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California / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes / Ships

How Big Is a Big Ship Blog

April 4, 2014. Marin County Headlands. My seascape horizon photographs are devoid of any vestige of land, for the most part; and they show no man-made objects at all. So this image will never be part of my Horizons collections.

But this scene intrigued me in 2014 and it still intrigues me today. The first draw was and is the subtlety of color on the water. And the sky. But then there’s the ship.

Container ships can be more than 1,200 feet (365 meters) long. That’s almost a quarter of a mile. Take a walk past one at the dock and you’ll be walking for about five minutes. To my mind, that qualifies as large. But (with apologies to Douglas Adams) that’s peanuts compared to the Pacific Ocean. All things are relative.

This ship is headed for somewhere in Asia — some exotic far-away foreign land. Many might think it would be romantic to crew on such a ship and travel to such places. But from those I’ve talked with, it’s a sometimes back-breaking, sometimes dangerous, and often boring job. It’s work. And heading out to sea is just another day at the office.

All things are relative.

(Sony RX100. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


    • You have sharp eyes, my friend. Funny thing is, I didn’t really give it much thought until yesterday when I was preparing the image for posting. Then I thought, “you know, Mike, somebody might look at this as symbolic. I’ll leave that up to them.”


      • I need to give this is far more thorough study, but it appears to me that impressionism and symbolism to some degree overlapped, historically and in effect. Impressionism seems to me to make a more direct emotional impact, rather than intellectual. I tend more toward impressionism, but all things are best observed in contrast. This gives me a lot to look at. Thank you.


  1. For me it would be the absolute last job I would want in the world! Now a top-of-the-line luxury cruise to Greece or Turkey? Count me in!! Lovely image Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. evokes an emotion associated with departure…with further thought…two feeling states, those watching the ship depart and the other, departing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the gentle, more-distinct-than-gradient transitions of color. The whole image feels washed in a peaceful, melancholic coolness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. That’s what I thought too. Although you’ll grant it’s pretty unusual for me. However in the near future you will see two more where the ship does add to it.


  4. I did look at your blog, and found the “Horizons” collection particularly appealing. It took me some years to figure out why the transition from life on the water to life on the prairies felt so seamless. Now, it’s obvious to me: the horizon is the common denominator.

    I do find myself more responsive to sea photos which include a little something extra: it might be a ship, or it might be the waves. Pure horizon has its charms, but it sometimes is akin to looking at a cloudless sky. The color’s fine, but the addition of a cloud can make all the difference. Sometimes, even a gray sky can be as appealing as a gray ocean; I’ve always loved this sky that I posted on Lagniappe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for taking the time to look and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. The horizon is indeed the common denominator. Melinda Green Harvey has some absolutely marvelous desert and High Plains horizon shots.

      Somewhere back in February, I believe, I had a blog post called Distant Shores where I discussed the therapeutic value of looking at a distant horizon.

      My very conscious choice is to leave everything out except for the sea, the horizon, and the sky. These, very obviously, have varying degrees of complexity. Some are extremely minimalistic while others have extremely rich sky and water. Some are quite literal; others abstract in the extreme. Something for everybody; but still, these are very definitely not for everybody. Something like a visual counterpart to Brian Eno‘s music. You will, however, see some ships in the very near future. Stay tuned.

      As far as skies go, I live to see skies such as the beautiful one you posted.

      Liked by 1 person

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