Don't you just love processing?

The crew of J Class Ranger
One of the problems nowadays if, as I do, you take your photographs in RAW as opposed to JPEG, is that you have to spend hours upon hours in front of a computer processing the images taken.

Shooting in JPEG of course, your camera does the processing for you according to what the boffin who designed the camera’s programmes thinks you want the pictures to look like. Yes, you have some control to alter some aspects, of the image in camera, but not full control – that’s what RAW is for – the RAW information for you to process.

Most of July saw me on the water, bouncing around on a RIB in Falmouth, The Solent and south of the Isle of Wight, taking numerous images of sailing yachts.

In Falmouth at the Pendennis Cup there were old, beautiful classic yachts from the beginning of the 1900’s right through to modern, fast, state of the art highly technical machines. Probably my favourite yacht, Mariquita, always delights me and my cameras, and she, amongst another stunner, Mariette of 1915, provided some of my best images from that event.

Back up in the Solent for the Panerai British Classic Regatta, provided a much larger fleet to battle in the testy conditions during the week. The fickle tides and weather systems confused some who should have been more vigilant, resulting in a number of groundings on the Bramble Bank in strong winds. The Panerai yacht Eleonora, a recent rebuild of the hull found languishing forlornly in a mud berth is exquisite to look at and she performed well. The last time I photographed her was in the Mediterranean a couple of years ago – blue skies, deep blue water and the yellow hue warming everything up nicely. A far cry from the force 5 and green choppy waters of the Solent!

The following week saw a return to the Solent of the magnificent J Class yachts designed in the 1930’s. There were supposed to be five of them but one pulled out at the last minute. There are less than ten of them in the world, at the moment (with only three originals) and it was 2001 when they last graced our shores. These stunningly beautiful yachts with such graceful lines and massive sails are around 140 feet long and weigh in at 200 tons. The first few days were spent racing within the Solent. Here we had good weather and bad, miserable, wet and murky conditions to contend with. The Saturday of that week saw a race around the 75 miles of the Isle of Wight for these yachts. Myself and a few other photographers had chartered a RIB to follow the antics. It started in light winds with what seemed like every other boat on the south coast, following them. It was chaos. They started to peter out by the Nab Tower and off St Catherine’s Point on the south of the island there were only a few photographer boats and the J Class yachts themselves – bliss. As we approached the Needles so did the other spectator boats, churning up the waters into a right old cauldron. Once we’d captured the ‘money’, sorry, ‘classic’ shot of the boats passing the Needles lighthouse, we headed for home. It was crazy at the start of the race, now, the spectator boats seemed to have multiplied exponentially, so we left them to it.

The following week, I started off languishing outside the pavilion of the Royal Yacht Squadron at the entrance to Cowes. Wind was light and the first race of the Superyacht Cup was delayed a few hours. Once on the water, excitement was low until the afternoon when a breeze built up off the west of the island to provide some much sought after action.

There has been no action in my office since, just a methodical, painstaking process of editing the images; checking focus; adjustments to the base parameters and then distributing them around.

Thankfully, I finished yesterday. You can view the images here, YACHT EVENTS
to see what I’ve been up to. It all starts again with Cowes Week next though, before the Paralympics a week or two after that. Oh for a landscape!
Keep practising

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