Captain Stephen Coad
Nikon D90 18-200mm VR lens ISO 400 f/4.5 1/160 handheld Hoya UV filter
Spent the day at Mannum in SA with my good friend Susan (a producer with the ABC Open – Riverland) “working” on the current National Portrait of a Stranger Project. As described on the ABC site the project ‘Portrait Of A Stranger invites you to take a series of portraits of strangers, and learn new social, photographic and technical skills.
In this project, you will need to find a willing subject; someone who is a stranger and who is happy to share their story. Capture your subject in a single photograph and short written piece of up to 200 words. Challenge yourself to talk to and photograph at least five strangers, and to find out a bit more about each person you meet.’
It was a fascinating experience that took me out of my comfort zone, approaching strangers and asking them tell me their story and take their photograph. Very rewarding and interesting.
Visiting Mannum for the day provided us with the unexpected opportunity to meet and talk to many of the crew on P.S. Marion, of which Captain Stephen Coad was one. On explaining what we were doing with the Portrait of a Stranger project he, to our delight, invited us onto the bridge to take his photo and have a chat.
It was clear from the onset his passion for the old steamer and the life on the river, despite being a city boy, after watching him talk to the many tourists walking past and stopping for a chat. Now in semi-retirement after a career in the finance sector and as a Procurement Manager (where he worked in Europe) he enjoys giving back to the community through his volunteer work.
Starting out “life” on the P.S. Marion as a deckhand, Stephen attributes his rise to captaincy to his previous captains, who took the time to share their knowledge and passion with him, and he considers himself ‘living proof you can work your way up from the bottom to the top!’.
Today his “love affair” with P.S. Marion is shared with his wife, who happens to be the First Mate on board, an irony not lost on Stephen….at least he is the “boss” when paddling on the river!