Well it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me. Last week my gear was stolen, a total gut sickening feeling for so many reasons.
Disbelief, dread, worry – about my livelihood, my family. Anger, fear, frustration… such an emotional roll-a-coaster that I’m still coming to terms with. Thrown into all of this was the reality that I had to fly to Sydney in a few days to photograph aboard the 100ft supermaxi Infotrack for my new book Blue Water Classics.
The opportunity of a lifetime without my beloved Fujifilm GFX 50s.
Then on top of this was the fact Fujifilm Australia had offered me their 250mm lens to use on board for the shoot. With no body I had to tell them I couldn’t use the lens. In the end I had to hire a Pentax system. The gear was great but I really wanted the whole book to be a tribute to my Fuji gear. The imagery that camera shoots is for me, just so so good.
So after a week of fighting with my broker to replace my gear and provide a hire system I finally found myself standing on the deck of InfoTrack. With a massive grin on my face. It’s a seriously huge piece of ocean racing hard wear. Something between the grace of a swan and the power and brutality of a tank. The pressure the gear is under is immense, tonnes and tonnes that could literally rip you in half if you are caught standing in the wrong spot. The running backstays are the most powerful of these, and the most disconcerting. When eased they sound like a shotgun going off.
The boat was out for the Solas Big Boat Challenge, a charity event with the harbours other supermaxi’s. Black Jack, Naval Group, Scallywag, Wild Oats X, Wild Oats XI, Winning Appliances were all there, only Comanche failed to show.
Because of the dangers aboard for the uninitiated, all guests were initially required to stand on the stern behind the main traveler. As the day progressed we were granted more freedom to move about the boat. I tended to stay either on the stern or mid-ships by the companion way as this provide the more interesting angles.
Plus I was in areas where I wouldn’t be shouted at for being in the way.
The breeze was pretty light for the race, which was dissapointing. We still hit the high teens when the big, well giant No 2 heady came out. That thing is massive. Technically wise I decided to shoot on shutter priority at 1/500th with ISO 250 as it was a semi cloudy day for the most part. This worked well as I also mostly shot on a 70-200mm zoom, a necessity given the size of the boat. This also meant the foreground and background was compressed giving a increased sense of depth of field even though at times my aperture was f11.
I would have loved some higher winds to create more drama in the scene. Saying that, I know I have captured some great content for the book when I write about the supermaxis. Plus memories of my own that I won’t forget. Thanks for the ride Christian.