How to get great picture of your boat while sailing!

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Jackdaw, Mar 7, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,072 posts, 3,079 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    In the 'Show us your boat name' thread, I was struck by how few of the pictures where of the boats sailing, and how many were taken of the boat in the slip or on a trailer. I get it, it can be hard to get great water-based sailing pictures.
    At WYC we're lucky that we have 2 fleet photographers who go for many of the races and take pictures. We also have several professional nautical photographers on the lake that share. But if you don't have that, you have to take matter into your own hands. Some tips and thoughts.

    1) Organize with other members at your marina, club, group, etc and make a pact to take pictures of other boats sailing if possible. Once someone starts, its contagious!

    2) While phone cameras are OK, best if you have a small waterproof camera, ideally 16Mpix with a 5x optical zoom lens. Often what seems close to the eye will be a dot on a photo. I'm a fan of the Nikon Coolpix AW130, its always on the boat. I'm pretty sure I took the picture of @cb32863 !

    3) Set up a way to share. A Facebook group is a great way, there are others as well.

    4) Use Social Media and/or low-tech posters and flyers to share #3

    5) Use wide-angle action cams to capture on-boat action.

    What else am I missing? I'm sure @Bill19233 or @TomY have ideas; anyone else?
     


  2. cb32863

    cb32863

    Joined Jun 29, 2010
    954 posts, 183 likes
    Beneteau First 235
    US Lake Minnetonka, MN
    Yes, yes you did. You have gotten a few really good pics of Seeker over the last few years when we have been out!
     


  3. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,413 posts, 1,037 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    @cb32863, that would be after you flew past @Jackdaw and left him in your wake, right? LOL
     


    Alansails likes this.
  4. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    339 posts, 282 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    Great Idea Jackdaw, that's where my cover photo came from. A fellow racer had his camera on board and took lots of shots of the C&C27 fleet. We have a C&C27 email list so it was easy for him to send them out. This works very well for racers since there is a large concentration of boats for easy photography and often there are owners list for the boats but probably not so easy for casual cruisers unless you have meet ups. We have a local Facebook sailing group that could work for this idea as well.
    [​IMG]
     


  5. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,244 posts, 1,097 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    We're big fans of video, but that requires a higher level f gear. If you're posting that kind of stuff, keep it to the point. There's nothing worse than 3-10 minutes of water and 11 seconds of boats going by.
     


  6. Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Joined Mar 1, 2012
    1,734 posts, 680 likes
    1961 Rhodes Meridian 25
    us Texas coast
    LOL- ok here's pics of my two sailing. Dinghy is the same :)

    Necessity.large.jpg

    tehani.cropped.jpg
     


  7. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,705 posts, 1,632 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    A lot of great ideas, this could be a long thread!

    The first idea that comes into my head is that you have one of the best photos of your boat sailing, right from the helm.

    First, take it from the leeward side: There is little interest for a lens on the windward side. All the action is off the leeward deck.

    Include your boat and water. The boat is part of the action - the water is part of the action; you decide how to break those two up.

    What you may lack as a photographer you make up as a sailor. Only specialized marine photographers know as much about the timing of a boat through wind and wave to pick a good shot.

    Avoid zooming. Wide angles have great potential when you're shooting from on a boat.

    Take it from Onne Van der wal. One of his latest books has this fantastic image on the cover. It's selling the book I bet.

    Look at it! This is small compressed image and it's still great.

    First, level horizon (goes without saying-do it as you compose or do it post process).

    Leeward side. Not a super wide lens.

    On the water part: Great light, striking background. Beautiful water is the main focus.

    On the boat: Rail, lifelines, deck seams lead your eye forward to sails. He made sure the lens saw through the ports to the wonderful low light beyond.

    Sure, this yacht is a beauty but this shot would be terrific, duplicated from any boat.

    The tricky part - but you can do it with most point and shoot cameras:

    He's braced the camera (or has it fixed tripod) so that he could slow the shutter speed a bit to blur the water. He's a master of stuff like this and probably worked long on this shot(lots of files).

    But mostly he has an experienced eye, and he is a sailor.



    [​IMG]
     


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  8. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,568 posts, 1,171 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    You could combine this with a MOB drill. Toss or volunteer someone overboard with a waterproof camera! :biggrin:
     


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  9. cb32863

    cb32863

    Joined Jun 29, 2010
    954 posts, 183 likes
    Beneteau First 235
    US Lake Minnetonka, MN
    LOL Riiiiiiiiiight.....
     


  10. Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Joined Mar 1, 2012
    1,734 posts, 680 likes
    1961 Rhodes Meridian 25
    us Texas coast
    sorta like this Tom?

    rail-down-small.jpg
     


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  11. Roland5048

    Roland5048

    Joined May 12, 2004
    1,184 posts, 381 likes
    Hunter Cherubini 30
    US New Port Richey
    Sail 1.jpg
    Racing last year. Was second across the finish line in a fleet of 18 boats but ended up third in corrected time to a C30 by 34 seconds.:cuss:
    Pic taken by the crew of that C30 during the last leg.
     


  12. SailormanDan

    SailormanDan

    Joined Jan 24, 2009
    418 posts, 86 likes
    1981 Cherubini Hunter 27
    US Belle Haven Marina, VA
    Yes, the leeward side, but also at the bow looking aft:
    Krevette (3).JPG

    It also helps to be in exotic locations, such as St. Vincent Island in the Carribean (I know, technically he's not sailing):
    IMG_3521.JPG

    Having good wind helps also:
    upload_2019-3-7_16-22-35.jpeg
     


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  13. SailormanDan

    SailormanDan

    Joined Jan 24, 2009
    418 posts, 86 likes
    1981 Cherubini Hunter 27
    US Belle Haven Marina, VA
    What I never got around to organizing at the old marina since there wasn't much community, was to borrow a dinghy and sit in that and take photos from it as people sat at their helms on the leeward side and sail their boats sail past me while I was lower in water in the dinghy. That seemed like it would make for a good angle and an interesting shot.
     


    TomY likes this.
  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,072 posts, 3,079 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Responding to Tom re leeward and the point about video, its key to remember that your videocam is also really taking med-rez shots at 30 frames per second. You can scrub through it to find good shots. Here is a picture that did not exist 5 minutes ago, nice wave action at the bow on this heavy air day.

    upwind big.jpg
     


  15. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,705 posts, 1,632 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    That is a great idea! I might take it. :) Just that small change in height makes a difference. This shot is from the dinghy (obviously).
    Light air sailing.jpg
     


  16. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,072 posts, 3,079 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    How very true. I totally accept I simply point a camera at things and press the shutter. True photographers are artists. JH Peterson lives in Wayzata, and is a good friend of mine. Every picture you have ever seen of an Americas Cup 12M yacht was taken by either him or Billy Black. Every now and then he points a lens at us, with this kind of result. Composition, DoF, lighting, all magic.

    BlueJ.jpg
     


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  17. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,244 posts, 1,097 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Unless you're shooting in 4k at 29p, around 100fps which burns up memory cards and batteries pretty fast. I am certainly looking forward to getting the WeeBill out on the boat. Having a rock solid horizon without corrective input removes one of the biggest detractors from extreme rez video.
     


  18. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    1,932 posts, 1,600 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    image.jpg

    September afternoon
     


  19. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,705 posts, 1,632 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    Nice shot for all the reasons you mention.

    I especially like that he waited until the red spinnaker boat was in his lens and well define in the background. Color, red especially, makes that shot.
     


    Jackdaw likes this.
  20. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,705 posts, 1,632 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    This is a beautiful shot I took off FB. I love the long lens focal(zoom) that brings the brings the Med. village close in the depth of field.

    The water action on the bow is interesting. But the sailor in me thinks the shot was taken as the boat was overpowered. Too often, overpowered is the glory shot of a sailboat.

    Maybe I'm dreaming but I think this boat was soon put back on her feet and started to accelerate(as we know they will). At that point you may have had a shot of the bow cleaving the waves with power. The better shot may have happened after?

    [​IMG]
     




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