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Sardinian Rhapsody

by Betsy Senescu June 09, 2024

“I love the action, power and intensity of these images!” exclaimed Sharon Green, when asked why she selected these thrilling photos for the June pages of the 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar. “Both shots show great teamwork,” added Sharon, “and at the top, with everyone peering forward as they approach the mark, the bow starting to dig in and pearls of spray erupting from the Tyrrhenian Sea, that is the epitome of Ultimate Sailing.”

 

These stunning photos are from our colleagues at Studio Borlenghi: Luca Butto’s dramatic capture of the Landmark 43 Skarp (top) and Francesco Ferri’s artistic spinnaker douse aboard the superyacht Sorceress – both photographed in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. 

Luca Butto was born and raised in the small coastal town of Patti, Sicily, where he told us, “I developed a deep passion for the sea and photography from a young age. These passions led me to specialize in photographing nautical events, merging my love for the sea with visual communication.”

He studied at the International School of Photography in Florence and earned a degree in Communications and Master’s in Photography. Soon after he began collaborating with Studio Borlenghi – “one of the world's most prestigious sailing photography studios,” as he put it – “working as a photographer and photo editor. There I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest sailing photographers, refining my skills and technique, and I continue to explore new horizons in sailing photography, always aiming to capture the magic of the sea.”

That magic appears in this photograph featured in June in the 2024 Ultimate Sailing Calendar. “It was taken during the ORC World Championship in Porto Cervo, on a day characterized by a beautiful Mistral wind.” The Mistral is a cold, strong northwesterly that can blow 25 to 50 knots in the blink of an eye. “It was a lot of fun!” Luca remarked. He captured this image using a Sony Alpha7 III camera with a 200-600 Sony lens with the following settings: 1/2500 F 8.0 FL 524mm ISO 2000. His other credits include significant projects and international regattas such as the America’s Cup with Alinghi and Luna Rossa, the America’s Cup World Series, Rolex Regattas, Audi Sailing Series, the Volvo Ocean Race, the Barcolana, and the Loro Piana Superyacht.

Francesco Ferri had a later start to yachting photography. “I was 22 years old, finishing studies in Milan at the European Institute of Design, and through the school had the opportunity to do an internship with the great nautical photographer Carlo Borlenghi. Within a few months, despite knowing nothing about sailing, I found myself photographing prestigious sailing events such as the America's Cup, Rolex regattas and Olympic classes.” With an entrée of mostly professional events and sailors, his portfolio reflects the fervor and precision of tight competition at the highest levels. 

“There is no precise formula to capturing an image: it depends on the situation,” Francesco continued. “My intention is always to convey with images the sensations I feel during the moment experienced. Sometimes it is a moment of excited and adrenaline-filled action, and sometimes a moment of twilight calm.”

Francesco admitted he prefers to photograph onboard high-performance yachts, and will tackle both day races and longer offshore events. “I like to feel the energy of the elements and of man. I especially appreciate those moments where the light is at its limit: the sunrise, the twilight, the night moments in which everything calms down making it in some way easier to reconnect with your surroundings. I am always curious to see what lies behind the profession, the obsession for details, the preparation, the everyday life, participating with empathy and giving back an image that is as authentic as possible.” The lower image of a spinnaker takedown on Sorceress, a 96-foot superyacht during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, illustrates that empathy and understanding.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to spotlight these talented photographers and their stunning art in the Ultimate Sailing Calendar. And they were thrilled too – with Luca adding, “Being featured in the Ultimate Sailing calendar is an important recognition of my dedication and passion for sailing photography.”

 

 

 




Betsy Senescu
Betsy Senescu

Author




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