Markham Starr Photography | Book Descriptions

Swab Summer: Transformation at the United States Coast Guard Academy

Swab summer is the United States Coast Guard Academy’s version of boot camp for those incoming cadets granted an appointment to one of the most competitive military schools in the country. In the course of a seven-week period, appointees are transformed from civilian teenagers into fourth class cadets, ready to take on the challenges of their first academic year. This book follows new swabs through the highs and lows of their indoctrination into military life along the banks of the Thames River. The author captures the spirit and drive of those who survive this grueling summer with extensive interviews and two hundred black and white photographs, following them on endless runs over hilly terrain, up and over obstacle courses, and into formal lectures on the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. Swab summer is just the beginning, however, of each cadet’s personal journey towards the day they graduate as ensigns, ready for their first assignments. Through additional interviews with seasoned officers who train and educate the Academy’s cadets, this book looks beyond swab summer to see what it truly means to become an officer in the United States Coast Guard.

Softcover Book: 8.5” x 10”, 288 pages, 200 black & white photographs.

Price: $24.95

Shipping and Handling: $9.00

Total at checkout will be $33.95                   Ships by USPS, usually within two business days of receipt of order.

 

In History’s Wake: The Last Trap Fishermen of Rhode Island

For as long as people have lived along Rhode Island’s meandering coast, the ocean at their doorstep has provided them with a ready supply of food. Whether Native American or European transplants, fishermen sought to move beyond capturing individual fish to ensnaring entire schools. Searching for increasingly efficient ways to capture their prey, the trapping technologies they invented evolved over time, and primitive stake traps gave way to fykes and weirs, much as they had along the entire New England coastline. Faced with assaults from the broad Atlantic Ocean, fishermen from the state experimented with new designs, capable of withstanding the punishment delivered by wind and waves, eventually creating the unique floating trap system still in use today. While dozens of companies deploying hundreds of traps once fished the state’s waters, only four continue using this ancient but effective technique. With photographs and interviews, this book documents a tradition now hundreds of years old, capturing the spirit and work ethic that drives Rhode Island’s fishermen to continue providing food for their neighbors.

Wesleyan University Press

Softcover Book: 9”x11”, 204 pages, over 140 black and white photographs.

Price: $24.00

This book can be purchased directly from the publisher, Wesleyan University Press, or through Amazon.com

 

Down on the Farm: The Last Dairy Farms of North Stonington

The Connecticut countryside was once defined by family farms passed along to succeeding generations. Over the course of the past hundred years, however, the effects of heavy industrialization and the eventual urbanization of the state have dramatically changed the landscape. By the mid-1990s, there were but 300 dairy farms left within the state’s borders. A mere 15 years later, half of these farms would vanish as well. Interested in how these multi-generational farms have managed to survive when others fell, I began to document the last four dairy farms in my home town, following each farm’s activities throughout the course of a single year. This book captures, through extensive interviews and over 200 duotone photographs, what it takes to keep a small dairy farm running in today’s global economy. This extended portrait documents an endangered culture, providing a rare glimpse into life on small country farms as dairymen and women go about the daily business of producing milk for the surrounding population.

Softcover Book: 8”x10.5”, 128 pages.

Price: $22.00

Shipping and Handling: $8.00

Total at checkout will be $30.00                   Ships by USPS, usually within two business days of receipt of order.

 

Finest Kind: The Lobstermen of Corea - Portrait of a Down East Fishing Village

Today, the village of Corea is an anomaly on Maine’s rocky shoreline. As other harbors along the coast succumb to the realities of the modern economy, Corea continues to hold onto its fishing heritage. The harbor is still filled with working watercraft that leave before dawn to work their traps, both near and offshore. Generations of lobstermen continue their independent lifestyle and earn a living from the waters their fathers and grandfathers once fished, passing to the following generation both a healthy fishery and a sense of pride in the work they do. Finest Kind, in both photographs and interviews with the fishermen themselves, provides outsiders with a window into the life within this very special fishing community.

Softcover Book: 8”x10.5”, 116 pages, 124 duotone photographs.

Price: $24.00

Shipping and Handling: $8.00

Total at checkout will be $32.00                   Ships by USPS, usually within two business days of receipt of order.

 

The Catboat: A Photographic Album

The catboat has held its own special place on the American waterfront for more than two hundred years. Its versatility assured it a position in both the working world of the fisherman and the racing circuit of the yachtsman. At home in both the sheltered waters and the exposed coastlines of New England, the catboat was built wherever a small shop existed and access to the water allowed. These photographs, from the extensive collection at Mystic Seaport - The Museum of America and the Sea, reflect some of the many forms this vessel took throughout her long and interesting history. From the diminutive Beetle Cat to the massive racing vessels of the late 19th century, this distinctively American sailing craft has proven itself worthy of both our attention and admiration, and remains a permanent fixture of our active waterfronts.

Softcover Book: 6” x 7.5”, 64 pages, 56 duotone photographs.

Price: $16.50

Shipping and Handling: $6.00

Total at checkout will be $22.50                   Ships by USPS, usually within two business days of receipt of order.

 

Against the Tide: The Commercial Fishermen of Point Judith

The commercial fishermen of Point Judith, Rhode Island, carry on the traditions passed dwon through generations. While improvements in gear and technology bring them advantages their fathers could only dream of, fishing is still a dangerous and demanding business, and the results from a week’s toil remain uncertain. Despite the bleak outlook for the future of the industry, fishermen still head to sea, unwilling to give up the work the love. The black and white photographs within this book provide us with a glimpse into life on commercial fishing vessels of all types. These images capture the essence of what it takes to work upon the ever-changing ocean. These 122 photos place modern fishermen in their historic context and show a way of life most of us have never seen, and perhaps one that future generations never will.

Hardcover Book: 12”x12”, 152 pages, 132 Black & White photographs. This book is only printed on demand. If interested, please e-mail me for information.

 

Voices From the Waterfront: Portrait of the New Bedford Fishing Industry

Pouring nearly a billion dollars into the local economy, New Bedford is the largest fishing port in the United States. Along with the men and women who fish local waters, countless other trades support the fishing fleet, creating a vibrant and powerful economic engine centered in the heart of New England. The portraits within this book of the individuals who work the waterfront provide a window into the complexity of the industry as a whole. The fishermen themselves, those who build the gear used in daily operations, the lumpers who unload the ships after each trip, and the many others who process and sell the catch tell us in their own words what life is like behind the scenes both at sea and ashore. Talented, inventive, and industrious, the women and men of the port continue the many traditions handed down by their ancestors. Voices from the Waterfront goes beyond the sound bites typical of the evening news, taking us into the lives and waterfront activities normally seen from our passing cars.

Softcover Book: 7” x 9”, 80 pages, 42 duotone photographs.

Price: $18.95

Shipping and Handling: $6.00

Total at checkout will be $24.95                   Ships by USPS, usually within two business days of receipt of order.

 

On Oceans of Grey: Portrait of a Fishing Port

The black and white photographs within this book bring to life the world of commercial fishermen working from Point Judith, Rhode Island. Like generations before them, these fishermen cross grey seas in pursuit of their prey in both good weather and bad. Facing many uncertainties, they persevere in the trade they love, never knowing what they may face on a daily basis. Their work may take them far to sea and beyond immediate help should trouble strike, making this one of the most hazardous of professions. These images capture some of the beauty and joy of the work they do in this harsh environment, and help us understand why generations of fishermen continue to make a living from the sea.

Softcover Book: 8”x10”, 62 pages with 52 duotone photographs.

This book has been sold out.

 

Building a Greenland Kayak

With the great interest in kayaking today, many paddlers are discovering the beauty and performance of the traditional Inuit skin boats of both Alaska and Greenland. These wood-frame craft offer the satisfaction of building your own boat and the pleasure of paddling a graceful design that reflects the ancient origins of the kayak. Building a Greenland Kayak takes readers step-by-step through the construction process developed by the author and Mystic Seaport boat builders. The design is derived directly from surviving Greenland craft, five of which are featured in the appendix. The book is fully illustrated with diagrams and photographs of construction details. Additional chapters describe how to make a Greenland-style paddle and how to outfit the boat, and the appendix lists sources for materials.

Softcover Book: 8.5”x11”, 138 pages. 143 illustrations

Order this book through Amazon or Mystic Seaport Museum

 

End of the Line: Closing the Last Sardine Cannery in America

At one time, sardines were an inexpensive staple for many Americans. The 212 photographs in this elegant volume offer a striking document of this now vanished industry. Generations of workers in Maine have snipped, sliced, and packed the small, silvery fish into billions of cans on their way to Americans’ lunch buckets and kitchen cabinets. On April 15, 2010, Stinson’s Seafood, once the home of Beach Cliff Sardines, shut down the packing line that had made the name world famous. Begun in 1927, Stinson’s empire eventually included sardine canneries spread along the Maine coast and a fleet of ships to supply them. With this closing, however, the end of the entire sardine industry in Maine had finally arrived. Photographer Markham Starr was privileged to spend several days at the Stinson factory in Prospect Harbor, one month before it was dismantled, emerging with a collection of remarkable images that transform the parts of the cannery into works of art and capture the resilience of the workers faced with the loss of jobs many had held for decades. This book includes a short essay, and shows the heartland of Maine at its finest.

Wesleyan University Press

Hardcover Book: 9”x8”, 232 pages. 212 illustrations

Order this book through Amazon.com

 

Barns of Connecticut

With over a hundred color photographs, Barns of Connecticut captures historic and noteworthy barns from around the state. The book discusses the importance of barns, past and present, to agriculture in Connecticut and offers a an introduction to the architectural and functional roles these structures played in our early history. Through text, diagrams, and color photographs, it tells a story of change and continuity. Form the earliest colonial structures to the low steel buildings of modern dairy farms, barns have adapted to meet the needs of each generation; they’ve stored wheat, hay, tobacco, and housed the farm’s animal population. These enduring structures display the optimism, ingenuity, hard work, and practicality of the people who tend land and livestock throughout the state.

Wesleyan University Press

Hardcover Book: 8”x10”, 180 pages. 140 illustrations

Order this book through Amazon