I’m new to video and still make plenty of mistakes (you can actually hear me breathing in some of this). But even with my flaws, I think this gives a pretty good idea of what it’s like to spend some time on a Maine windjammer.
This is best viewed on Vimeo in high definition, but it’s provided here to give a taste. And either here or on Vimeo, you should click the four arrows in the lower right to show it full screen.
I went sailing last weekend. Pretty nice!
The Camden Harbormaster posted on Facebook:
Daily Def: “SLUSH FUND”-slush was the unpromising name for fat scraped off the top of the barrels of meat. The crew found it perfect for greasing masts to make sail hoisting easier and for preserving leather fittings. The cook, unhappy about this, would secret it in his ‘slush fund’. It was a prerequisite so far as he was concerned. He sold it ashore, mostly to candle makers and people in the fish and chip trade.
Who knew? Well, I did, sorta. The schooner Mary Day gets her masts slushed a couple times a year. Usually, it’s the youngest (lightest) member of the crew who gets outfitted head to toe in disposable gear, then strapped into a boatswain’s chair (boson’s chair, really just a board strung between some rope). Then this person is hoisted to the top of the mast with a bucket full of slush. These days, slush is not meat grease but Vaseline petroleum jelly. They start at the top, smearing Vaseline all over the mast. When a section is finished, they yell to the deck, where someone standing by lowers them a few feet.
Here’s Madeline slushing the mast:
How the crew of the Mary Day and other windjammers spend their evenings before the season starts.
This picture is the wallpaper on my computer screen and almost everyone who sees it wants to know how it was made.
The word photography means, literally, drawing with light. But “painting with light” is a technique to add a light source during a long exposure. Here’s an example:
This is a picture made aboard the schooner Mary Day. We were at anchor in Blue Hill Bay, had just come back from the lobster bake on an island, and everyone was just chilling on deck.
I set up my camera on a tripod, composed carefully, then set the aperture to (I think) about f/16. Then I locked the shutter open.
So the shutter is locked open for several minutes, I’m guessing about five to seven. If I did nothing, I’d get almost no exposure except for the kerosene lanterns and a little of the sunset. It was actually a bit after sunset, so the horizon was pretty dark.
But what I did was: I took out my LED headlamp and turned it on. I shined it on the sail and boom, moving it around to illuminate it more or less evenly. Then I hopped down on the deck and walked around to the people, stopping at each and telling them to stand still while I “painted” them with light. I’d shine the light on their faces, making sure not to let the camera see the light source.
The two men on the left were the first to get painted. As soon as I had finished with them, they moved away, so their legs don’t show up. If they had stayed, they would have blocked a lot of the light of the kerosene lantern on the deck. The third person from the left moved before I could paint him, so mostly, he shows up as just a shadow.
You can see the shadow of a tripod leg on the box with the star on it. I’m not sure what light was casting that shadow.
There’s very little Photoshop work done after the fact, though I did clean up a few light streaks where the light source turned toward the camera.
My one regret is that I didn’t take the cover off the boat’s steering wheel. It’s a pretty wheel, varnished and bright. Next year.
Below is a gallery of 29 images. Click the image to go forward and backward. Or click the Play button at bottom center to watch it as a slideshow.
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