Portrait of a Stranger 3

Helen Vercoe

Middleton, Australia

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Gus – the Steam Maker

Nikon D90 18-200mm VR lens @ 26mm
ISO 160 f/4 1/80 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.

Gus started volunteering on the P.S. Marion doing restoration work in 1994 where he learnt to run the boiler. He is a “river boy”, originally from Murray Bridge and has always had a love of steam. It has been a life long dream to work with steam and when the opportunity to work on the P.S. Marion came up he jumped at it. A business owner in Murray Bridge he spends his “spare” time working on boats such as the P.S. Ruby, P.S. Oscar W and other private boats. In 2003 he partook in reenactment of William Randall’s first run up the river steaming his way all the way to Echuca.
Gus has the all important job of making sure the engine keeps making steam which he does by “feeding” the engine with wood, which boils the water making steam, which makes the engine work. Gus also enjoys a bit of photography and will be heading up to the Paddle Steamer Industry Centenary where he plans to zip around in his tinny getting photos of the P.S. Marion and P.S. Ruby together.
His other passion is trucks, collecting vintage trucks and restoring them.



Artwork Comments

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  • Helen Vercoe
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  • Helen Vercoe
  • Sunsetdaze
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