Independence

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Blake Brown, the morning after his last college exam 

FOR EACH OF THE PAST 16 years, my wife and kids and me have spent a good chunk of the summer in Port Aransas,Texas. If you’ve never been there, here’s a bullet synopsis:

  • Great fishing
  • Okay beaches
  • Great eating
  • Great fishing

In the early years of my photography career, we would typically stay for 6-8 weeks. I would fish and shoot like a man possessed, and burn so much slide film that my editing and filing would often last well into the fall.

Those halcyon summers lasted through the kid’s middle school years, but once they got into high school, the sports and social distractions began to chip away at our Port Aransas time.

Nowadays, with one in college and the other holding a diploma, it’s all we can do to scratch out 3-4 days together in Port Aransas. Fortunately, there’s never much argument on when that visit will be: it’s always on the Fourth of July, and I hope it stays that way when they’ve got families of their own.

Years ago I was shooting everything in sight; building an archive, filling categories, and reaching toward new client markets. Today, with less time in Port Aransas for photography, I’m typically more selective. I’ve usually got some gear in tow that a client needs shot in a coastal setting, or there might be a phone call requesting images of a certain scene: “Hey, are you in Port Aransas? Can you get us a couple of shots of the___________?

Time passes. Priorities evolve.

Here are some¬†scenes from July 4th, 2014, and a couple from past years…

Fishing Lodge Travel & Scenery Photos

Sunrise on Redfish Bay

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King of the jetties

Wild Game and Cooking Photos

Blue Crab Enchiladas from Lisabella’s Bistro

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Shooting for stock

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Emily Brown modeling new lines for Columbia Sportswear

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An impromptu assignment shoot for Texas Highways magazine

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Tarpon scale wallpaper from the glory years on the Texas Coast

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Seagrass and clean water

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Reddish Egret noodling the flats

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Ladyfish, or Slimy Fly-Stealing Parlor Whore

Fishing Lodge Travel & Scenery Photos

The bombs bursting in air

6 Responses to “Independence”

  1. Bryan Tex Jessee says:

    Nice work, Mr. Brown.

  2. brian waldrop says:

    Hey Tosh – love the ladyfish “alternate” moniker :)

  3. Skip Painton says:

    The Tarpon photos are beauties. I was very interested in your comments regarding Tarpon research. I have fished the spring Tarpon run in Islamorada for several years, and over dinner with my guide, and another well known guide down there, the same questions you raised came up regarding Tarpon, and Bonefish as well, that have been in decline in the Islamorada area. The question of involvement by Bonefish/Tarpon Trust came up, since most of their research seems to be focused on the Bahamas, and other distant areas, but not on the Keys.
    Possibly some focus by members and concerned anglers could push them in the right direction.

    • Tosh says:

      Skip, I got a rather prickly response from BTT on that post. Turns out that they have done some tagging in the keys, but it hasn’t been widely publicized. Mostly in scientific journals that nobody reads. I’m a member of BTT and had never seen those studies.

      My point, back to them, is why spend the time and money to do the tag studies if you’re not going to push it through the mainstream media?

      Look what OCEARCH has done for great white sharks with their tagging program. Social media is a powerful force.

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