Nyfiken på… Benoît Stichelbaut, seglingsfotograf


Benoît Stichelbaut är mest känd för sina fyrbilder. Kolla in den nedan! Men han har också varit officiell fotograf på Transat Jacques Vabre, The Transat och Vendée Globe. Dessutom åt många av de stor soloseglarna som Vincent Riou, Sébastien Josse, Jean-Pierre Dick, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean Le Cam, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede och Ellen Mac Arthur.

Här är några sjyssta bilder att ladda ner.


Seb Josse i Open 60, VMI, april 2004.

Marine photographer is not an easy title to define; it means much more than being able to catch a maritime landscape on a picture. Of course, some techniques are essential: anticipating a wave to ensure a straight horizon; evaluating depth of field needed to capture the density of a landscape; recognizing the right moment when two sailboats meet each other, and so many other obvious skills.

Reproducing the sea on a picture, it is the ability to express a perception. Benoît Stichelbaut looks through his objective with his sailing experience, knowing deep inside the motivations of those who leave for the sea, be it for their own pleasure or as a profession. He respects the silence of the sailors, listening to their sometimes brief explanations and knows how to integrate them to their profile. His photographs are not only aesthetic; they also capture a moment of life. By the wobbling of an angling boat in the Raz de Sein Straight, we can imagine the power of the waves, threatening to unbalance the boat at any moment.

Catching the moment when two multihull cross each other near the coast shows all the tension animating the crew on board these speed machines. The sailor bending down in the sight of a wave which will soon break on the bow reminds us the icy sea water drops which will ooze in his back, in spite of his fool weather gear.

Here is the point of view Benoît Stichelbaut wants to reproduce when he photographs the sea, far from the aesthetic objective, sometimes dehumanized. Brittany, by the richness of its contrasts and the variety of its men and landscapes offers him a wonderful playground.


Vincent Riou i sin Open 60 PRB. April 2004.

How did you start with sailing photography?
I was in a school (in Concarneau) to became Sailing school manager or to work in sailing “area”. A last, I have a work experience scheme in a sailing magazine (Neptune Yachting – 1990), and try to become journalist and photograph.

Which picture are you most satisfied with?
The first one is a picture I took during Brest 1992. Il like this photo because everybody could take the same : you just have to be there and look for a photo… No helicopter, no special accréditation etc..

There were a lot of photographers during this event, but nobody had taken tihis picture I sold this photo to a very important magazine in France. My first big sale !

Few month ago I shot a big tempest in Brittany : I wait this moment (this kind of weather condition at this place) since several years… So I will be very satisfied to see the pictures !


Decemberstorm i Bretagne 2007 med 10-15 meter höga vågor. Fyren d’Ar-Men är 37 meter hög!

Best regatta to shoot?
Antigua Classic week : beautiful boats, waves, sun …

Worst regatta to shoot?
A regatta with no sun and no wind : it’s very hard to get a nice picture…


Alain Gauitere i sin 60-fots trimmis Foncia 2001.

Who inspires you (other photographers)?
I have a passion for photography so I like very much look at pictures : each photographers could inspire me, famous one or not, sailing photographer or not … I like to look at a photo and think “wahooo”.. ! Of course, with sailing photography it’s often with the same famous photographers – the ones who take “new” pictures : Carlo Borlhenghi, Philippe Plisson

What gear do you usually use/favor (camera/lenses)?
Canon 1DS – Canon 1D – lens from 16-35 to 500

Any advise for those who want to become a better sailing photograph?
It’s better to have knowledge about sailing ! So you know what could happen, the right pace on board etc…
To become better : take picture, make mistake …. take picture

How do you see sailing photography develop in the future?
I dont know… Probably young photographers will arrive with new ideas, and the digital révolution continue ! If you ask the same question 10 years ago, it was very hard to have the right answer.

Business will probably become more difficult ! (more and more digital image on the market, more “big” compagny with very low price …)


Seb Josse i Open 60, VMI, april 2004.

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