Portrait of a Stranger 2

Helen Vercoe

Middleton, Australia

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Terry the Ferryman

nikon D90 18-200mm VR lens @ 52mm
ISO 160 f/5.6 1/800 hoya UV filter handheld

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.

Terry the ferry driver, as he seems to be known by every stranger who asks his name, lives in a shack on the river. He described himself as “a river boy” since his “family have always had a shack on the river”. Returning to the area five years ago he landed the job of ferryman and for the past year has been working 12 hour shifts ferrying locals and tourists alike across the river. He described this as a great job despite working out in all conditions – what job wouldn’t be with a 2 minute walking commute along the banks of the Murray River.? He lives, breathes and feels the river and wouldn’t have it any other way – he loves it.
Terry said that if he had a “dollar for every time someone called him Terry the Ferryman, he’d be a very rich man indeed”….but we think he’d still be a Ferryman!
It was evident how much Terry enjoyed his job, as we watch him greet the cars with a welcoming smile, carefully orchestrate each vehicle into place on the ferry like he was loading a precious cargo and then farewell them at the journey’s end with another broad smile and a wave. It didn’t matter if it was 40degrees outside or wet windy and raining Terry left you with no doubt that he’d get you to the other side, safe and sound!



Artwork Comments

  • grannyshot
  • Helen Vercoe
  • Wendi Donaldson Laird
  • Helen Vercoe
  • Bobby Dar
  • Helen Vercoe
  • lynell
  • Helen Vercoe
  • Paula McManus
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  • Helen Vercoe
  • Paula McManus
  • Gavin Kerslake
  • Helen Vercoe
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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