Maersk’s Behemoths

By: Gustav Hoiland

Apr 03 2010

Category: ocean travel

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Focal Length:85mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Across the Pacific

I still can’t get enough of this container ship business. Sifted through much of my photo work from the trip (3 weeks, LA to Hong Kong) yesterday and came upon all kinds of wonderful stuff I had forgotten about. This is not one of the images I forgot. I love this one. It’s been sitting in my “possibilities” (to post here) folder for a long time.

Let’s start with color. There are all manners of blue, from the foreboding sky to the painted cranes to the Maersk Kotka (Ship Left/Center) which appears to call Monrovia it’s home (painted beneath the name)… (See full size image here). Next there’s the warms, from the Kotka’s superstructure to the buildings behind and then the orange of the far cranes. On the hot side, there’s the great reds of the ship bottoms and the tops of the cranes. So what’s all this do? Psychologically speaking, I don’t exactly know. But I do know that I’ve always loved photos that have both the warm and cool together without much else (no greens, purples, etc… here).

Compositionally, … well we’ve got the Burtynsky thing going, meaning there’s no foreground. Just middle and background. Within this middle there’re the oversized machines of world commerce, the cranes and ships. These lead us into the background of … well, what some people call home. As far as elements that really stand out in all of this, I think the cranes definitely take the cake, especially with the candy cane stripes up top. The ships don’t really pop out, but I think their positioning is quite interesting.

Aw what the heck, I’ll just list some more things I love here. The corner of the pier in the bottom left is quite nice. It’s a solid sharp angle, similar to the peaks of the cranes above, amidst all of the crammed detail that covers the rest of the image. See the cars underneath the orange cranes by the ship? Didn’t think so, unless you full size it (see above link). That’s how damned huge these ships are – all human sized things tend to disappear next to’em. Finally, MAERSK. What an awesome name. And it’s all over the place here.

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