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The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz in New Zealand

All Videos » New Zealand

May 22, 2019

When a photographer with as much experience as our own Benjamin Mendlowitz says of a fleet "I was newly inspired in my photography" - that's sayin' something!

Navigate Further...


Ben's photography and calendar website.

Alan Houghton's Waitemata Woodys website.

Jason Prew's boatyard The Milford Slipway.

Also be sure to check out the Mahurangi Regatta and the New Zealand Classic Yacht Association.


LITTLE JIM - 1934 Arch Logan Sloop

PACIFIC - 1917 Joe Slattery Launch

VIKING - 64' 1893 Charles Bailey Sr. Ketch

GYPSY - 1939 Arch Logan Cutter

NGATIRA - 1904 Charles Bailey Jr. Gaff Cutter

RAWHITI - 1905 Arch Logan Gaff Cutter

RAWENE - 1908 Arch Logan Gaff Cutter

JONQUIL - Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 25 Replica

THELMA - 1897 Arch Logan Gaff Cutter

ETHEL - Gaff Yawl

ARIKI - 1904 Arch Logan Gaff Cutter

LADY MARGARET - 1940 Dick Lang Launch

LAUGHING LADY - Luders Launch

RAINDANCE - 1928 Lane M.B. Co. Launch

MY GIRL - 1925 William Hand Launch

KAIRANGA - 32' New Zealand Launch

MEOLA - New Zealand Launch

TIROMOANA - 1937 A. Couldrey Launch

WAIRANGI - 1934 Wren Carey Launch

TE ARAHI - 1965 Percy Vos Launch

TASMAN - 1929 Colin Wild Launch

AROHANUI - 1965 Donovan/Hacker Launch

JANE GIFFORD - 1908 Scow Schooner

ARAWA - Mullet Boat

RAINBOW - 1898 Arch Logan Gaff Cutter


Comments, Thoughts or Suggestions?

You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

25 Responses So Far to “The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz in New Zealand”:

  1. Avatar Baden Pascoe says:

    Fantastic. Come back to New Zealand next year.

  2. Avatar Terry Smith says:

    Benjamin Mendlowitz is an inspiration to all of us who consider photography our best (and most enjoyable) way to be artistic. It’s a delight to have this video to see and hear how the master approaches his work.

    The Calendar of Wooden Boats “owns” a corner of my office just out of my direct field of view when at this keyboard. I’ve saved every one — just because they are beyond beautiful and highly restorative when a boost is most welcome. My order for the 2020 version is in the budget.

  3. Avatar James Scannell says:

    I really enjoyed Ben’s commentary and insight – it was a very nice flashback to time spent with my grandfather. My grandfather spent his entire professional life as a photographer working for Rosenfeld and Sons. I not only had the opportunity to hear his wonderful stories of capturing images – that included many maritime subjects beyond America’s Cup and sailboats – but I also had the opportunity to visit with him in the Rosenfeld and Sons darkroom – another place where my grandfather spent a lot of time. And, what a range of cameras he worked with – from Speed Graflex press cameras, through to his favorite Nikon F2. I also enjoyed your take on your chase boat – I remember my mother telling me stories of her getting very seasick on one of the Rosenfeld’s chase boats. My recollection is that Rosenfeld had a series of chase boats Foto I through IV or V, I think. Each built or modified to his specifications and they were kept at City Island in NY. Thanks for a great video.

  4. Avatar Patrick Daniels says:

    What a treat to sit in Ben’s living room for the post trip slideshow! Very mid 20th! Thanks!

  5. Avatar Morgan says:

    Truely inspiring. Your narrative opens up the answers to so many questions about “How did he get that shot or why that position”. Thank you so very much and as always, to the crew at OCH. Thanks.

  6. Avatar Stephen Horseley says:

    Thanks so much for the photos Ben, and expert pointers. I have been eagerly awaiting their arrival. It was a pleasure to meet ‘The gang’, yourself, Maynard and Steve again in New Zealand and Mahurangi.

  7. Avatar James Dreyer says:

    Fantastic Ben,
    Beautifully crafted shots that really show the boats and the Mahurangi in their finest.

    What a wonderful weekend that was and honored that LL made the cut.


  8. Avatar Peter Marshall says:

    Have long enjoyed your work Ben
    And very much appreciated your thoughts on cropping, so vital
    Thanks for sharing those amazing boats, your art, and your eye, with us

  9. Avatar David Tew says:

    My wife has been the ‘boat photographer’ in our family for forty years (while I’m just her driver) She will definitely benefit from absorbing your knowledgeable and concise commentary. Thanks very much!

  10. Antonio (Tony) Osse Antonio (Tony) Osse says:

    Great video and pictures as usual. Just a small question from a neophyte: I see that most pictures have the boats centralized. How (or even why) should I follow the thirds/golden rule here? Thanks, Tony;

    • Avatar Ben Mendlowitz says:

      Hi Tony, as the movie pirates say, the rule of thirds is more a “guideline” than a hard and fast rule. I think if I was creating strictly scenic compositions with a boat as one smaller element it would be more relevant. I am much more often trying to capture as much of the essence of the boat so it is the primary subject with the background, water and sky enhancements. So I am usually filling the frame with boat and sails and therefore it is more central rather than relegated to a smaller area on one of the intersection created by the rule of thirds grid. Hope this helps, Ben

  11. Avatar John Wujack says:

    While watching this, another great OCH video, I realized that it’s a rare day when I’m not touched in some way by Benjamin’s work and that’s now exceeding 30+ years. A simple, thank you, doesn’t convey my full appreciation for your work.

  12. Avatar Lorentz Ottzen says:

    Mr. Mendlowitz’s video is outstanding! One of the very best I have seen. His commentary about his approach to the photography of vessels in motion was enlightening, and very enjoyable.

  13. Avatar Richard Morrison says:

    Thank you so much Ben! Beautiful images and thoughtful comments. As an aspiring marine photographer, I am always anxious to soak up any and all tidbits from the master. Your work is inspiring.

  14. Avatar charles parker says:

    Drool… There are 3 types of folks who enjoy your work. The owners and sailors. Other sailors. And folks who enjoy photography.. At times I am all three. Thank you for sharing your “secrets”.

  15. Avatar Alan Houghton says:

    Wow stunning work, well done you. Pleasure to catch up again and thank you for pointing your camera our way.
    And as a bonus – a master class in classic wooden boat photography :-)
    Cheers Alan

  16. Avatar Daniel Hicks says:

    Great video and photos. To be correct, the term ‘scow schòoner’ isn’t used in NZ, just scow. Scows carried both schooner (2 and 3 masted and three masted topsail) and ketch rigs. Jane Gifford’s correct description would be a ketch rigged deck scow, meaning her cargo was carried on deck. NZ scows are a local development of the scows of the Great Lakes and San Francisco., and were built in NZ from the 1870s through until the mid 1920s.

    • Avatar Ben Mendlowitz says:

      Thanks very much for clarifying Daniel. At one point in the editing process I had talked about her bow which is quite different from many of the US scow schooners I have seen. I assumed shaped that way to be more capable offshore with some waves?

      • Avatar Daniel Hicks says:

        Hi Ben. Yes, the bow changes came when it was found that the blunt bows of the originals didn’t work well in the seas of the Hauraki Gulf. I think the first three scows built here ( all named after the lakes of the Great Lakes ) had blunt bows, from then on the bows gradually changed. The bows differed between different builders and through different periods. Jane Gifford is a Darroch built scow of 1908, and her bow ( and actually her stern too) is quite different from the later Darroch built scows. The NZ scows are actually reasonable seaboats, and the big ones would go offshore commercially.

  17. Avatar Jason Prew says:

    Fabulous Ben! Amazing to see it all put together and narrated. Well done!

  18. Avatar Philip Myer says:

    Absolutely wonderful Ben – what a superb portfolio of amazing boats. I think you might need to do a special Antipodean Calendar. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all.

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