More Senior Photos 2009: Jackie Moody + the engine is in place!

We finished up shooting Jackie’s Photos yesterday.

It was a hugely busy day.  At 8 AM, I had went to the school to take some photo books to my classroom for the photography class I’m teaching this fall and ‘threw my back out.’  I know that’s a strange expression, ‘threw my back out,’ but what it means is my back is really hurting if I try to do anything and I can barely move around.

So I started uploading the photos for the wedding and the senior shoot. 

IMG_8889 copyIMG_8865 copyAt 1 PM, we started shooting these senior shots of Jackie.She wanted to do photos at five different sites in three different costumes, so off we went with her two helpers, Hilary and Libby.  Hilary held the reflector, Libby packed my camera bag, Jackie carried the camera and I carried the ladder using my bad back. 

These photos were taken in front of a huge boulder down on the beach

IMG_8814We took a wide range of photos.  We took some on some steps, on a log, in the flowers,  on a boulder, and some in the fireweed. These pictures show a high-key and a low-key shot comparision.  The low-key shot is dark, and the high-key shot is bright. Duh.  The steps were scouted by Jackie.  I’d never even seen them before and were really cool.  They were there all the time, I just hadn’t noticed them for their potential.

IMG_8837Jackie found this log too.  It’s a really cool  log down on the beach just a short walk from the road and has a range of posing options. 

In this option, there’s this annoying rock right behind her head.  But move the camera up about 6 feet, and the rock disappears form the field of view, As seen in the next photo

IMG_8840Notice in this second photo, the background is a near uniform field of grass, which is what you want in a background.  In a portrait, the primary focus should be the eyes of the subject so if there are too many distracting nonessential elements in the photo, then it doesn’t function properly as a portrait. 

These photos that Jackie wanted are called environmental portraits, in the trade, because they are taken out in the environment, rather than in a studio setting.  Of course, outdoors, there are other problems like bugs, thorns, rocks, mud and other things that make it tough to shoot.  These photos are helped by the nice overcast general lighting.

Then at 2:30, I went back to Canal Marine and I helped Cary load up the engine into the truck so we could get it onto the boat.  The goal was to get the engine in place with the back of the engine blocked up, ready to receive the transmission, and the front of the engine mounted correctly on its mounts.  We can’t install the engine properly because he’s going to rebuild my reduction gear, as the oil was completely contaminated with glycol and water for the last few weeks, unbeknownst to me until we were pulling the engine.

IMG_8358As can be seen in the photo at right, the tide was very high (notice the very shallow  angle of the ramp leading down to the dock), and it was a Saturday, plus Fish and Game just took off the 6 inch mesh restriction so there were a gob of boats wanting to haul off their chum salmon nets with the crane and then pull their smaller meshed (5.25 or 5.375 inch) nets onto their reels. 

And in amongst all these boats and nets, I was trying to help Cary put a new Cummins 5.9L Marine 6BTA engine into my boat.   I would have liked to have been taking photos of the entire operation, but was primarily operating the crane doing whatever Cary told me to do.  What he did was build a slight ramp out of the wooden blocking. 


IMG_8357In this photo, you can see his come-along hooked to the front of the engine, with a solid chain hooked to the stern of the engine (where the unpainted aluminum bell housing is).  That allows the angle of the engine to be adjusted while it’s being lowered into it’s slot.  As we lowered it down, he’d alternate between adjusting the blocking and pushing the engine in with his legs and telling me to lower the crane a little bit each time.  After we got the engine into it’s slot, the front of the engine was about 10 inches lower than it needed to be, so we blocked the back of the engine with wood so it wouldn’t slide astern and hooked the crane/come-along to the front engine lift access point and lifted the front of the engine with it so we could put the engine mounts on then put the shims under them, then put the bolts through the holes.

After about two hours, Holly called my cell phone and told me, “Kris Morden just called and said, “Tell Matt, he’s been at the 15 minute loading dock for three days and I’m coming over to take off my net and he better not be there when I get over there.” 

IMG_8365cAt the time he called, we were seemingly a hairs breadth from getting the front starboard engine mount locked down and were redoing the order of assembly of the coolant return line and the engine mount so that Cary could reach the bolts and actually get a wrench on them.  We had a good laugh at Kris’s audacity.  ‘Yeah, we’ll just move the boat back to its slip.’

As you can see from the close-up photo, taken from the front of the engine, they are virtually on top of each other but the coolant port needs to be installed first, else you can’t reach the bolts.  We sped up nonetheless.  David and Alex Knight wanted to use the crane to lift off their net box.  Norm was wanting to be in our position to get his net off, and two other boats were wanting to use the dock to load their nets as well.

IMG_8361In this photo, the engine is sitting on the blocking but doesn’t have the front mounts installed yet.  To get the engine in and out, we ‘skinnied it up,’ which means that all the extra stuff was removed from the engine proper to get it skinny enough to come out of the boat.

In about five to ten more minutes, we had the front two mounts on and we moved the engine down the dock about 60 feet out of everyone’s way.  Cha-Ching!  Engine in place!

Wow.  It felt so good to get the 1800 pound hunk of steel down in the right position that I got out a celebratory Mt. Dew for each of Cary and I and we cleaned up and went home, after only 2.5 hours of work–it was 5 PM anyhow.