Vintage Color, Vintage Cruising

Most of Maynard’s camera work was laid down in black and white. Parallel to this sustained effort, he did manage to capture some color images, on both negative and slide film. These color photographs are a treat to behold; they have an immediacy we’re all accustomed to. This month, we’re sharing some pictures shot mostly on Kodachrome film, whose brilliant colors, deep contrast, and durability are beloved by analog photographers (some of whom probably have a few rolls of the prized stock stashed away in their freezers). Our selection focuses on cruising—the people and the boats. This timeless pastime attracts even people who’ve never done it; it has a romantic and a real appeal. Getting out onto the water and bringing a little bit of home with you creates both a sense of expansiveness and security. Dropping the pressures of modern existence for the simple pressures of contending with weather, wind, tides, and landscape brings calm and satisfaction; despite having no ground under you, it can be deeply grounding. At its best, it generates camaraderie, a cooperative and optimistic spirit. At its worst, it’s dull, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous. Changing one’s perspective can be as straightforward as changing surroundings, the most unmistakable benefit of travel. And, of course, the extent of your mastery of the boat correlates directly to how enjoyable the trip is. Cruising today is augmented by a range of digital tools; however, it’s essentially the same experience as it was for these latter-day sailors, photographed 40 or more years ago. Some (but unfortunately not all) of the wooden boats depicted are still around today.

Image Captions by Maynard Bray.