SeaPhoto/ Catalog/ Catalog Introduction

Introduction to the online catalog

An Important Note On Photos
Q Ratings Explained
Camera Angles Explained
Descriptive Terms and Naval Acronyms used
Frequently asked questions
Preview service
Contacting SeaPhoto

Return to Catalog Index Page

Thank you for your interest in SeaPhoto. I am here to provide a resource for ship modelers, enthusiasts, researchers, indeed anyone who requires close up, detailed photography of modern warships and other maritime subjects. SeaPhoto started as an adjunct to my hobby of building large scale, radio controlled warships - whenever I had the opportunity I would photograph ships and boats, usually with an eye to using them on a future project. Because of this, I would take lots of pictures, and often of things that my family and friends could only shake their heads at; after all, what possible use were photographs of masts, doors, railings, and decks? Well, I knew that if I built a model of the ship these minor details would prove invaluable.

After a number of years, several things happened. Gradually, my photography improved - this due in large part to better equipment, as well as incremental improvements resulting from taking pictures by the thousands. In addition, I had to purchase a large file cabinet to store all of these photos! At last, I wondered if other people might be able to use these images. That is how the idea for SeaPhoto was born.

As you browse through this catalog, my hope is that you will find something that interests you. In the years since I began this business I have had the good fortune to meet fellow ship photographers from all over the world, both amateur and professional, and I still believe that SeaPhoto is unique in its emphasis on detailed photo sets at a reasonable price. Though you will find many more portrait views than in my first catalog, SeaPhoto's emphasis is on details - my goal is to document any ship I visit in the most thorough manner possible. This became even more important as the century came to a close, and many ships headed off to their sad fates. In this catalog you will find many examples of ships that are no longer in service, or even in some cases, broken up.

I know you are probably anxious to jump right in, but I would ask you to read the section below, An Important Note on Photos so that you will familiarize you with the quality grading system used in the catalog - this will give you information on what to expect from your SeaPhoto Photo Set.

SeaPhoto is owned by Kurt Greiner, with the able assistance of his seadog, Ernie

  (RIP Ernie, miss you buddy)

An Important Note on Photos

Not all the pictures in this catalog were taken by professional, art quality, photographers!

What that means is that, for the most part, the sets contained in this catalog consist of photographs shot by someone, still mostly myself, who was interested in capturing the particular details of a ship. For these sets I don't concern myself very much about the finer points of composition, dramatic lighting and such. Sometimes the sun is at the wrong angle, it is a cloudy day, or someone's shadow is visible in the photo - such are the hazards of touring and photographing ships, particularly during open houses. Some of my very early shots frankly exhibit my lack of skill at the time.

Nevertheless, you can expect all shots to contain useful information. I would not put a set in the catalog if it did not offer something of value. Sets are rated based on their average quality; there may be higher or lower grade individual pictures in larger sets. A Q9 is the highest quality - well exposed, crisp, without a lot of people cluttering the view of the item. A Q8 would be an average quality photo - perhaps a minor flaw in the negative, too many civilians in the shot, or a cloudy day that reduces available light. A Q7 would have very noticeable flaws in exposure or in the negative, with a Q6 worse still. All shots will be usable for informational purposes, but Q6 and below will be poor examples of photography.

Note:  All seaphotos are full color, 4" X 6" glossy prints - the small black and white thumbnails are for illustrative purposes only.  Please see the Sample Pages for full color example of sets.

Some examples of the "Q" Ratings:

Q9 - the highest rating, magazine quality photographs.

Q8 detail - in this case, too many people in the shot.  Could have minor flaws in the negative; a few scratches for example, or other minor defects that in no way detract from the utility of the photo.

A Q7 photograph.  Here, we are looking at a backlit scene that has lens flare as a result. While still useful, these will have moderate to heavy exposure problems, or may be blurred.  Choose only if you really need a reference for the particular subject.

Q6 are from heavily damaged negatives, or very poor example of photography. I have culled most of these out, but in a very few cases, they are the only thing I have on a particular ship or class.  Choose only if you cannot locate another source for the information that you need, as they are pretty bad.

With the above said...

I can also tell you, with a certain amount of pride, that I have taken some very nice photographs over the years. When I say portrait quality, I mean it - these are very nice views, suitable for framing. Since my first catalog was published, many of my photographs have appeared in magazines and books, in this both country and abroad. As always browse a bit and you might find something you like a lot.

Camera Angles and Acronyms used in this catalog

Bow on, looking straight at the bow, from overhead or water level, with little or no angle

Bow, slight port angle

Starboard overall

3/4 bow starboard

3/4 stern starboard

Note that the first angle mentioned is the main view. For example, a bow stbd will show more of the bow and less of the stbd side than a stbd bow.

Descriptive Terms used in this catalog

Term Meaning
Amidships The middle of the ships, usually from behind the bridge to the first open area at the stern
Bridge Front General, shots around the bridge of the ship, looking from the bow
CV FD Shots taken from an Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck, an excellent vantage
point since most ships are lower than carriers.
Fosc'l Forecastle of the ship; the bow area.  Usually including anchor tackle
Fwd Forward
Mast Shots often showing all mast levels and crossing braces
Mosaic Series of photographs that can be joined to form a larger picture
OA Overall
SS Superstructure
Upperworks Shots of superstructure and other structures above the main deck

Naval Acronyms Used

ASROC Anti Submarine Box Rocket Launcher; used by US Navy from the 1960's until recently
CIWS Close In Weapon Systems, a gatling gun used for air defence, also known as "R2D2"
ECM Electronic Counter Measures
NIXIE Towed Noisemaker Decoy streamed from the stern of the ship
RAM Rolling Airframe Missile, another anti air point defense system
RAST Helicopter winch based recovery system mounted on flight deck of smaller ships
SRBOC Super Rapid Blooming Onboard Chaff, a missile decoy system
TACAN Tactical Communications Antenna
SATCOM Satellite Communications Antenna
UNREP Underway Replenishment Gear and Hose
VLS Vertical Launch System for Missiles
VDS Variable Depth Sonar

Photo set specifications

All SeaPhoto sets are printed on quality, high gloss Kodak or Fuji Photo paper. All photos are Color, 4" X 6" (sometimes known as Jumbo) prints. The processing is done at a professional color lab. All photo sets are made to order, so please allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery. Because they are made to order, they cannot be returned. Rush orders are possible, but will add significantly to the cost - see the contact section on how to reach me quickly.

Please remember to choose carefully - The sets are made to order and are not returnable!


All 4 X 6" SeaPhoto prints are priced at .75 cents per picture, and are grouped in sets of between 1 and 37 photos. Most sets average around 18 to 24. I have calculated the price of each set to help with the ordering process.


Any photograph in the collection can be enlarged to 5 X 7 or 8 X 10/12. To order an enlargement:

If you have the photo set - Photocopy the picture (if there are similar views in the set, photocopy these as well to differentiate them, and send the copy with your order.

If you have a scanned preview set - Circle the photo you would like enlarged.

The Price for enlargements from Negatives is

5 X 7 $ 4.00

8 X 10/12 $ 6.00  

Because of the format of the 35mm film negative, the 8 X 12 format is the only that will allow all of the picture to be printed.  You can often trim these down to fit 8 X 10 frames, or just use an 8 X 12 frame.

Please choose carefully - not all pictures will become aesthetically pleasing enlargements.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Sets?

Because of the large number of photographs offered by SeaPhoto, and the fact that this is a one man operation, some method was needed to organize the pictures into manageable groups to reduce the time needed to process each order. I use a large commercial lab to keep my prices down while allowing reasonable turnaround time and high quality. Negatives are kept pre-packed in this lab's order envelopes, ready to be sent in on the receipt of an order. This also minimizes the handling of fragile negatives.

Why isn't every photo illustrated?

I have found that an illustration has to been at least the size of a postage stamp to be useful. If I illustrated every set, not only would the time it takes to complete the catalog go off the scale, but the size would grow to the point that only a few could afford the final publication - it would be hundreds of pages. For the web, it is a matter of the download speed, and the amount of web hosting space that I have to pay for. I realize that there are times when you would like a better preview of my photographs before ordering, so to accommodate that I have purchased a scanner and can electronically print the negative onto a piece of paper, or send by email to give you a low resolution idea of the set. See the section on Preview Service for more details

Preview Service

Need more information before you order? SeaPhoto now has the ability to scan the negatives of a photo set and convert them into a printed output on a laser printer or email. You will see all the views in a particular photo set as a low resolution scan printed as below. Each frame will be the size of a 35mm negative, and will give you an idea of what the set covers, but the scans will not replace, or even come close to replacing, an actual set.  To receive a scan, send $ 1 for each set you wish scanned, plus a large Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to our address. Scans can be emailed as well upon receipt of payment.  Please contact me before emailing payement for scans, to make sure I can do them promptly for you.

Boring Legal Stuff

The contents of this catalog, and all SeaPhotos are by SeaPhoto Maritime Photography and Kurt Greiner. Purchase of a SeaPhoto set entitles you to look at them, use them in your research, or even make colorful paper airplanes with them. You may not, however, duplicate the photographs in any way, mechanical or electronic. You may not, without my written permission, use them in any publication, including, but not limited to Internet Web Sites. If you would like to illustrate a book or magazine article using a SeaPhoto, please send a SASE for a fee schedule.

Prices may change without notice.

Since SeaPhoto began I have not had to raise my prices, but must reserve my right to do so. I will contact you and offer the opportunity to cancel the order if a price increase should occur.

Contacting SeaPhoto

By far, my favorite form of communication is email. I check this at least twice a day, even when I am on the road, so this is the fastest way to get a reply. You can write to me, but I would appreciate a SASE for the reply.

Email Address:

Web Site:

Postal Address

Internet Sales
PO Box 2804
Grass Valley, CA  95945-2804       USA

Return to the top of this document

06/17 Version 2.4