Ian Harrold | Armorique | The First Voyages

A collection of photographs shot in the first week of sailings of Brittany Ferries new ship, Armorique. Taken on both day and night crossings on black and white high-speed film. 

MV Armorique is not the first ship to carry the name for Brittany Ferries. The first ship was in service for 18 years until 1993 after a chequered career involving the first Gulf War and two onboard fires, the first causing loss of life and after the second causing it to sink off Java in 2011 under Indonesian ownership.

The current ship is somewhat of a departure in design for the company as previous ships had focussed on 'cruise ship' fit-outs and first class dining. The Armorique however was designed more for the budget concious traveller, the compensation for me being the striking architecture of the ship. We were fortunate to travel both ways between Plymouth and Roscoff in its first week of operation, all was new and spotless, really fantastic for some semi-abstract photography. I chose to go back to film, Kodak T-Max ISO 3200 in fact. High-speed film which can exhibit lots of grain if developed carelessly enough. The camera was a Canon Eos 3 with Sigma 12-24mm ultra wide lens. This lens has super wide characteristics on a full-frame digital body or 35mm film camera.


I have continued to photograph the ship on a regular basis and have built up a collection of semi-abstract photographs, mostly shot on a range of Canon digital bodies including 10Ds, 40D, 7D and 5d mkiii. These will feature in a blog post of their own. Here in 2020 the ship has been taken out of service for the whole winter as result in the travel restrictions imposed by the dreaded virus. A series of paintings are in process - 'vaisseau vide'.

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