas Tradition

This is Sunday's picture. I had a doctor's appointment in San Antonio this morning and went to bed early...without posting. Yesterday was my last day with the Minolta 70-210 f4 and it was in my mind to post something to honor Texas...what could do that better than DQ? Buster Bars, Dilly Bars and chili burgers...sounds very Texican, verdad? Of course the most Texican of all would be the T brand tacos...yummy. Viva Tejas...Viva DQ!