He Ain't Heavy, He's My Rudder

David McMahon

Melbourne, Australia

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  • Artwork Comments 14

Wall Art


Artist's Description

I grew up around ocean-going vessels, so it’s not surprising that ships of any description catch my attention.

I’ve never had the chance to shoot the entire rudder of a vessel of any description, but this was shot in a dry dock, hence the unusual view.

This is the Polly Woodside, a 19th-century vessel built in Belfast, Ireland, by the shipbuilders Workman Clark & Co Ltd. A major landmark here in Melbourne, she was restored in the early Seventies, to be used as a museum ship for The National Trust.

This was shot on 17 July, on a sunny winter afternoon here in Melbourne. I could have pushed the lens through a gap in the wire fence, but I chose this composition deliberately. By using depth of field to concentrate on the rudder and the stern, showing the vessel’s name, you can actually see the criss-cross of the metal fence in the immediate foreground.

This image might not have been as effective if I’d shot it on a cloudy day. Because of the bright, sunny conditions, the metal fence pattern shows up brightly as it reflects the strong natural light.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, focal length 68mm.


Artwork Comments

  • David McMahon
  • Shulie1
  • David McMahon
  • frogster
  • David McMahon
  • sfmilner
  • David McMahon
  • John Vandeven
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  • Mel Brackstone
  • David McMahon
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