The Photos Tell the Story
The Photos Tell the Story
A new book of sailing photography from Onne van der Wal arrives just in time for the holidays.
As photos cross my laptop and desk every day as we put together our magazine, I’m always impressed by the beauty of our sport. Between the colors, textures, and light that compose the mix of boat and sea and sky, great sailing photos are moving. They take us to different places and times, and tell stories all on their own.
The nature of our magazine is to put words with those pictures and to tell a story through both mediums. So when a new book of photographs by local master Onne van der Wal, “Sailing,” crossed my desk, it was refreshing to step back from my magazine world and let the photos do the talking.
The book is daunting in shape and size, at 11" by 14" and 288 pages, but once I opened it, I was eased into the series of 200 photos by the familiarity of the first chapter, all photos from my home of the New England coast. Here are some of the awesome boats I’ve seen grace the waters down the way from our SW office: 12-Metres, J Class yachts, AC45s … And here are also some of the boats I see out there every day—like the spread of the Wednesday night Shields fleet racing.
The next chapter moves to Europe, and thus begins a page-turning adventure. As I paused to gaze at a few photos (to name a couple along the way—breaking Arctic ice 78 degrees north on page 83 and the Chiloe Islands Regatta under the Andes on page 268--below), I appreciated the size of the book and the breadth of the photos. It allows you to gaze as long as you want and let the photos do their talking.
If you do crave captions (and you will want some explanation of where these photos are taken, exactly, so you can plan your next regatta), there’s an image index in the back that has thumbnails so you don’t have to flip back and forth between pages. That’s followed by a section where van der Wal lists camera information for each photo. Plus, Herb McCormick, the senior editor over at our sister magazine Cruising World, has penned an excellent introduction to give more background on van der Wal.
While you probably don’t want to carry this book with you just anywhere, because of its sheer size, that ultimately means its purpose will be fulfilled. When you’re at home, away from the water and waves, you’ll be able to open this book up and let the photos tell a story. They have a lot to say.
"Sailing" ($100), is published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. Click the image below to find it on Amazon: