Ships make great subjects for photographers. Some ships. We like this ship in particular that is named Ryuyo Maru. But there is a problem with taking photos of ships and that is in the identification. Not that ship identification is above my pay grade, but the issue is complex. Many times the name of a ship is reused as one is retired from service only to be replaced by others using the same name. So you may have several ships bearing the same name. Ships are scrapped, destroyed by war, torpedoed, they sink in storms, or hit a reef and sink. They are sold to other nations and renamed. It does make identification challenging. Not impossible just challenging and time consuming. There is a limit as to how much research one is willing to put into this endeavor. As is this case with the “Ryuyo Maru“, c.1970 we are only not certain of the date of the photograph but the location as well. Ryuyo Maru is not the name of the ship rather it is the name of the Japanese company that owns this particular ship, and it is just one of many ships having the same name. So a shipping company might have 20-30 ships in inventory numbered sequentially based on the launch date.
We say that not all photos of ships make great subjects. In fact, if not shot correctly, they seem rather boring to us. In the case of the Ryuyo Maru it is the low angle on the bow, the perspective at which the photographer saw his subject. Moreover the strong diagonal lines created by the mooring ropes and the dock with the logs creates tension in the image. This is what diagonal lines contribute in any photo.