Home >

Sailweb  RSS feed

Eileen Ramsay has died at the age of 101

Eileen Ramsay, the Queen of British yachting photography during the post war years, has died at the age of 101.

In an era without the social media and ubiquitous smartphones of today, Eileen Ramsay's back catalogue is a glorious record of small boat sailing during the 1950s and 60s.

Based from the Hamble she recorded the post-War explosion in sailing as well as the careers of designers like Uffa Fox, Ian Proctor, Jack Holt and Peter Milne, with partner George Spiers driving the boat, loading her Rolleiflex cameras and developing the films.

Her style was unique and innovative and an ‘Eileen Ramsey shot’ was always easy to discern. She developed an emphasis on action, taken mostly by hanging precariously over the side of her photo boat with her camera at sea level.

These low level pictures became Eileen’s signature, and others began to copy her technique.

Kieth Musto and Tony Morgan, Tokyo 1964 - Click image for a larger image

Eileen described herself as an impressionist photographer, and one that ‘made’ pictures rather than take them. She hated the paparazzi approach and would photograph Prince Philip and other Royals competing during Cowes Week only when the subjects made good pictures.

Eileen gave up photography in 1971 when George Spiers was killed tragically in a riding accident, but later took up painting watercolours, combining this with her love of gardening.

She remained remarkably fit and alert right up until her 102nd year and could not only recall almost every photograph she had taken but provide an amusing anecdote about each subject.

Follow Sailweb on Facebook - Click here