• Paul Curtis

Sea Lovers Delight

I have to tell you the tale of Richard Bennett.

In England, there was Beken and Son, and in the USA they had Morris Rosenfeld. They were the heroes of my youth. When it came to making photographs of the glory of boats under sail, they were the acknowledged masters. Most of my fellow lovers of the sea will be familiar with their work. At age 14, and, after gaining some encouragement from Frank Beken, I began contributing my own photos of dinghy racing to British yachting magazines. My crowning ambition was to follow in their wake.

After being shanghaied to a life at sea on cruise ships, years later I landed shore-side in Australia and thought now I could make my own way as a yachting photographer. What I didn’t realise was that Australia already had Richard Bennett. It was about then that I decided to write about photography rather than practice it: those that can, do; those that can’t, preach. Thus, writing became my main thing. Wise cracks from the sidelines are so much easier. But I do have a great admiration for masters of their craft. And of these, there is none finer than Richard Bennett. He is the ultimate perfectionist, pushing lighting, composition, and printing techniques to new levels of greatness. His dedication to his art is beyond compare and his talent is endless. I hate him! His mad quest for perfection has led him to now produce one of the finest books ever printed. It is his collection of photographs spanning 50 years of covering the famous Boxing Day Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race. Every page of amazing photography shows framing, lighting and printing technique to perfection. A copy of the book costs $4995 dollars. But when you go for that level of reproduction, that is what it costs. However, I think Richard could be a bit of a lefty: after all, I mean he must have knocked $5 off! But he has actually gone way further than that. He has made it absolutely free for all of us humbler types to see and read online. If you love great photos of yachts, go www., and see the whole book gratis. You will enjoy an incredible experience guaranteed to make you forget your Covid worries. My snap is just of the sea. When talking of Richard Bennett, I don’t dare include a boat!