Ship Spotter Spotlight: Malcolm from Great Britain

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In 2021, we started to put the spotlight on our passionate ship spotters. Each month, we introduce another ship spotter or maritime enthusiast of on the corporate blog. In March, you’ll meet Malcolm Cranfield (User name: Cranfield) from Great Britain.

He became a member of our community in September 2020 and uploaded 55 vessel photos for 33 different ships to FleetMon. Malcolm has an extensive maritime background spanning his entire life.

Please tell us about yourself and your ship spotting passion.

My interest in shipping started at Portishead on the Bristol Channel in 1960, at the age of twelve. I started to take pictures of vessels in 1961. My career in the shipping industry started in Liverpool in 1974 on joining the Ocean Group as an accountant. After that, I worked for Barber Lines in Oslo for a while. I joined CMA CGM in 1993, between 2001 and 2003 I worked for CMA CGM in Marseille on ship leasing, I have since acted as Company Secretary to the CMA CGM UK Group which includes MacAndrews & Co Ltd.

Due to my retirement in 2016, I was able to devote more time to researching and writing on shipping subjects. My book entitled “Bristol Port and Channel Nostalgia” was published in 2013.

To state it short: My motivation for ship spotting is a lifelong interest in shipping, particularly in vessels’ trades and ownership.

Here you find other maritime articles by Malcolm Cranfield.

What’s your favorite vessel type to shoot?

I love geared bulk carriers, particularly Greek-owned, due to their varied types and interesting ownership. I took around 20,000 photos of different vessels since I started.

Which equipment do you use for vessel photography?

I use a Canon digital camera with a 300mm white prime lens supplemented by a black 70-200mm zoom lens.

What are your favorite ship spotting locations?

My favorite vessel photography spots are Portishead (my original location) and New Brighton on the River Mersey, close to where I now live.

I would love to go to South Africa to visit Durban and Cape Town to shoot there.

Photo of WESTERN MOSCOW in rough weather conditions taken by ship spotter Cranfield

Malcolm’s personal note to the FleetMon Support Team:

“Thank you very much for sending to me a FleetMon calendar, which arrived today. I had the pleasure of visiting Rostock in 2012, meeting the former “Deutsche Seereederei” (DSR) radio officer Walter Hess who has for many years been involved with Traditionsschiff Typ “Frieden” (a museum ship). I attach a photograph of us both in the ship’s radio room.

We keep in touch by email, albeit rather infrequently when compared to my almost daily contact with German ship photographer friends!

Malcolm Cranfield and DSR radio officer Walter Hess in Rostock, 2012

Be part of FleetMon! Join our community to meet with other maritime enthusiasts. Provide vessel photos and datasheets to grow and improve our platform even further.