Sea Legs

DSC_3838I started shooting a long-term project this week documenting the Isle of Man fishing industry, I hope to be out with various trawlers over the next 8 to 12 months. I started the project by going out on the MFV Serpico, a small scallop dredger based in Douglas, skippered by Juan Canipa, it was an amazing experience, although I did suffer badly with sea-sickness (as you can see from the photo below, I spent a fair amount of time trying to die). I was given a lot of advice regarding sea-sickness prevention, all of which I ignored, to my detriment. For the whole trip, Juan kept telling me I’d find my sea legs, I looked everywhere for 15 hours and never saw any spare legs. Next week I’ll be taking every sickness pill known to mankind.

10622763_744946735578619_2887363027363246932_nI’d planned to shoot this project entirely on digital, however, I did shoot a couple of rolls of 35mm film using Olympus Mju and a Ricoh GR1s compacts. I really like the results, so I’m kind over wondering whether to shoot on film instead? The main motivation would be the look and the quality of film, but another factor would be financial – a few months at sea is going to kill my two Nikon DSLRS, replacing them would cost about £8000. Replacing a film compact would cost £30…

All the images here, apart from the one of me dead in the wheelhouse, were made using the two compacts and Agfa Vista+ 200 35mm film. DSC_3867 DSC_4057 DSC_3955 DSC_8319 DSC_8336 DSC_8505 DSC_8380


  1. When you get into a bit of weather you are going to need an underwater housing! Not to mention being banged and tossed about. What about a splash proof digital like the Olympus OM-D micro 4/3s. Or/and a couple of old Nikonos?


  2. Hiya!

    Wicked cool photos, as usual.

    Ginger for seas sickness. It was it on Mythbusters, so it must be true (that’s like TV squared for truth factor).

    What about some sort of waterproof housing? Or funding from some kind of nautical industry body? Or, this will sound stupid, but ziplock bags with a filter screwed on over the plastic and then this circular bit cut out. Works for regular plastic bags, but not sure if a heavy ziplock would allow a filter to be screwed on, and regular bags are neither sealable nor tought enough.

    Anyway, thanks for this post and all the other inspiring ones.

    Pax/ Dean from Japan (but in New Zealand for two more weeks)


  3. Rather enjoying the look of film for this project. Digital has its place but…
    Curious as to what you hope to gain from this project? What is the back story behind your picking this as a project?
    And may your sea legs find you upright at all times!!


  4. I really look forward to seeing the series. It took me 3 days to get over being sea sick. That was a board an aircraft carrier. Then I too was not taking anything. Fool hardy. Wish you the best and quick adaptation.


  5. I’d say: Do it! I think shooting on film would suit the project and the whole atmosphere on the fishing boats very well. These first pictures are proving this. Also, as this is meant to be a long-term project, you could still shoot digital later or just once in a while. Good luck.


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