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People ShowcaseDuck & The Decisive Moment

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minniev
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Duck & The Decisive Moment

Post by minniev » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:49 pm

Trap Day is just crazy-time on Monhegan, there is so much going on at once, everything is at top speed from pre-dawn until dark. All the boats must be loaded and reloaded multiple times, regardless of high or low tide, which sometimes means lowering everything (traps, people, bait boxes, other gear) down on winches and slides and ladders. It's a crazy game of chutes and ladders on the little dock. If you get yourself penned up by the high piles of traps in one section of the dock, you are stuck there until some operation gets finished, unless you mean to climb them and scramble over them like the locals. I saw Duck get "trapped" on one side while I was "trapped" on another. There were so many interesting things happening: an interesting lobsterwoman loading a boat, a little boy of about 7 climbing a dangerous looking ladder, a colorful sternman bringing a boat up for loading. Note that Duck has a bag of lenses, a tripod and two cameras and is trying to pay attention to all this stuff and seems to be trying to decide which decisive moment to shoot with what.
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duck (1 of 1).jpg
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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:24 pm

awesome shot of an awesome place at an awesome time of an awesome fellow

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Post by Psjunkie » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:05 pm

Good one minniev...seems he has more gear than the lobstermen...

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Post by Duck » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:17 am

Unitas_Photography-6564.jpg
Lobstermen stacking traps the day prior to "trap day", the first day of the lobster season.
Thanks to Minnie's and Dave's kind generosity in sharing their vacation with me I had the privilege of observing this community's generations old tradition first hand. It was fascinating and mesmerizing and awe inspiring watching a community of both locals and strangers come together for a common cause that was not superseded by some natural disaster. :D

Prior to this image I had been further in on the dock. The back end of the action, you might say. The image at right is from the previous day as the first of the traps were being brought down from their respective homes throughout the island. Each license has their allotment of traps and the traps are marked with buoys color coded for easy identification. What you are seeing is only about a sixth of the number of traps brought down throughout the day. It is this particular stack that I found myself wedged behind in Minnie's photo.

What is difficult to see from Minnie's photo is that the dock was using all three sides to load the boats. The left and right sides were using stiff leg davits to lower traps onto the boats while the end of the pier was utilizing the dock's adjustable gangway as Minnie's aforementioned chute to slide the traps down to the boat. This is what I am overlooking.

Having been on the other side of the traps for quite some time I wanted to get a closer, more direct look at the loading action. Again I remind you that this was my first time so I was a little apprehensive about "getting in the way". I usually have no qualms about grabbing a shot but I was considerate enough to understand that I was a guest there. I took advantage of a lull in the dockside action to maneuver myself around the stack and over the gangway. While I'm not a particular fan of bird's eye views of action, I did manage to get some good shots. The side Minnie is standing on was actually the better side which I had managed to get to also. :D

Unitas_Photography-6978.jpg
Local lobsterman overseeing island visitors as they help load traps onto the waiting boats.
Unfortunately this side of the gangway had a suspension cable in the way of the action, as you can see in the image at left. Yes, there was an identical cable on the other side, but the angle of view of the action was completely different due to the way the traps had been stacked.

As for the load of equipment; one never knows what will be needed when shooting on location. What you see is my typical venue shooting setup with the one exception being the backpack. Normally that would have been my regular over the shoulder messenger style camera bag (less gear). The only reason for the backpack was I didn't know what to expect so I wanted to be ready for whatever configuration I found best.

Slung over my shoulder is my APS-C body with a 12-24mm and on the monopod is my full frame body with a 70-200mm. This allows me to capture just about anything without having to switch lenses back and forth. Usually I have the 24-70mm on the full frame and the 70-200 on the APS-C but with the close quarters I found myself in the other configuration made better sense. To me at least. :?

Anyway, as Minnie mentioned, it was rather tight quarters and we were 'trapped' there for a short while. Not that it mattered any. ;)

Here are a few more images from the end of the pier (Minnie's side). Enjoy.

Unitas_Photography-6656.jpg
Boat crew members catch a lobster holding pot slid down from topside.
Unitas_Photography-6662.jpg
Crew member handing off lobster traps to another as the boat gets loaded on trap day.
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Post by Psjunkie » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:55 pm

Nice documentation along with story Duck...

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Post by minniev » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:58 pm

Duck wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:17 am

Thanks Duck for the images and the story! While Monhegan mostly moves at a leisurely pace, allowing photographers to graze lazily and gather up what they want as they enjoy the peaceful surroundings, Trap Day is totally different.

It was fun watching how Duck and Dave, and sometimes Sharon, worked the scenes i've attempted on several prior visits. I still haven't solved the challenges of getting stuck behind traps, being cut off by various mechanical or architectural features that get in the way, shooting straight down when the tide is low and the boats are loading, dealing with rapid movement of a lot of people often in less than favorable lighting. There is certainly little time for the courtesies of asking permission or inquiring about things that puzzle us. I've never had anyone object to being photographed, or even having the children photographed, as long as we don't get in the way of what they are trying to accomplish.

Here's a few more, one showing the view of the "chute" as I was trapped on the opposite side as Duck was, some showing the weird downward angle we were forced to use, and one showing the crowded situation of life among the traps.We sometimes felt as trapped by them as the lobsters do!
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td (1 of 1)-5.jpg
td (1 of 1)-4.jpg
td (1 of 1)-2.jpg
td (1 of 1)-6.jpg
td (1 of 1).jpg
td (1 of 1)-3.jpg
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Post by Karen » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:20 pm

Psjunkie wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:05 pm
Good one minniev...seems he has more gear than the lobstermen...
😂😂😂!!!

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Post by Karen » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:26 pm

Duck wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:17 am
Unitas_Photography-6564.jpg
Thanks to Minnie's and Dave's kind generosity in sharing their vacation with me I had the privilege of observing this community's generations old tradition first hand. It was fascinating and mesmerizing and awe inspiring watching a community of both locals and strangers come together for a common cause that was not superseded by some natural disaster. :D

Prior to this image I had been further in on the dock. The back end of the action, you might say. The image at right is from the previous day as the first of the traps were being brought down from their respective homes throughout the island. Each license has their allotment of traps and the traps are marked with buoys color coded for easy identification. What you are seeing is only about a sixth of the number of traps brought down throughout the day. It is this particular stack that I found myself wedged behind in Minnie's photo.

What is difficult to see from Minnie's photo is that the dock was using all three sides to load the boats. The left and right sides were using stiff leg davits to lower traps onto the boats while the end of the pier was utilizing the dock's adjustable gangway as Minnie's aforementioned chute to slide the traps down to the boat. This is what I am overlooking.

Having been on the other side of the traps for quite some time I wanted to get a closer, more direct look at the loading action. Again I remind you that this was my first time so I was a little apprehensive about "getting in the way". I usually have no qualms about grabbing a shot but I was considerate enough to understand that I was a guest there. I took advantage of a lull in the dockside action to maneuver myself around the stack and over the gangway. While I'm not a particular fan of bird's eye views of action, I did manage to get some good shots. The side Minnie is standing on was actually the better side which I had managed to get to also. :D

Unitas_Photography-6978.jpg
Unfortunately this side of the gangway had a suspension cable in the way of the action, as you can see in the image at left. Yes, there was an identical cable on the other side, but the angle of view of the action was completely different due to the way the traps had been stacked.

As for the load of equipment; one never knows what will be needed when shooting on location. What you see is my typical venue shooting setup with the one exception being the backpack. Normally that would have been my regular over the shoulder messenger style camera bag (less gear). The only reason for the backpack was I didn't know what to expect so I wanted to be ready for whatever configuration I found best.

Slung over my shoulder is my APS-C body with a 12-24mm and on the monopod is my full frame body with a 70-200mm. This allows me to capture just about anything without having to switch lenses back and forth. Usually I have the 24-70mm on the full frame and the 70-200 on the APS-C but with the close quarters I found myself in the other configuration made better sense. To me at least. :?

Anyway, as Minnie mentioned, it was rather tight quarters and we were 'trapped' there for a short while. Not that it mattered any. ;)

Here are a few more images from the end of the pier (Minnie's side). Enjoy.

Unitas_Photography-6656.jpg
Unitas_Photography-6662.jpg
Awesome perspectives. I felt omniscient! Also, I’ve been considering a monopod. Which one do you have?

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Post by Duck » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:47 am

Karen wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:26 pm
Awesome perspectives. I felt omniscient! Also, I’ve been considering a monopod. Which one do you have?

Thanks for looking and commenting, Karen.

As for the monopod; I have the Manfrotto 682B with the model 222 pistol grip ball head. These are older items and all metal so not the lightest on the market. Even so, I love my Manfrotto monopod for two specific reasons. First, the height. It's a three section monopod but it's long. I'm 6'1" and that thing puts my camera above my head by more than a few inches. The pistol grip ball head also helps with that. The second reason is that it has little tripod legs that fold up and screw into the base of the leg. Unlike the legs that fold out on some other models, these you have to unscrew the foot cap to extend them, keeping them hidden when not in use. :thumbup:
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

Tutorials ⇒ How to critique photos
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Karen
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Post by Karen » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:51 pm

Thanks, Duck. I’d spare no expense if they had a button that extended and retracted those little tripod legs!

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