Local man’s boatload of photos

Local man’s boatload of photos

By Evie Drinnan

New Farm local Ken Morris has been photographing boats on his front verandah for 20 years.

His website, Humbug Boats, boasts a collection of almost 4,000 photos, arranged into categories such as Coastguard, Historical, Super Motor Yachts and Trawlers.

“Why do I do it? I like recording things,” Mr Morris said.

Mr Morris has meticulously recorded his life and things he notices, with self-published books and photo albums piled on his coffee table.

He grew up in a harbourside town in New Zealand, where his love of boats was born.

“When I was 9 or 10, my mate and I started to take our dinghies out on adventures. We’d just follow the wind. How to get home was a problem for later,” he said.

Around this time, Mr Morris also got his first camera, a Kodak Brownie.

Since then, he has upgraded his cameras as technology has improved.

Mr Morris, however, only started capturing boats once he moved to his current residence overlooking Merthyr Park, having worked in over 70 countries as a construction and mining engineer.

He said his boat photo collection is not a comprehensive collection of all the boats on that stretch of the river.

If he isn’t home, he misses them.

He leaves his camera on the dining table and when he sees or hears an interesting boat, he runs to grab the camera.

Ken Morris photographing boats on his verandah; Photography: Evie Drinnan.

“And then I have to edit and upload them all, which takes days,” Mr Morris said.

It’s a labour of love for Mr Morris, but to the outside world, it could be seen as valuable data that could one day be useful to science and history.

“It’s a snapshot of what goes on, on the river.

“I’ve noticed plenty of changes over the years. There are a lot more big boats, superyachts, jet skis, CityCats, and at the moment, barges, piles and tugboats to build the new bridges and ferry terminals.

“In the past year, I have also noticed a lot more prawn trawlers than usual. It’s the busiest I’ve ever seen them.

“I have also noticed that the river isn’t always dirty. Sometimes it’s almost clear,” he said.

Mr Morris has an encyclopaedic knowledge of local boats, their stories, and where they’re moored, and enjoys seeing them move past his front window each day.

To check out the Humbug Boats website, visit humbugboats.com.au.

Ken’s favourite boat, the “South Pacific II”, 29 May 2016; Photography: Ken Morris.

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