Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Built Environment

Fish Bins 58 through 71, and a Story, Part 2


February 21, 2019

The tour Karen Bell gave of the A.P. Bell fish house taught me things about commercial fishing that I’d never even thought to wonder about. Like: The kind of gear on a fishing boat is specific to the species of fish fished. Like: The Bell boats may fish for as long as 14 days before returning to Cortez. Like: The U.S. government knows where all the boats are all the time. Karen treated us to factoids on the history of the company. Like: In the 1920s several families moved to Cortez from a fishing village in Carteret County, North Carolina. The Bells are only one of those families still living in Cortez. Like: A.P. Bell ships fish or roe to Taiwan, Egypt, Italy, France, and Romania as well as Texas, California, New York, Georgia, and restaurants in and around Sarasota.

I’m sad to say that most of the photographs I took inside the fish house did not turn out, but happy to show that two of my photographs of an animated Karen did, as did some of the photos of fish in the cooler. I gladly eat fish, so I’m being something like hypocritical to admit that these beautiful dead animals made me feel sad. Karen’s tour left me with so many questions that I asked if I could come back another day to ask them. She agreed, so this may not be the last of the story about the fish bins.

Two photographs in this post show the bins being used as the fish are offloaded from small boats on trailers. These are boats that ferry the catch from the fishing boats, not those that go to sea. While waiting for the tour to start, I managed to put in some time photographing the bins up close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fish Bins 45 through 57, and a Story


February 11, 2019

I was in Cortez on a Monday, photographing fish bins. Suddenly an authoritative voice in back of me said, “What are you doing?” Uh-oh. I’d never been challenged while walking the fish-house property, but I almost always was there on a Sunday, when workers were not. I turned around to see a woman flanked by two men. I said (cheerily, I hoped), “I’m photographing these fish bins. I don’t know the real name for them, but I—” “We call them vats,” said the woman. “Oh,” I said; “Do you work here?” “Yes, I’m the owner.” Gulp. “Well,” I said, trying to stay cheerful, “I have a photograph of one of these vats at a show in Boston right now. I just love these things.” The woman broke into a grin. “Really? I’m going to Boston in March. Will the show still be up then?” Yes, it would, I assured her. Relief all around. She and her men had wondered if I was documenting something to make trouble, and I had wondered if I would be charged with trespassing.

Now that we were on friendly terms, the woman introduced herself as Karen Bell, the granddaughter of A.P. Bell, who founded the company in the 1920s. Many of the vats have “A. P. Bell” written on them in welding steel, she pointed out (and I have photographed). Karen asked if I knew what the numbers on the sides of the vats mean. (No.) “It’s the weight of the vat. After the fish are offloaded into them, the vats are weighed and the vat weight subtracted to give the weight of the fish.” The fishermen are then paid by the weight of the fish. Later in her office I got Karen’s e-mail address to send her information about the Boston show. She told me she was giving a tour of the fish house in three days to benefit the local museum, and I was welcome to sign up. I did! This story will continue in the next blog post. Here are photos I took that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hoses in Poses, Continued 5


February 1, 2019

Some of these lines may be cables of some sort rather than hoses, but I don’t have a good rhyme for them. Found all these guys at the marina in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park.

 

 

 


Good Fences Make Good . . .


January 22, 2019

This is the last of the haul that netted the photographs in the previous two posts. The last photograph here is not really a fence but a grate horizontal to the ground. It just seems to fit with the fences. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cross-Gartered Traffic Cones and Friends


January 12, 2019

On the same day I harvested the dumpster photographs for the previous post, I came across a few batches of traffic cones to add to my collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Dumpsters of Sarasota 23 through 38


January 2, 2019

So many dumpster photographs, so little time. I’d rather not post all 16 of these photographs at once, but I am plagued by a surfeit of riches. The outing that produced these dumpster photographs resulted in many goodies, and I want to get through them all in a reasonable length of time. Feel free to quit looking at any point. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Old Bank Drive-Through 21


December 13, 2018

When I went dumpster hunting last month (see the small haul), I stopped by the old bank drive-through that has entertained me so often. I’d never been there in freezing weather, and icy new appearances awaited me. The last three photographs are what I will enter into the FAVA Six-State Photography show early next year, hoping one will be juried in.

 

 

 

 

 


If You Go to Boston . . .


December 10, 2018

Because of the kindness of three people, I am privileged (along with 61 other photographers) to be exhibiting a photograph in the Passageway of the Lafayette City Center in Boston. The Passageway links Macy’s with the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The show, Abstraction Attraction, is up now through May 5, 2019. Note that you can see all the photographs online. If you happen to be in the Passageway during this time and see my photo, please let me know! The photographs were selected by Paula Tognarelli, executive director and curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography. Here’s the chosen photo, The Fish Bins of Cortez 38, and a link to other fish-bin photos. Big thanks to Stephen Tomasko, who sent me the entry information, and to my friends Katie Brown and Robert Taylor, who prompted Stephen by telling him that I “was a photographer, too.”


Should We or Should We Not?


November 23, 2018

Alan Goldsmith of Pixetera left a comment on my last post that deserves more attention. Here’s what he said about my photographs of oil-film-topped puddles in my drug store’s parking lot:

“[T]hey raise this question for me again: In making beautiful photos of environmental pollution and destruction, does the photographer sabotage his or her ecological message? Or, to put it another way: Should we make really ugly, awful pictures if we want to show the harmful effects of contaminants in our air, land, and water? Would anyone even look at them then?

“I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer to this dilemma.”

I have struggled with Alan’s question in presenting my photographs of dumpsters, and certainly the question pertains even more strongly to photographs of oil pollution. Recently I considered this issue in a short essay to go with some photographs of dumpsters for the 2018 Fall issue of Eureka!.*

Here are some new photographs of dumpsters, taken Wednesday. The first two are of a dumpster I have previously photographed. The last is a detail of the third photograph.

 

 

 

 

*Eureka! is a small literary magazine created by and for residents of Kendal at Oberlin, where I live.


Not Leptothrix discophora—Vintage or Otherwise


November 13, 2018

A week ago Friday I was in the parking lot of our nearby drug store, waiting for my passenger to finish her shopping. It’s boring just to wait for someone. Enter my iPhone! It had just finished raining. What lucky timing. These are not Leptothrix discophora films but thin films of oil or gasoline on the puddles, which is what L. discophora films are often taken for. You can see why. Both exhibit color interference, also called thin-film interference. These films—unlike films of L. discophora—have no fracturing. (Compare with images in the previous post.)

Fabian Oefner is an artist who uses thin films of oil in his work.