Walk Around Your Neighborhood – Find New Things, Areas and A Few Oddities

This weeks Focus52 Prompt was Harvest. This can be thought of in many ways.

But, from what I understand, there seems to have been a few groans when it came to this weeks Prompt – “It’s too hard”, “where am going to shoot that?” –  “Bunch of Whiners”

OK, I admit, I was a bit challenged by it too – But that’s what challenges are about. Forcing you to think of ways to meet them.

I just shot the wheat harvest last month and with the Farmers Market having they’re last day last weekend, many of the local farms are close to finishing their harvesting too. Plus, I’ve been strapped for time so going for a drive to find harvest activities back on the mainland was not going to be easy either.

I live in a small town, on an island in the Pacific NW. This towns predominant trade for most of it’s history, has been fishing – which is in essence, is a form harvesting too. So, I thought I’d go out and photograph fishermen and their boats.

Being that it’s such a nice little town, I’m able to pretty much walk anywhere I need to go, and enjoy doing so to keep in shape, knocking off 3-4 mile walks several time a week is easy, so off I go.

I’m also one of those that has a mind that tends to wonder off track… Often. Some might say (actually they say it often) that I’m “easily distracted.” I just chalk it up to one of my many oddities (ah… mental conditions) that I’ve come to live with. See, I’ve just distracted myself again, got off subject, and forgotten where I was going with this thought! I’m also known to ramble a lot (part of my ah… condition). I’ll try not to do that here.

Oh yeah… I was going for a walk, going to explore some parts of this great little town I’ve never been too, especially on foot… With a camera. And tackle the challenge of shooting something that has to do with Harvest.

So, with fishermen on my mind, my first instinct was to go down to the boat yards and docks where some of the fishing fleets hang out. Well, wouldn’t you know it, along the way I got distracted (see, I knew this was leading somewhere) when I saw a large number of those real big tugboats used for tankers lined up along one of the boat yard docks. I like tugboats, so I wondered on down to the water and started getting photographs of them. Fun!

Suddenly, someone (who was not happy) approached me to ask what I was taking photographs of… Opps! Rut-Row!!

At the time I happened to be shooting straight down, off the dock at the large tractor tires that tugs use as fenders. Interesting abstract I thought. Well at least at the moment that’s what I was thinking. Here’s one of them.

So, that’s what I explained to the guy… I’m taking pictures of the worn out tires on the tug. Ah… That’s when I started to receive a strange look from him (which I’m so accustomed to seeing from others that “don’t get me”). So, I continued to be nice, just talking with the guy for awhile, explaining what I was up too, and it turns out he was fine with what I was doing but had to just double check anyway. You know, wacko’s and security stuff what it is these days.

So, one thing I asked him, “While I’ve got you – What’s that big black and chrome thing on the bow called? I haven’t seen one like that before.” He said it’s called a Staple. OK, I guess it looks like the shape, kinda. They guide the ropes thru it for added strength in towing/pulling boats. He also mentioned that it’s very strong and they’ve actually hooked a crane to it for lifting the boat out of the water.

Now you know what that’s called too.

Here’s what else I was shooting too: Ain’t it pretty?!

That large ferry in the background has been lifted out of the water into a “dry dock” and is being worked on. This next image is a new style of tugboat being built from scratch. It’s bow (the front of the boat for you land lubbers) is designed specifically for attaching to the back of very large barges. It becomes it’s propulsion for easier control once it’s attached instead of relying on the normal use of chain to pull/guide the barge with multiple tugs.

After having my little talk with the guy who (whom?) thought I was a bit on the “odd side” for taking pictures of tires, I figured I better be moving on, quit distracting myself and get back on to my mission of Harvest.

But wait, look at all these piles of big chain and anchors over there! I’ve got to shoot them too!

And, this is where I proceeded to earn a few more odd looks from the “roughnecks” that work the docks around the boat yards!

Especially when I took this picture on one of the warehouses:

But hey – it’s one of those roughnecks that put it there!

OK, OK – Harvest-  fishing boats, fishing boats, Focus Tony, Focus!

I finally did shoot a couple of them too – See:

But this just wasn’t doing it for me. What I am I going to do next?  There’s got to be something around here that has to do with Harvest! But where? I’m on a small island, there are no farms here. Those are all back on the mainland. A few small horse ranches on the South side of the island, but no harvests.

But ah… There’s a community garden in town! They’ve got to be harvesting something. So off I go, trying to remember where it’s at. I’ve seen it a few times while driving around, but never paid attention to what street it’s on – Back to exploring my little town. Something I encourage all of you to do too – on foot if possible. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

And sure enough, found it.  Most of the harvest had already been taken care of, but there was still plenty to shoot. So, here’s a couple of my Harvest shots. Go to my Flickr page to see more…

So, there you have it – How to tackle a photographic challenge. Just go out there and think about it, let your mind wonder a bit – Probably not as much as mine does (It’s a curse I tell ya), but let it go. As it gets a chance to explore, many more ideas will come to you. And, along the way, there’s no telling what you may find! It’s all part of the fun in exploration.

Thanks again for coming by and reading my ramblings,


About masterofmadness

Semi-pro photographer & musician. Co-own a photo gallery with a digital photo-lab in a small tourist town, on an island in the Pacific NW of USA. I also teach and ongoing series of workshops in photography, Photoshop and Apple computers. I shoot mostly landscapes, in the mountains - Giving me a great excuse to go climb them. I also do a lot of fine art, macros and abstracts.
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3 Responses to Walk Around Your Neighborhood – Find New Things, Areas and A Few Oddities

  1. Alison says:

    Great shots!!

  2. Cricket says:

    I absolutely love your style of writing and your pictures are incredible!

  3. masterofmadness says:

    Thanks for coming by, glad you enjoyed it!

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