The Big Issue : Edition 458
26 THEBIGISSUE9–22MAY2014 “WHENIGROWupIwanttobea fisherman,” Corey Arnold used to say during show-and-tell sessions at school, for which he took sea creatures like a dead mackerel shark. It’s no wonder, when you consider his father took him fishing right after he learned to walk. “From then on we spent every weekend angling for shark and tuna off the coast of southern California, where I’m from,” he explains when he finally gets in touch. Most of the year, Arnold (who got his first camera at 10 and studied photography in college) is off the Alaskan coast, where there’s no telephone. It’s where his fishing and photography career started, however, on a king crab boat called the Rollo. “First, back in 1995, I only went up north in summer,” Arnold, now 38, explains. “But when my photo assignments back home grew scarce I went looking for work in winter as well, spending seven seasons [2003–2010] as a deckhand on a crabber.” Despite the hard work and conditions, he decided to start taking pictures. Bargaining a few spare moments from his duties as a crewman, he grabbed his camera – wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and duct tape – and for a moment changed from participant to observer. “I was constantly waiting for a moment of stormy perfection, a rare beam of sunlight or a great catch landing on deck.” His images document working in such a harsh environment, and the complicated and sometimes violent relationship between humans and the natural world. In 2010, Arnold was commissioned to shoot from fishing vessels across Europe. After seeing the waters of Spain, France, Poland and other countries, Arnold is now the captain of his own salmon fishing boat. Fishing comes a lot easier to him than photography, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped shooting. “Last season, I went up to the Yukon Delta to fish with Alaskan [locals]. Their community revolves around fishing... It’s so different compared to commercial fishing, yet I see so many resemblances with my youth. We share the same passion, be it in a different way.” by Jorrit R Dijkstra See also coreyfishes.com.