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Through the Porthole – A day ends in perfect harmony

Through the Porthole – A day ends in perfect harmony

On every assignment, Craig Greenhill strives to produce vibrant and dynamic images, maintaining a signature style. In this photo, he captures a perfect harmony of lines, shapes, colour, contrast, movement—a sublime image of day’s end out in the ocean.

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This photograph, retrieved out of my archives, shows Bowman Charles Kosecki hoisted aloft aboard Australia’s famous maxi Brindabella, during the 2011 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.

The image was produced on a Canon 1D mark IV DSLR with at 24mm on a Canon’s 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with an exposure setting of 1/500th sec f/5.6 and 500 ISO.

Aboard Brindabella for the race, the photograph was taken during the race north on a gybe heading towards the coast. During the two-day race, there were beautiful moments, sometimes rough and wild, but often calm champagne sailing. This was a moment of beauty in an otherwise unremarkable yacht race. Generally as a rule, I keep the camera close to me at the beginning and the end of a day while at sea. Even on a bland overcast day, moments pop through that surprise you.

While I have had a love of sailing since Australia II brought home the Americas Cup, it was not until 2007 that I was introduced to offshore racing. My employer, The Daily Telegraph, put me through a training program that enabled me to compete in my first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The assignment was to document the tough environment, the challenges and the beauty of the blue water classic.

During a coastal race like the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, we work around a ‘watch’ roster, which could involve three hours on-watch and three hours off-watch. As one of the grinders who power the three grinding pedestals on Brindabella, I take photographs usually during my off-watch—the time I should be resting in the bunk.

When the weather picks up in intensity, so does the challenge of taking photos. Choosing the right camera for the right conditions is important. You do not want to be pulling out the 9,000-dollar camera when waves are breaking over the boat. During last year’s Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, my 300-dollar GoPro became the best tool in my kit in rough boat-breaking conditions. I do, however, keep my top-of-the-range camera kit on deck at all times, safely inside a watertight Pelican case strapped on the stern of the boat.

My marine photography business, Saltwater Images, began in 2004 when I offered Australian boat manufacturers my skills in producing high-end commercial photography for their product lines. I saw a niche market where the existing quality of marine photography was below international standards.


Following his love of all things on the ocean, Craig Greenhill of has established himself as one of Australia’s leading marine photographers. With a successful career in photojournalism behind him, he has combined his passion for yacht racing with his award-winning photography skills to push the boundaries in yachting photography. Craig’s specialisations include sailing, marine, editorial, sport, and aerial photography.


Interview by Andy Kancachian

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