Gretel II—Mast by Brett Rogers
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This image was published in a feature article about the restoration of Gretel II in Sails magazine October/November 2011 issue.

I previously added an image of the interior of Gretel II showing the mast and supporting plates. Here is what the other end of her mast looks like.

Taken from a bosun’s chair, winched to the top with the sail winch. Distance to the deck is approximately ninety feet (or, 30 metres) and, although it doesn’t look that far in the shot, it certainly felt like it at the time.

I took four cameras up the mast with me: a Canon EOS 35mm SLR with zoom lens for the extra focal length; a Rolleicord loaded with Velvia transparency; a 500C/M loaded with black and white; and my trusty Fuji digital. After thumping the mast, the batteries fell out of the digital (happily, without hospitalising the crew on the deck below), so it then became an analogue-only event. This particular shot was taken with the Hasselblad.

CAPTURE DETAILS
Camera: Hasselblad 500C/M medium format SLR
Lens: Carl Zeiss Planar 80 millimetre f/2.8 lens @ f/2.8. Shutter 1/250 or 1/500
Film: ILFORD Pan F Plus (ISO 50) black and white film, developed in ILFORD ID-11 developer and ILFORD Rapid Fixer.

This was an interesting and technically challenging image to make.
The 500C/M had its standard waist level viewfinder fitted at the time as it was a long day and I’d left the prism at home to save weight. So, bagging the shot meant holding the camera out at arms length, with the lens pointed straight down, using the reversed, and upside down image on the focus screen to compose the shot. All of this had to be done as I tried to steady myself against the mast swaying, by wrapping a leg around a cable stay. I can’t begin to describe how challenging it was to get all the compositional elements correctly framed and aligned under the circumstances, but I’m fairly pleased with the result. There is a leg intruding into the shot, but I was dangling from the top of the mast at the time, and attempts to move it out of shot would start me tipping out of the chair, so I decided it could stay…

If you’re wondering what all this looked like as it was unfolding, you can see the image my friend and fellow red bubble member Odille captured from the dockside here

A couple of days before I went up for a look, another guy was given a ride up the mast to get some shots, but he chickened out half way. I guess he missed out, as the view from the top was amazing and I loved it.

BEST VIEWED LARGE
© 2011 BRETT ROGERS.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Tasmanian Brett Rogers captures landscape, cityscape, and architectural photographs in and around his home town of Hobart. He also provides quality black and white film processing services and tuition in traditional film photography.

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Comments

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrariabout 3 years ago

    Amazing image Brett!! And the lengths (pardon the pun! :) ) that you went to capture this!! 20 our of 10 for effort!! Amazing shot! :)))

  • Thank you so much Vicki for your kind words, they really are appreciated. I’ll try to upload a photo of the view from the top later, it was quite something to see, first hand. Again, thank you for the wonderful comment.
    Regards,
    Brett

    – Brett Rogers

  • rob castro
    rob castroabout 3 years ago

    welcome to RB, brett… this is masterfully captured… i also enjoyed reading the description – rob

  • Thanks for your kind words, Rob. They’re always appreciated. And for having a read. It was an unusual and challenging photographic exercise, but one I’m glad I did.
    Regards,
    Brett

    – Brett Rogers

  • Derwent-01
    Derwent-01about 3 years ago

    I’m envious of your trip to the top of the mast…but you made good use of it!
    I could but watch from a distance as I was stuck directing traffic at the time…

  • I wish you could have been around for me to yell down too. I was nervous initially, but had an amazing time. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
    Cheers,
    Brett

    – Brett Rogers

  • timmburgess
    timmburgessabout 3 years ago

    Such detail , wish i was as skilled with B&W work….timm is that you face reflexion in the mast or my imagination

  • Thanks Timm! Not quite sure what that reflection is, but I was facing away from the mast when I took the shot. It might be part of the rigging, perhaps? I hadn’t honestly noticed it, until you pointed it out, now I’m intrigued. Thanks for adding it to your favourites, too.
    Regards,
    Brett

    – Brett Rogers

  • Odille Esmonde-Morgan
    Odille Esmonde...about 3 years ago

    Whoa! Sooner you than me, quite honestly, but I said that at the time. I was hoping you’d post a bird’s eye view. Makes you realise just how slim and streamlined the yacht is too. And that reflection or whatever it is does look like a face – interesting!

  • You know, I was a bit hyped before I ascended up there, as we talked about, but strangely enough, once I was up there taking photos I had the time of my life and wanted to stay a bit longer. I loved it. And I loved Gretel as well. I’ve never been a yachtie but I totally understand the appeal, now I think. Thanks for the comment!!
    Cheers,
    Brett :))

    – Brett Rogers

  • timmburgess
    timmburgessabout 3 years ago


    Just had to be…..timm

  • What a wonderful surprise Timm, thank you so much I’m delighted!
    Regards,

    – Brett Rogers

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGabout 3 years ago

    Congratulations Brett! Your photo won the challenge ‘What the hell is this?’ in the group ‘Australian Capital Cities’. Well done!
    .

  • My goodness! How did that happen????
    Thanks so much!
    Regards,

    – Brett Rogers

  • Derwent-01
    Derwent-01about 3 years ago

  • Thanks Greg, I couldn’t possibly be more delighted!
    Regards,

    – Brett Rogers

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGabout 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Your photo has been featured in ‘Australian Capital Cities’

    You have captured the vibrancy and excitement of the city and it’s exactly the sort of work that we feel should be displayed in the featured section of a group on cities.

    Please keep up the great work and we hope you continue to add more of your excellent photographs to this group.

  • Dear Graham,
    thank you so much, I’m thrilled!
    Regards,

    – Brett Rogers

  • reflexio
    reflexioalmost 3 years ago

    excellent work, compelling photo.

  • Thank you John, much appreciated!
    Regards,
    -

    – Brett Rogers

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