Ship Spotter Spotlight: Ciaran from the United Kingdom

in Ship Spotter Profiles, Community by

In 2021, we started to put the spotlight on our passionate ship spotters. Each month, we showcase a different photographer of In May 2022, you’ll meet a maritime enthusiast from the United Kingdom (User name: Smogship26) who joined FleetMon in 2021.

What is your maritime background?

My name is Ciaran Poole, I am 23 years old from Teesside, UK, and my job involves working with people with complex needs and looking how we can improve their lives!
Quite the difference from seeing ships I suppose!

When did you start to take photos of vessels?

I started taking photos properly about 3 years ago however I have had an interest in vessels since I was about 12 years ago.

What is your motivation for being a ship spotter?

I just love seeing the different types of vessels that we have around the world. My local port Teesport and Hartlepool is one of the busiest in the UK, seeing all the different shapes and sizes never fails to amaze me!

Special Vessel Shot

General cargo vessel AZBURG inbound for Hartlepool Docks struggling with port list

Smogship26’s’ comment on the photo: “Hartlepool is a challenging port to enter for sailors, with low lying swell often leading to uncomfortable rocking. AZBURG seemed to have a really big challenge with this swell, taking nearly 10 minutes to even out!”

How often are you on tour to shoot vessels?

Whenever I get time off work and something is moving.

Which technical equipment do you use to capture vessel moments?

I use a Canon EOS 4000D with an 18-55 and 70-300 lense, often shuffling around trying to quickly change them over! I also use a VHF radio to listen in to the VTS and get times for arrivals.

Which vessel types do you like to take photos of the most and why?

I love taking photos of just about anything shipping! My favourite category would probably be torn between Heavy Lift Vessels and Car Carriers however!

How many pictures of different vessels have you collected since you started?

Oh my goodness, too many! I think my last check was about 400+!

Where is your favorite ship spotting location so far?

My favourite location for ships would either be Teesport or Sunderland. Teesport for the wide range of traffic, Sunderland for the wide variety of shots and angles I can get.

Which worldwide ship spotting location would you like to visit if you had the chance to?

I would love to get to Hamburg, everytime I look it just looks unbelievably busy!

Is there anything you would like to improve when it comes to uploading photos to

Nope, all very streamlined and smooth to use!

(Glad to hear that, Smogship26. We do our best!)