Monday, July 18, 2011

Fishermen, photographers and survival

click photo to enlarge
Sometimes my mind wanders on tangential paths and ends up in odd, even strange, places. For example, I have a theory that following the next cataclysm to hit the earth - an asteroid impact, suddenly rising sea levels, a world war or whatever - any survivors will include a disproportionately large number of fishermen, but precious few amateur  photographers. Why? Well, over the years I've noticed that an increasing number of fishermen are equipped for longer fishing expeditions. You've perhaps seen the sort of thing that I mean: they have a small tent or combined umbrella/sheltersuitable for over-night stays, waterproof and warm clothing for whatever the weather brings, boxes packed with food and basic cooking equipment and utensils, as well as the usual range of rods, lines, etc. And all of this is packed into a convenient, wheeled cart that can be pulled to the places where the fishing is to take place. It occurs to me that all of this stuff is ideal for survival in a post-apocalypse world, providing not only warmth, shelter and transport, but also the means of furnishing your next meal.

On the other hand, the resurgence of the popularity of SLRs has produced a large number of amateur photographers who load themselves down with multiple bodies and lenses, a stack of accessories and often a tripod. I see quite a few who fit all this into and on the outside of a purpose-made backpack. Consequently, I foresee these people, after the next world-scale incident, loading themselves up with the "necessary gear" to get the best possible images of this once in a lifetime event, skimping on the useful and essential items needed for survival, and happily perishing in the knowledge that they've secured cards full of amazing photographs! A further thought occurs to me: perhaps there's a market for a trailer camera case for the photographers who suffer from separation anxiety disorder, and can't leave a single piece of kit at home in case they find they need it. Or perhaps not.

Of course not all photographers and fishermen conform to my descriptions. There are plenty of snappers down-sizing to mirrorless or compact cameras who get great pleasure from their diminutive outfits and take excellent shots with them. And there are lots of fishermen who enjoy their sport using a very basic set of equipment that is not burdensome in any way. I saw one such person on the beach at Hunstanton in Norfolk. He was standing among the groynes and tall groyne markers, casting into the incoming tide, content with his minimalist lot.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 300mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On