By Robert Baker. The photograph was taken from the deck of a spectator boat off Bondi as the fleet headed south after the start of a Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.


Olympus E-30; 50-200mm at 200mm; f4.0; 1/1250; ISO 200

Don’s response

A fine example of telling a bigger story by capturing a significant detail.

The water-level angle and the looming sail over the partially glimpsed figures of the sailors conveys a real sense of the intensity and urgency of a racing yacht in full flight.

This isn’t a shot you could compose to any great extent. But while luck had to have played a part in the process, you can well imagine Robert noticing the interesting peephole effect of the crew framed between the waves and the sails, and then doing everything possible to capture it. I’ll bet there were quite a few almost-but-not-quite versions of this shot on the memory card.

The lesson here is that there are times when a certain amount of spray-and-pray is unavoidable if you want to achieve a great result.


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