The Sheet Metal Man – The American Worker Installment #4

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For my 4th addition to The American Worker Project I decided to include a local icon in my home town of Belgrade Lakes Maine.    His name is John Gawler and he is another person that no matter when you see him,  he always greets you with a warm smile.    He is one of these guys who you’d be hard pressed to find someone who had something negative to say about him…  a genuinely good person.  

For most of his life John has made his living working in sheet metal which means he works a lot fabricating and installing people’s roofs, making metal chimneys, metal flashings and other things of that nature.   Over the years he has worked on pretty much everything from roofs for the locals to high profile jobs for people like Oscar De La Renta doing custom copper work on his New England home.   One might imagine that being a roofer in Maine can be tough especially in the winter months but you’d never know it talking to John…. he’s been doing it since he was 17 years old and seems to love every minute of it.   Ask him and he will tell you that he has always loved being outdoors and being up high, even as a kid he was always up high in a tree somewhere.

In addition to being a damn fine roofer,   John (and his whole immediate family) are extremely talented musicians and entertainers.    When I was a kid I remember they used to throw a folk festival called “The Buttermilk Hill Festival”  up on their farm every year. Today they regularly perform and play concerts for many of the local community events and elsewhere around the state.   They even have a few cd’s with their music on them.     But that is yet another story for another day….

 

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If you like what you see here,   please follow me on Instagram  @PeteBarrettPhoto to keep up with where we are in the world and what projects we are shooting.

Fishing Guide & Conservationist – The American Worker Project #3

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For my 3rd installment into The American Worker Project I chose to shoot long time Maine fishing guide Mike Guarino of Maine Wilderness Tours.  (Mike is the one in red)    I first met Mike back in 1998 on a stock photo shoot I did back in my Sharpshooters days.    I’ve seen him a bunch of times over the years and it occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a smile on his face.    He one of those guys that not only loves what he does for a living but generally seems to really enjoy life itself.     He does have a pretty good gig though,  there are worse jobs than going out in the great outdoors and fishing everyday.  😉

When I approached Mike this time with the idea of including him in The American Worker Project he was instantly on board.     He even recruited fellow angler Dr Peter Kallin to join us on this chilly fall morning to go out and create some great fishing stills and video.

Peter is not only a great fisherman subject but is also an avid conservationist.     In addition to a long career,   Peter is the Executive Director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance where he works tirelessly to help monitor and control the quality of the watershed in Maine’s most important resource,  its lakes.

Enjoy the images below.   I will be posting some video as well at a later date.   Stay tuned!

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Follow along on the map of our Journey…

I created a little map of our Journey around the country so far which documents where we have been, shoots we have done and also where we are headed in the months to come.    Be sure to check back on a regular basis to see where we have been and what we have in store.

You can zoom in on the map by clicking on the + or –  button on the left to better see each pin.    Also, the pins are color coded…  Red pins are places we have stayed along the way.   Green pins are shoots I have done and the yellow pins are places we are headed in the coming months.     Click on the pins for more details.   On the green pins there will be links to the images we shot at each location as I can get them posted to the blog. Click on the Green Hammond Lumber and Lobsterman pins in Maine for an example of this.

 

Lobster Fishing- The American Worker Project #2

Lobstah10 My second installment into The American Worker Project brought me Down East to the coast of Maine in a little place called Brooklin Maine.    Specifically the waters off of Eggemoggin Reach just a few miles south of Mount Desert Island, but a seemingly miles away from all the crowds and tourists that one encounters when touring Acadia.

I was introduced to my new lobstering friends,  Patrick and his sister Sharlene Grant, by our new friend and host Laurie, of Ocean Front Camping of Reach Knolls in Brooklin.      Laurie and her husband Paul were amazing hosts and also a wealth of knowledge in assisting me with setting up several of my shoots.   But that is a story for another post….  Stay tuned.

Getting back to my exciting day of lobstering….   Here are a few more photos from that cold morning on the water.     Scroll down below the following photos for more info on my hard working subjects Patrick and Sharlene.

Lobstah13Lobstah05Lobstah04Lobstah12Lobstah16We started out our morning early at the crack of dawn,  what turned out to be a late start compared to their normal days.   After boarding their boat and loading up the day’s bait, we had a quick discussion about what we were going to shoot and how I can get the best shots without ending up in their way or over the side of the boat.  😉   I couldn’t have asked for better subjects.  They  were super nice and gave me free reign on their boat to shoot whatever I wanted.   

Patrick and Sharlene are second generation lobster fishermen.    Both started out at a very early age just as their father before them.   Sharlene worked the boats off and on over the years and took time every summer to fish alongside her brother and her dad.   Patrick has followed in his dads footsteps and has hardly missed a day on the water in over 30 years.    It is hard work, but when you talk with them you see that they really love it.    You would have to love it to get out on some of the cold mornings…    😉   It was a blustery 29 degrees Fahrenheit the day we went out.    Fortunately the sun was out.   I can only imagine what it must be like when it is cold and blowing with rain added in on top of that.

The job of a commercial lobsterman is hard.   You work really long hours,  get up super early and head out to search for your bouys in a sea of what seems like millions of bouys. This task of finding your traps (or Pots) has been simplified somewhat with the invention of the GPS but finding them and hauling them in is still an arduous task.    Patrick captains the boat and snags and hauls in the traps while Sharlene preps the bait and does all the measuring, banding and sorting of the keepers vs the rejects.    Then Patrick drops the pots and the process is repeated about a zillion times.    All the while being soaked with freezing cold water.   Simple right?  😉   Watching them work was something else,   they are like a well oiled machine.      One of the highlights of the day was when Sharlene pulled in a pot that at first glance only had two lobsters in it… upon further inspection it turned out to be one lobster that had shed its shell and left a perfectly preserved shell of its former self right next to it.    A pretty rare find,  even for a seasoned pro.

All in all we had a pretty good day.   While it started out slow,   it picked up about mid morning.   Patrick joked that it seemed like every time I would switch from stills to video  we seemed to bring in lots more pots full with lobsters.    Sounds like a joke but it literally happened like that 3 times in a row.   Stay tuned for an update with our video we shot that day.  In the end we went back in to port with about 4oo+ pounds of lobster.    Which is a pretty good haul for about 1/2 days worth of  lobstering at the end of the season.

At the end of the day they sent me home with a giant bucket of lobsters and a few crabs and my family and I had the feast of our lives!    Thanks so much to them both for making me feel welcome and for being such great subjects!
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Hammond Lumber Company

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As I recently posted,   I have begun my new series,  The American Worker Project which will be an ongoing project as we travel around the country,  documenting the American Worker.      I chose to start this adventure and visual assignment in my home town in Belgrade Maine.      As many of you know I grew up in Maine and it is where we spend the better portion of each summer for the last 14 years when not off on assignment somewhere.

I figure what better place to start than the area you know best.      I chose Hammond Lumber Company because it is a classic example of a good old fashioned family business with its heart and soul wrapped firmly in the people that work there.    That and it helps that it helps that helps I am also good friends from back in our childhood days with one of the principles of the company.

Hammond Lumber is a company that was started back in the early 50’s by Skip Hammond with only $50 and a dream.     It has been a staple in the town and now around the entire state of Maine ever since.      For over 60 years they have grown from a small mill with 3 employees including Skip himself to a large company with 13 stores and counting with many many loyal employees,  many of whom have worked there for 20 – 30 years or more.      Hammond Lumber is one of those special kind of businesses where you  know you are much more to them than just a number.    They offer personal service that is rare these days,   all at a fair price.

I’d like to thank Mike Hammond and the other great folks at Hammond for giving me cart blanche and basically unrestricted access to film in their main saw mill.    Over the coarse of 3 days we shot a ton of video footage and stills of their hard working employees.

Here are just a few images from the shoot.     Click here or on any of the images to see a larger gallery of images posted to my website.

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Beginning The American Worker Project.

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Well at long last after hunkering down over the holidays we are able to post the first of many shoots to come for my new ongoing project called “The American Worker Project”. As we are traveling around the country we are getting the opportunity to meet and shoot all sorts of new people and things.     The American Worker Project is a way to visually feature and document (both on video and stills) some of the wonderful people we are meeting along our journey.   So far we have had the great pleasure to shoot in a lumber yard in Maine,  lobster fishermen on a lobster boat,    a man who hand makes wooden boats and also carves wooden boat models,  an old friend and metal roof man,  the owner of the oldest surf shop in New England,   Amish dairy farmers,  a train engineer and much more.   Here are a few images of the first of many to come.   Stay tuned….

UPDATE:   Added more shots from new shoots,  see below…

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Update from the Road

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Update from the Barrett camp…

Well we’ve been at it about almost 2 months and it seems like a blur.   I have been non stop shooting one project after another.  We’ve been so busy I have not had time to update this blog but will be adding new stuff soon. If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram you have no doubt seen my steady stream of teaser iPhone photos.     This upcoming week I am actually trying to schedule some down time to work on processing, finishing work and color grading on a backlog of finished shots and will be posting them to my blog and as well to the various social media channels soon.     We also have a ton of video that hopefully will make it to the editor in the coming month to expand my reel.

Just a quick recap of where we’ve been and what I’ve been shooting.    We started our journey by heading to Maine to shoot in the remaining nice fall weather.  Immediate plans have had me shooting everything from flyfishing with fishing guide Mike Guarino of Maine Wilderness Tours in the Kennebec River  for Maine Tourism type stuff,   Shooting on a freezing 28 degree day on a lobster boat, the “F/V Pud Lee”  with Captain Patrick and his sister Sharlene Grant,  a couple of hard working  Lobster Fishermen.    I also spent several days shooting a reportage documentary style people shoot in the saw mill at Hammond Lumber in Belgrade Maine,  shooting both stills and video.    This project also marks the start of a series that I am working on called  “The American Worker Project”  where we will be shooting real people in real jobs all over the country.      Very Heart of America kind of stuff.   It’s a great opportunity to get out an meet new people and shoot some killer new stuff for the books.    It also doesn’t hurt that this type of work is in very high demand right now and is great for getting all sorts of clients.

After leaving Maine,  we headed south to Boston to take a few days showing the portfolios to some ad agency clients.    I also had the opportunity to shoot Sid Abbruzzi who is the owner of WaterBoys in Newport Rhode Island which is the oldest surf shop in New England.   Sid is also about to be inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame and is a really great guy with a million stories to tell about the interesting life he has lead.    I also shot some neat stuff of some guys working in a motorcycle shop for the American Worker Project.    While I was busy shooting.   The rest of the family got to explore Boston and learn about the history of our country touring the Freedom trail and other cool stuff.

From there we found ourselves in New York City for 5 days.    I had a quick editorial job to shoot and spent the rest of the time doing personal work,  street shooting and hitting a few of the iconic NY spots with the family.

This last week as you’ve seen has been spent in Lancaster County in MidWestern Pennsylvania  shooting Amish Country and some really cool old steam trains.   Which brings me to the present… Suffice to say, it feels like a whirlwind so far.    What an awesome trip for all of us.

Tomorrow we head towards Philly and I shift into post production mode for a few days as I literally have tens of thousands of images to be edited.    Thursday is a much needed down day as we stuff ourselves on Turkey day visiting Deirdre’s side of the family in Southern New Jersey.

Speaking of stuffed….   Our calendar for the next 30 days does not have a free day on it.    What we have scheduled for the next month makes what we have done so far look like a stroll in the park.    Many miles ahead of us as we zigzag through the the entire Southeastern seaboard.    Some of the travel is part of the various RV road trip photo projects  and,  oh yeah,  I actually have a couple pretty decent ad jobs that I am scheduled to to fly out for as well.    All this before a much needed Christmas break down in Naples FL.

But that is a story for another night….

Please stay tuned for more installments… Thanks for all the “Likes” and great comments,   keep them coming and please feel free to share with your friends.   If you have not done so already,   Please follow me on Instagram @PeteBarrettPhoto as I am steadily growing my following there as well.

Until next time….

Road Trip Anyone?

All sorts of new and exciting things happening in the Barrett Camp these days!     We have been busier than ever with a new extended ongoing travel project.    Some of you may already be following us on our adventure, via Facebook and Instagram (follow me on Instagram @petebarrettphoto) but for the rest of you that don’t yet know,  here’s what we’re up to…

Hit the roadIt’s no secret that I love to travel and I am fortunate that I have a great career that very often finds me traveling to shoot photos for great clients all across the country as well as elsewhere in the world.    My wife also shares that passion for travel and several years ago she planted the seed for an idea of getting an RV and traveling all over the country with the family.    Something everyone would love to do at one point in their lives but for someone with a busy career and a family,  it seemed like a “pie in the sky” idea to me at first.    I have to credit her with being persistent and the more I considered it the more it started sounding not only do-able but also an amazing opportunity to shoot a TON of new work all over the country which also goes a long way toward giving me new and exciting things to promote for new upcoming assignment work.

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Summertime Fun!

Well summer is finally here and let the fun begin!    Schools are out and it is time for kids everywhere to get out and enjoy all the things that kids get to do in the summer.    As many of you know every summer we move our base of operations to Maine to the quaint little town of Belgrade Lakes.      See the enclosed link to see some of the fun stuff we shot last summer and featured in a recent direct mail piece that went out to about 3,500 creatives at advertising agencies and client direct clients around the country.     Click here  or on the image below to see the mailer 

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This year we are looking forward to doing more great stuff.     Shooting several new projects both in video and stills of everything from a beverage project of teens enjoying a day of rope swinging at the lake, to a video project of a grandpa and grandson out fishing and other fun lifestyle scenarios.    I am also planning to start a personal series documenting real people such as river rafting guides, fishing guides,  boat builders,  commercial lobstermen and other local flavor.

I am looking to collaborate with as many people as I can on these projects so if you are a creative person or someone in the industry such as crew or talent or just want to come out and lend a hand and learn how we do what we do,  give me a call at 305/557-0694 or drop me an email at   barrett@petebarrett.com

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Marlins Spring Training

Got a chance to shoot a little of the Marlins Spring Training this year.  Mostly just their new recruits and prospects doing drills.  Little known fact that the Marlins and Cardinals train just a mile away from where I live here in Jupiter.   Looking forward to doing more with them in the future.

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Flashes of Hope

logo-1I was recently asked to shoot for a really good cause for a program called “Flashes of Hope”     This is a program where photographers donate their time and services to photograph young cancer pediatric patients and their families to help in the fight against childhood cancer.     It is a fantastic program that raises money for cancer research for kids and also gives the kids and their parents a nice experience of being a star for a day and the parents receive a lasting memory of their child to cherish.    Special thanks go to my assistant Abdiel Thorne and my make up artist Candace Wessinger who also generously donated their time for such a worthy cause.

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Go Go Speed Racer!

Here is a new personal work project I’ve been working on shooting drag racers.

Like most guys,  I have always liked going to the races.   The only thing better than going to the races as a spectator is getting credentials to shoot them.   I have had the good fortune to shoot many races over the years.    From Formula One,  to assignments from Dodge to shoot the Nascar races at Homestead Motor Speedway & Daytona, to projects for Bloomberg Markets shooting events where the a private luxury car club rents an airstrip for the day to race a multitude of ultra high end supercars at speeds of well over 200 mph.

Of all that I have shot,  nothing trumps the thrill of drag racing.   The sound of the engines roaring as the cars speed down the track.    The smell and sight of the smoke of the burning rubber as they do their burn outs.   It is thrilling.     These guys are fearless.     From the souped up street cars rocking 800 horsepower knocking out 10 second 1/4 miles,  to the top fueled dragsters with up to almost 8,000 horsepower that go from 0 to over 300 mph in less than 4 seconds.   Many equate it to the forces you’d feel taking off in the space shuttle as it puts 5 to 6 times the G forces on you as you rocket down the race track.   They are the fastest accelerating land vehicles on the planet.

I love getting out and shooting all this.     As you kneel down next to them when they do their burnouts you can feel the sound waves pounding you like someone beating you repeatedly really fast with large heavy pillows.   It shakes the ground under you and were it not for the ear muffs, would permanently damage your hearing.  It’s unnerving and super exciting all at the same time.    These are just a few images from part one of an at least 3 part series of shoots.   We have both still and video shoots planned at the Top Fuel NHRA races in Charlotte Motor Speedway in March and the IHRA Nitro drag series in April here in West Palm.

To see more of my work go to the Speed Racer section on my site @       http://www.petebarrett.com/Personal-Work/Speed-Racer/1 or follow me on Instagram   @PeteBarrettPhoto   and stay tuned for more exciting stuff in the coming months!

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Shooting with the Moose and Pure Protein

Just wrapped an awesome shoot with St Louis based Moosylvania and Pure Protein!   We spent the better part of a week in production shooting a series of 5 print ads and 5 commercials for Pure Protein to be released in the coming months.     I can’t show anything just yet but we did some killer stuff!   Shooting all sports and active lifestyle.    Great clients and a fantastic crew,   Thanks everyone!   Images and footage to come as soon as I can show them.

Doing What It Takes: Pete Barrett – A Sporting Life Article

The website “A Sporting Life”  just ran a feature article on me.   See the link http://www.asportinglife.com/doing-what-it-takes-pete-barrett/  or read below:

Pete Barrett is an advertising photographer who shoots lifestyle and sports photography for a virtual who’s who of clients ranging from AT&T, Pfizer, Ford Motors, Cannondale Bikes, New Balance, McDonalds and Anheuser Busch. Most of Pete’s shoots involve large productions with teams of producers, stylists,  hair & makeup, location scouts, digital techs and many photo assistants. “I work with a terrific team of people.  Every job is a collaboration where the whole team is working toward a common goal of creating amazing images.”

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Whether the task at hand is a big budget multishot campaign shot in studio with LeBron James or a recent Sports Illustrated assignment with tennis pro Jack Sock where he shot solo,  Pete puts the same attention to detail and creativity towards the job.

A lot goes in to putting together a shoot in advertising and even some editorial jobs.  There are seemingly a million things that need to be considered and arranged.   Dealing with professional athletes brings with it special considerations, like do they have special needs or requirements?   It is not uncommon to get a list of requirements such as transportation to and from the shoot,  specific menu or chef for catering,  studio or dressing room requirements,  type of music preferred etc. Couple this with the common shoot logistics of finding locations, acquiring wardrobe, special lighting, arranging RV’s  and it’s enough to keep a team of producers and PA’s busy.

This series of images came from a project for Remicade which is pharmaceutical product of Janssen Biotech. The athlete we were to shoot was the Edmonton Oilers right winger, Fernando Pisani.

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Every job comes with its own unique set of challenges and this job was no exception. Being a pharmaceutical client they come with a laundry list of do’s and don’ts from their legal department.   On this particular shoot we were tasked with putting Fernando in wardrobe that had to be generic and non specific.    No logos are allowed.   No Nike logos,   no Oilers logos,  no team colors,  nothing…  Not as easy as it sounds.   It couldn’t even be a blank jersey from a team as the design of the shirt is patented.   This requires the stylist to have a generic jersey custom made in solid grey to have only his number on it.   This way no other companies can get ruffled by the use that they themselves are not promoting.

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One has to be ready for anything and be able to solve problems quickly. We had one such problem almost derail the shoot entirely. Fernando broke his ankle 3 days before the shoot and his ankle was now in a cast.   Since two of the shots had him skating and 4 others were to be full figure portraits in gear this put an obvious damper on the plans. Pete quickly solved the problem and the shoot went on as scheduled. “I called my producer and had him source a body double.    We then shot every shot twice,   once with Fernando and again with a body double dressed the same way with full gear and skates on in the same position. I then removed Fernando’s legs and broken foot and replaced it with that of the body double in post. This was easier said than done as you need to also retouch in shadows and reflections. The biggest challenge was getting the action shots of him skating and showing speed. We built a platform rig that he could stand on which consisted of several sheets of thick plywood with hockey pucks screwed to the bottom of it so it would slide easily on the ice. Two photo assistants towed Fernando across the ice on this thing while a third pushed me alongside sitting on a folding chair while I shot.  It worked great! Fernando just stood hunched in a prone position swinging his arms and I did a little flash and drag where the flash freezes him and the shutter stays open a bit longer to show the motion.  In the end it worked out great. Happy clients, happy athlete, happy photographer!

Here are more of my photos:

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This shot is from a Cannondale Bike shoot we did up at Mount Tam outside of San Francisco. To get a consistent low angle on the cyclist as he rode through the hilly landscape, my crew built me a shoot platform that extended out the side of a minivan about 6 feet.  We paid for several off duty police officers to stop traffic for about a mile and spent the morning chasing this guy up and down Mount Tam while I knuckle dragged it hanging off the gang plank.

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This shot was done for self promotion and for stock. For this we shot at night. We hung a huge sheet of black duvateen fabric across the back of the pool on highboy stands and speed rail. Lighting was from 4 Dynalite heads,  two on grids back lighting the water and two from the sides to flank the swimmer.    Power on the strobes was dialed way down to keep the flash duration short to freeze the action.

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This was shot for self promotion and for stock. We did a whole story of this guy starting from pulling his board out of the car and followed him through his morning,  down the path, up the beach, watching waves crash and then paddling out.  We are shooting a motion version of this as well that will be cut together to make a spec commercial that will target the financial markets.

Nascar for Dodge

We had the opportunity a while back to shoot some Nascar racing at the Homestead Motor Speedway for the Dodge Race Team.    If you’ve never had the opportunity to get right down in the hot zone on Pit Row,  I highly recommend it.    Super cool to see these crews at work.    They are a well oiled machine.   Everyone has their specific job and when that car rolls in, they jump to it and zip zap,  the car is jacked up, all 4 tires changed,  fully fueled,  windshield cleaned and water for the driver… all in a matter of seconds.     While he is out screaming around the track at over 200 mph,  the crew is hard at work, scraping the tires to analyze the rubber to see what the track condition is doing to the wheels and a team of guys watches on screens,  monitoring the car and keeping in constant contact with the driver.    It is awesome!

Also, there is nothing like Nascar Fans…  these folks are die hard,  hard core fans.   Everyone has their favorite and there is no telling them otherwise.   In their mind, that person is a king Sh*t racing legend and is GOING to win this time!   Nothing like a hot afternoon,  cold beer and fast cars.

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Summer again….

Well it’s nearing the end of summer again and once again we found ourselves in Maine.    The place where we go every year for a few months to get away from the heat of Florida…  It’s an amazing place where time seems to stand still and memories last a lifetime.   Last year was the first year that my son Jordan first started to “get it” and really start to be able to appreciate all the wonderful things about my home town of Belgrade Lakes.    This year was even better than last.    Countless hours spent on the lakes, hiking on mountain trails,  boating, swimming, camping, fishing and catching everything from crabs to frogs to mud puppies.    Here are just a few photos of Jordan doing the things that all little boys love to do in Maine on their summer breaks.