Photos of Tall Ships and other related articles by photographer Richard Sibley

I’m a freelance photographer inspired by traditional sail.
The images on this site represent my activities over the last 15 years, photographing Tall Ship racing in European waters and more recently crewing as a deckhand on the Swedish East Indiaman Goteborg, the Dutch Clipper Brig Morgenster and the Norwegian barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl. The photographs of the figurehead carving in the Category “The Lost Art of the Ships Carver”were all taken at the workshop of Andy Peters, Maritima Woodcarving. 

All photography on this site Copyright © Richard Sibley 2003-2019


Tom Conroy, Customer on ETSY 2017

When I write “keep up the good work” I mean that sincerely. You’ve found your oeuvre. Keep following the “white sails” and adding to it.
Best regards.
Tom Conroy

Royal Museums Greenwich 2016

Hi Richard,
It has been a pleasure working with you on the Tall Ships calendar and getting to see your beautiful photographs! I find them very inspiring and it really makes we want to take to the sea!
Emilia Will
Publishing and Licensing Coordinator

Magnum Photos 2016

“Richard, thank you very much for submitting your work.

I’ve had some time to look at and consider your imagery, and I wish to offer you my feedback. You have some very strong work in your series A Renaissance of Sail. I can tell that you have a keen eye for assessing the world about you with a particular photographic aesthetic, and I very much sense your passion and respect for the subject matter. Both of these are very strong qualities to be inscribed in the photographs themselves, so well done. Almost all of your images feature what I would call a particularly luscious tonality – particularly those images in which the clouds are fully and dramatically lit. I am most drawn to the images that depict the entirety of a single ship relatively close to the camera, and also those which depict a clear juxtaposition between foreground and background (and thereby spatial depth.) For example, the Stad Amsterdam image is quite strong, and I love the tilted vertical shape of the ship with which cuts across the high contrast clouds. I’m also drawn to the Gotheborg image, as the ship and sails appear to be leaning to the right in anticipation of its voyage. Of course, the diminutive size of the ships near the horizon help us to realize the massive scale of these vessels. Perhaps my favorite image is Parade of Sail in Stormy Weather, as I love the repetition of vertical shapes both in the masts of the ships as well as in the structures on the background. The contrast is also working particularly well here, especially in the foreground. Another favorite of mine is the Sailors Climbing Aloft image, as we get a very clear sense of special depth via the subject scale and hierarchical placement of the ships. I’m also drawn to the light quality as it illuminates the near vessel, as well as the relative placidity of the water. In regard to your statement, I certainly take note that you have produced many kinds of images aboard the ships, and that here you are choosing to portray the beauty of the ships from a chase boat. In addition you were photographing at the race starts. So all these conditions together I can only imagine dictate the kinds of pictures that are produced. That being said, your pictures – as well as the final sentences in your first paragraph – make me long to see the submitted images in context with depictions of the crew. Your sentiments in regard to sailors who wish to escape present day problems are fascinating – your words and the submitted images make me want to see the humanity that is comprised in these majestic vessels.

Highcliffe and Infinity Photography Club 2015

“Richard,  just a note to thank you so much for sharing your wonderful images and experiences with us on Wednesday.  Our members greatly enjoyed the evening.
Personally, being  presently immersed in the Aubrey/Maturin series of books and the world of studding sails, rat lines and futtock shrouds, it was great to see an explanation of the different classes of ships, masts and sail arrangements so minutely described in the books, as well as wonderful images of classic tall ships and more modern design interpretations.
Thanks again from all at Highcliffe and Infinity.

Tall Ship Races and expeditions I have photographed or participated in
Klaipeda, Lithuania 
Halmstad, Sweden
RDV 2017 Greenwich, UK
A voyage from Tenerife to Den Helder onboard the Dutch Clipper Brig Morgenster
Blyth – Gothenburg
Sailing an East Indiaman
Gotheborg, Amsterdam, Dover and Gt Yarmouth Expedition
Gotheborg, Amsterdam to Dover
Gotheborg, Vanern – Varberg ExpeditionBelfast – Alesund 2015
The Departure of L’Hermione for America

Fredrikstad, Norway
Bergen, Norway
Falmouth, Cornwall UK
Royal Greenwich, London
Aarhus, Denmark
Helsinki, Finland
Riga, Latvia
Barcelona, Spain
Toulon, France
Lisbon, Portugal
Cadiz, Spain
La Coruna, Spain
Launch of L’ Hermione, Rochefort France
Waterford, Ireland.
Lerwick, Shetlands UK
Antwerp, Belgium
North Sea Regatta, Hartlepool UK
Gdynia, Poland
Turku, Finland
Liverpool, UK
Bergen, Norway
Funchal 500 Regatta, Falmouth UK
Alicante – Barcelona
Aarhus – Kotka
St Malo – Lisbon (Torbay start)
Waterford – Cherbourg
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Aarhus to Kotka 2007 Tall Ships Race

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