Saturday, May 17, 2014

Moving day

 This blog has now moved "in-house." We figured, why not put it on our own website? You can check out future posts at:

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Composition Tip: The horizon job

In sailboat racing, a horizon job is when you leave everybody in the dust. You're so far ahead, you're on a different leg of the course from everybody else. Or for distance races, you're over the horizon.

In sailboat racing photography, a horizon job is what you do to thousands of photos with your photo editing software after a day on the water. It's not nearly as glamorous; it's just plain tedious. But it's absolutely necessary, unless you get the horizons right when you take the shots, of course. After nine years on the job, we've gotten pretty good at keeping them straight, which helps to minimize the time we need to spend editing.

A surprisingly large portion of the general public does not notice when horizons are unnaturally crooked in sailing photos. I've seen large, expensively framed photos on display as decor at yacht clubs with crooked horizons, for instance. I've seen major boating brands' marketing departments publish photos with crooked horizons. And if you look at iStock and search "sailing," about one-third of the photos that come up on the first page have crooked horizons. Some people think its artsy. We don't agree.

But it's hard to take photos with straight horizons. You really have to think about it while you take the photo, as it's surprisingly easy to concentrate only on the boat and end up with a 45-degree horizon in the background. Like everything, it takes practice. And until you get better at it, you'll be spending hours on the computer doing the horizon job!

Here's the image above, the way it should be:

Much better!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Creating the Right Product - A Boat Photography Basic Composition Tip

Boat Photography Composition Tip - Be on a Collision Course! Well, just for a moment. Having the boat coming directly at you often provides the best photo. This is where On-Water Strategy meets Creating the Right Product. You can't have one without the other!

Composition is the foundation of photography; every photographer or photography enthusiast has studied and has a handful of rules to follow. But just knowing the rule of thirds isn't enough when it comes to boat photography composition.
This photo was taken on our first day of photography as Photo Boat, May 3rd, 2005, just off of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport, CT.

We were completely self-taught at that point, and it's pleasing to look back at this photo and see that it's well-composed.

The rule of thirds is well-followed (it is important of course), and the boat is heading straight towards the camera. While there are times that a side-on or stern shot is okay, most commonly we aim to take photos with boats coming straight at us. It provides an extra element of drama, even in lighter wind conditions, and like most composition principles, it just makes the photo feel right to the viewer. Getting this right, along with a number of other elements of course, can turn a snapshot into a professional photo.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


On the job off of Key West. Photo by Mike Noone.

It's time for a change of direction with this blog. Regatta reports are nice, but it's the photographer's perspective that's interesting. I've said it again and again in response to "ooh, what an exciting job" or "what a fun way to do what you love for work". My response is always "it certainly is interesting." It is. We have all sorts of variables to contend with: wind, lack of wind, too much wind, wind from the wrong direction, sun, too much sun, lack of sun, sun from the wrong direction, rain, current, tide, inexperienced race committee, boat maintenance, trailer maintenance, inexperienced sailors, uncooperative regatta organizers, hurricanes, tornados (no joke), etc.

I call them "variables," but they sound more like problems. The thing is- they're conditions we can't control. The more things you can't control in a business, the harder it is to make it succeed. But we've learned how to deal with them, to minimize the negative impact. As we celebrate our 10th year in business this year (in fact, next week marks the ninth anniversary of our first photos taken as PhotoBoat), perhaps it's a good time to take a look back at the lessons we've learned and the techniques we've refined over the years. And maybe it's time to share them.

These lessons and techniques fall into three categories for our ultra-niche business: being in the right place with gear properly protected (on-water strategy), taking and subsequently editing the photo (creating the right product), and figuring out how to make every opportunity you can to get that photo from hard drive to a customer's wall (facilitating sales). Of course, there are a lot more steps to get right in between, but when it comes to success in our business, these are the three we consider a matter of expertise over general photography knowledge.

We hope that mainstream photographers and sailors alike will enjoy it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013 Key West Race Week

Quantum Key West 2013: What a week!  Five days of good wind, sunshine and warm weather. Oh, and dolphins too, who also enjoyed scoping out this year's hot new class: the J70 fleet.  With 39 entries, many of them unwrapping their new boats just for this event, the class made a very impressive showing.  And the boat turned out to be just as strong.  We loved shooting them planing downwind almost as much as we would have loved being aboard these boats as they nimbly sped around the race course.  See our photos here.

In addition to the J70s, the Melges 24s and Melges 32s had strong fleets, as did the TP52s, Farr 40s, and Swan 42s.  Even IRC 1, with just two entries, was a pleasure to watch as Bella Mente and Shockwave battled out a very close regatta.  See the results here.

This past week marked our seventh year in a row at Key West Race Week.  And just like in years past, as the regatta comes to a close, it's time to sign up again for next year. Coming off of five days of good racing, sunshine, turquoise waters, and bike riding around Key West, how could we not?  See you in 2014, Key West.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The latest from the writer-photographer team

What a great gig this was this summer...spending 24 hours with a bunch of boat owners, talking with them about how much they love being on the water, and what boating means to their family.  Oh, and there was no shortage of Lobster.  Check out our article Lobster Tales in the current issue of Sea Ray Living.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shooting the classics

Capturing classics sailing dead downwind can be underwhelming.
Capturing them an hour later was the right call.
Just like any company, we like to have repeat business.  But in many cases, it can be difficult to sell the same product to the same person more than once.  When it gets to be the third year in a row that we photograph a certain regatta, in the same place, with the same boats, we can't take sales for granted.  That's when our creativity and experience really help.  And another asset we do have to help mix things up, which can ironically at other times be the biggest thorn in our heels, is the weather.  This year at the IHYC Classic Yacht Regatta, we started the day with a frustrating scenario.  It was an extremely photogenic day - North winds, 15-20, clear skies and puffy white clouds.  Throw a polarizing filter on, and we photographers are on cloud 9, right? Shoot a few dozen beautiful classic boats coming out of Captain's Harbor and we're in business, right?  Not this time--it just wasn't working for us. The classics were heading dead downwind to get out of the harbor, and they couldn't have looked worse for such beautiful yachts. Most could not fill their jibs, or were having problems with other sails that I admittedly don't know the names of.  They just didn't have their groove on yet.  Because things can change quickly on the water, it takes a lot of patience and self-discipline to decide to wait and photograph them an hour later and about 10 miles away.  And it's risky: the wind could die, or the clouds could fill in, ruining the drama or the light. But experience told us that waiting would be the right move--to catch them heading upwind on the Long Island side of the Sound.  And it was worth the wait.  So this year, with better breeze, a different background, and beautiful blue skies, we were able to create a completely new, unique set of photos of the same boats in the same regatta.  See the photos here - they're worth a look!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Words by Daniela, Photos by Allen

This spread ran in last month's issue of Sailing World. The Contenders are a great bunch, so researching, writing, and photographing for the piece was a real pleasure!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Power and Motoryacht Cover Shoot

We don't always get around to posting samples of our published work, but hey, a little self-promotion is important.  So here's one we did recently.

We were hired for a cover shoot for Power and Motoryacht Magazine last month, right here on Long Island Sound.  Barely more than 12 hours after we had hauled out in Newport following our marathon 6-hour, 40-mile round-trip session shooting the Bermuda Race Start, we found ourselves launching at a different boat ramp, in a different state, onto a different body of water, with coffee and freshly cleared media cards in hand.  This is normal in June and July, when we pack a disproportionate percentage of our work, and income for the year, into two intense months. But at least this was at home, so we didn't find ourselves having to remember where we were when we woke up!

A high pressure system with blue skies and puffy clouds could wake us from any amount of exhaustion, so we were enthused and ready to go as we met the 72' Princess off of Greens Ledge Light.  We worked with the art director to capture a family lifestyle shot for the cover, had some fun shooting the kids jumping in the water, and then chased the 72-footer across Long Island Sound to get this slow-shutter-speed shot.  It was exactly what Allen was going for, and it turned out really well in the article-opening spread. Pick up a copy of the magazine - this scan doesn't do it justice!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pixels of Pixels

I'm not sure where the name Pixel came from for this modern double- or triple- handed intermediate junior boat that has become popular on Long Island Sound.  Presumably designer Bruce Kirby gave the boat its name.  But it is a word we photographers use a lot these days, so during the Pequot Pixel Invitational this week, there a few corny jokes spoken aboard our Photo boat that referred to a high resolution fleet.

The kids had two days of great sailing off of Southport. I remember sailing in this event as a Blue Jay sailor out of Pequot circa 1992, and it's great to see such a strong program continuing a great tradition.  The boat has been upgraded, and today's sailors are proud to make the Clean Regatta environment pledge.  Other than that, not a lot has changed!  See the photos here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

See Ya...2012 Bermuda Race

One of the crew aboard Rambler waves as if he knows they're on they way to breaking a record.  Photo by Allen Clark.

There was no waiting out doldrums in this year's Newport to Bermuda race.  Right from the start, it was a high intensity trip.  Rambler blew away the previous 635-mile course record by nine hours!  You couldn't ask for better conditions for the start of the race from a spectator's or photographer's perspective!  We got some great shots.  Check out the 2012 Newport to Bermuda photo highlights.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 Soundsurfer Waterman's Challenge

Our tagline is "on-the-water action photography," and though we primarily photograph sailboats, we're glad we left some room in there for other craft.  We photograph powerboats, kayaks, and SUPs, among other things.  And this past weekend, we had a great time shooting a local--yet nationally recognized--SUP race.  100 paddlers raced in and around the Saugatuck River and Westport-Southport coastline as part of the 2012 Soundsurfer Waterman's Challenge, hosted by Downunder Surf Shop.  What a great bunch!  And they were raising money for charitable causes, too.  Check out for more info.  See the photo highlights here!

2012 NYYC Annual Regatta

When the weather's right, NYYC Annual Regatta's Around the Island Race might just be my favorite event to photograph of all time.  Which helps, since with Friday's perfect conditions, we spent four hours photographing the 100 boats circumnavigating Conanicut Island without even affording the spare time to take a drink of water.  The race is so great because of the intermixing of modern and classic yachts, the dozens of interesting backgrounds for photos, and the fact that all the crews are just having a good time.  Perfect weather helps with that as well.  Check out the photo highlights here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tornado at a Regatta Party

Southern Bay Race Week's day one regatta party had been subject to bad thunderstorms all night.  After two or three times setting up and packing up again due to too much rain splashing under our tent and putting our computers at risk, team PhotoBoat finally "gave up" and began packing up our photo viewer terminals into our waterproof dock box.  We were glad we did.  As we packed away the last computer and locked the box, the band stopped playing suddenly and announced a tornado warning.  Before we had time to check radar, we were all being herded into the yacht club by the staff.  Resist as some of us did in the typical sailor mindset, thinking we could make our own decision with a quick check of our smartphones, security wouldn't have it.  Within seconds, all 200 or so people were inside the club and huddled in the hallway and stairwell.

The nature of properly bracing for a tornado means you never get to see it.  So no, we didn't get any storm chaser photos.  But we knew exactly when it arrived; the power went out, we heard a high pitched wind, and there was a sharp pressure change in the building.  I felt it in my ears.  A few seconds later, it was clear that the tornado was gone as quickly as it had come.  In that short time, it ripped away the regatta tent and several other tents belonging to us and other vendors like CRSA.  It threw Optis, 420s, and Lasers around like frisbees, landing them in odd places and positions.  It tore down trees and power lines. It ripped part of the roof off of the club and broke the large bay windows in the club's dining room.  It toppled boats in the drysail area and broke the masts of several boats in the basin. Bare poles, snapped.  And it broke windows in about 3/4 of the cars in the parking lot.   

Everybody suffered some damage, and some people had to spend the night at the club.  But it's amazing that nobody got hurt.  We have the Hampton Yacht Club staff to thank for that.  And after the storm, the scene was very civilized and comfortable considering what we had all just been through.  If I ever have to go through a tornado or similar disaster again, I can only hope to be in the company of a bunch of sailors.  And early the next morning, thanks largely to the two teams from the Naval Academy who organized a very effective debris pickup, cleanup was so fast, snapping photos for insurance purposes had to be done quickly.  By the time we left the club at 9 AM, all of the branches and other pieces of debris were in a large pile.  The navy kids were on to, and almost finished with, sweeping up glass now.

The regatta was abandoned due to the extensive damage and downed trees in the streets, so we headed home to CT to start taking care of repairs on our truck and replacing equipment.  But our boat survived unscathed, and we enjoyed an unexpected opportunity to photograph the Cedar Point One Design regatta in some pretty, and far-from-threatening, conditions on Sunday.  It's good to be home.  See Friday's Southern Bay Race Week photos here and Sunday's CPYC One Design photos here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

APS Catalog 2012

It's that time of year; the much anticipated APS Catalog has hit the mailboxes of racing sailors across the US. We were happy to help decorate their catalog with our sailing images again this year.  This is the general catalog cover, but APS also personalizes the catalogs for each of the One Design classes that they serve with a custom cover photo.  So we're always locating our favorite shots of Thistles, Flying Scots, Melges 24s, Snipes, J22s, and more!

The APS Catalog is now available online as well, at this link:  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gone Fishing

How cool is this guy?  We watched him sail a few miles to this spot, trolling the whole time, then drop an anchor, deploy a diver down flag, and disappear under water at the base of the Sunshine Skyway bridge on Tampa Bay.  I wonder what he was diving for...

Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Contender Worlds

43 boats from around the world came to St. Pete Beach, Florida to race in the 2012 Contender World Championship regatta.  The SPYC crew put together a great event, both on and off the water, as the singlehanders sailed on beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters, and enjoyed the onshore amenities at their event headquarters at the Tradewinds Resort.

With the lead changing several times throughout the four days of racing, and several different competitors taking at least one bullet, competition was tight, but Italian Antonio Lambertini finished on top.  Check out this video summary of the event, including when they threw Lambertini in the pool at the end!

See the 2012 Contender Worlds photos here and results here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Charleston Race Week 2012

Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week delivered another great weekend of racing and fun this year.  The event, which has quickly become the largest keelboat regatta in the United States, hosted more than 250 boats on 6 race courses this year!  New this year was a cruising class with a daily pursuit race, and there were some great photo finishes.

The one design classes enjoyed three days of tight racing in Charleston Harbor, and the offshore circles saw all sorts of conditions, including an unusual combination of big swells and very light wind as a front approached. 

Participants enjoyed a rare chance to view the America's Cup as well, as it was brought in on Saturday under tight security for a presentation about the event.

With such a great organizer, top sponsors, and a perfect venue, Charleston Race Week will continue to thrive.

See the 2012 Charleston Race Week results here and the photos here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Suncoast Race Week

Between the Suncoast Race Week fleet, the Festival of Speed cigarette boats, a few tankers, and dozens of fishermen and other recreational boaters, the space under the center three spans of the Sunshine Skyway bridge was like a revolving door this weekend. J/105 Orangutan, pictured here, was unfazed by the challenge of tacking through the narrow span with a tanker approaching during Friday's long upwind slog from Davis Island Yacht Club to Bradenton Yacht Club. The group enjoyed an easier day on Saturday. Good breeze and a nice spinnaker run brought them quickly to their second destination: St. Pete Yacht Club. On Sunday, race committee sent them around the buoys in Tampa Bay.

See the Suncoast Race Week photos here and the results here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thistle Midwinters East

We had a great time (and perfect weather) photographing Thistle Midwinters East here in St. Pete earlier this month. Here are some excerpts from my WaterViews post about the event, and the fleet.

The Thistle fleet is very competitive yet extremely family-centric. Not just parent and child, we’re talking entire extended families. Last week a competitor explained to me proudly that he’s on his second Thistle. He had sold his first boat to his brother-in-law. Oh, and he had bought that boat from his father. That’s how it goes.

The Thistle fleet is also incredibly dedicated to the Thistle “brand.” On the last day of Midwinters East, somebody from the class (@Thistlesailing) tweeted “Someone got a Thistle tattoo last night”. I figured some of the competitors had hit the St. Petersburg bars too hard the night before, and somebody had gotten carried away and gotten a Thistle tattoo. As if they were the first, or the only. But at the awards ceremony, one of the class officers called out: “Stand up if you got a Thistle tattoo last night.” Two people stood up and were applauded by their peers. I wanted to ask: “How many of you have Thistle tattoos?” Now I was starting to think it could be the majority. By comparison, I doubt there’s a single sailor out there with a Melges tattoo. The Thistle sailors have a lot of spirit.

See the 2012 Thistle Midwinters East photos here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 St. Pete NOOD

The San Juan 21s were pushed to their limit on Sunday on Tampa Bay, as the 2012 Sailing World St. Petersburg NOOD regatta went out with a bang. After what seemed like the slowest arrival of a cold front in history across Friday and Saturday, Sunday's weather dragged it out even further, including ominous clouds and several rain squalls followed by sunny skies, and then more rain. But there was no shortage of wind throughout! The 114 boats in 12 classes in the regatta had struggled through hours of postponement across the first two days of the regatta, so everybody was ready for action on Sunday. Race Committee ran 4 races for all of the fleets that could last that long. Sailing World put on a great event on shore and on the water. See more photos here and the results here. Congrats to overall winner Travis Odenbach on J/24 Honey Badger. Travis will join the overall winners from the other 2012 NOOD regattas around the country in the NOOD championship regatta in the BVI!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Key West 2012 Wrap Up

Key West Race Week finished strong this year, with one more sunny and windy sailing day on Friday. So that makes four terrific race days, one perfectly placed mid-week lay day, and 6 evenings of fun at Kelly's Caribbean. It doesn't get much better than that. Pictured here: the Teamwork crew looking good on Friday before racing to seal their first place position in PHRF 1. Other division winners included Ran (Mini Maxi), Quantum Racing (52 Class), Antilope (IRC 3), Barking Mad (Farr 40), Red (Farr 400), Carbonado (High Performance), Samba Pa Ti (Melges 32), New England Ropes (Melges 24), Groovederci (Farr 30), Le Tigre (J/80), and L'Outrage (PHRF 2). See the full results here and the photos here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great Start to 2012 Key West Race Week

We are not even half-way through 2012's Key West Race Week, but we have been served two days of incredible photography opportunities. Day 1 was a day for adrenaline junkies, with lumpy seas and 20 knots of breeze. In spite of diminishing breeze on Tuesday, all three circles were able to sail three races, and Key West translucent waters were at their best. With a good fleet of TP52s, new Farr 400s, the always competitive (and photogenic) Melges 24 and 32 fleets, we've been busy. And Circle 3 is full of competitive J80 and Farr 30 one design teams, plus high-performance PHRF entries like J111s and 1D35s. We look forward to the rest of the week! See the standings here, and our photo highlights here.

Islamorada: Tradewinds Catamaran Regatta

The Tradewinds Regatta is what sailing is all about- a bunch of beach cats launching from a palm-tree filled public park in the Florida Keys, and racing in a protected sound right off the beach. Even better, when we showed up on Saturday to shoot the 70-boat fleet before making our way down to Key West Race Week, the palm trees were shaking violently, reflecting the arrival of a cold front and it's accompanying 20 knot Northeast breeze. Another cool thing about this regatta: high-performance F16s and F18s were racing on one course, the juniors competing in F16s for the US Sailing Youth Multihull Championship; next door, Hobie Waves and Hobie 16s had close competition of their own, with many father-son teams and local sailors enjoying the waters. See our photos here, and the regatta report and results at

Monday, January 16, 2012

IFDS Worlds 2012

42 teams of disabled sailors from around the world competed for their world championship this past weekend on Charlotte Harbor in Southwest Florida. Many of these teams will go on to represent their respective countries in the paralympic games this summer in London.

Frenchman Damien Seguin won the singlehanded 2.4meter class without question. In the SKUD 18 class, Britain's Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell won by two points over the second-place finishers Americans Jennifer French and Jean-Paul Creignou. The Norwegian team won the 12-boat Sonar fleet.

See our photos here. For more results and reports, visit the event website:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

St. Pete Boat Parade

This is one of those shots that would be tough to take from a boat; we captured the action at the St. Petersburg holiday boat parade this weekend with a tripod and a long exposure to get this cool motion effect. And don't be thrown by the non-PhotoBoat watermark; when we're shooting on shore, it's same photographer, different website. Aka

Thursday, December 8, 2011

PhotoBoat South

We had a great time photographing on Tampa Bay this past weekend. It was the first of what will be many Bay outings for us, as we've just moved into our winter headquarters in St. Petersburg. During our Florida stay, we'll be covering a number of events here on the west coast, but will also be photographing in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and the Keys. Look for us on the water, or get in touch soon to have us put your regatta on our calendar. It's filling up fast!

Friday, October 7, 2011

F18 North Americans

This photo says it all- we had a great time shooting the very photogenic Formula18 cats for a week in Nantucket Sound. We had sun, rain, fog, and all ranges of wind and sea conditions for this super technical, high speed fleet of boats to deal with. All competitors are enjoying our photos courtesy of title sponsor Siemasko + Verbridge. See the results here and the photos here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IHYC Classic and IRC LIS Champs

The weekend of Sept 17th and 18th, Greenwich Harbor was hopping. Indian Harbor held their 2nd annual Classic Yacht Regatta, while Riverside in cooperation with Storm Trysail Club hosted the 2nd annual IRC LIS Champs and PHRF Fall Classic just outside the harbor.

The Classic Yacht Regatta, organized by Ted and Shelia Graves, owners of the gorgeous 1926 Q-Class yacht Nor’easter, debuted in 2010 to provide local classic yacht owners with a chance to race their boats on their home waters. Many of these boat owners normally race in Newport. But with the 31-boats fleet looking grand on Saturday, the group proved that Long Island Sound is home to a great group of classic yachts. See more photos here.

IRC LIS Champs and the PHRF Fall Classic reaped the benefits of being a two-day regatta on Sunday. A lumpy Easterly, bright sunshine, puffy clouds, and 15-20 knots of breeze provided some great conditions for sailing, and photography. It was one of those days when we hear screams of "who-hoo" as boats plane downwind past us, and we become more jealous than usual that we're not sailing instead of photographing. But we had a good day out there as well, especially loving the way our new VSR handled the conditions. See the photos here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York Architects' Regatta Challenge

The New York Architects' Regatta is a terrific charity event that provides New York City architecture firms with a chance to battle it out with each other on the race course, right on the Hudson off of lower Manhattan. Having the New York cityscape in the background is particularly fitting for this group of professionals that help to shape the look of the Big Apple.

This year, it was not a night for a sunset and cocktails on the water, like many of the spectators on Manhattan Sailing School's unique floating clubhouse would have likely expected to experience. Instead, it was blowing over 20 as a cold front slowly settled in with record low tempuratures for mid-September. Not to mention periodic rain showers. Not everybody had the kind of top quality foul weather gear we are used to seeing (and we were wearing ourselves), but that didn't hold anybody back. They sailed hard and had a good time! See more photos here.

Stamford Denmark Race

Stamford Yacht Club's Denmark Race is always one of our favorite events to photograph. This year, we had great coniditions for photos, and also had some interesting moments to capture- like a couple of close encounters with a couple of tug-and-barges that went through the course. Everybody was operating safely and responsibly, though! For more about the story behind the Denmark race, check out the boating lifestyle blog that Daniela co-writes for Westport News. See all of the Denmark Race photos here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 77th Vineyard Race

Last year's Vineyard Race was a sprint, which made it easy to forget what a Marathon the race usually is. This year's race took between just about 1 full day (Gadzooks, 1 day, 6 min - Cornfield Point Course) and nearly 2 full days (Letting Go, 1 day, 22 hours, 17 min - Vineyard Course). We had to be patient just like everybody else as we sat off of Norwalk for 8 hours yesterday, only seeing a boat every half an hour or so. But thank goodness for Kattack and an iPad, and the fact that our VSR has seats. The wind at the start was a bit light, but we enjoyed photographing a bunch of boats as they sailed toward the finish with a little bit more breeze. We'll be at the party displaying photos on our terminals and providing awards prints. But in the meantime, see the photos here. We got photos of 90% of the boats. Thanks to Rick Bannerot for helping with awards prints for the two boats we missed.

J105 North Americans

Because our business is weather-dependent, we have to admit we spend a lot of time
frustrated by the weather. However, for all of those days when there's not enough wind or not much light, days like the first day of J105 North Americans make up for it. It wasn't even that windy, but 10-15 knots of breeze and an incredibly high pressure day made for some terrific photography conditions off of Marblehead. And to top it off, the fleet raced a very long triangle course for the second race of the day. This course didn't turn out to be very popular with competitors (too long, difficult to find the marks, too much of a navigator race), but it was popular with photographers! We had 40 J105s sailing directly at us under spinnaker- on both downwind legs! See the photos here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 Governor's Cup

"Whenever I print a Gov Cup order, I get a warm fuzzy feeling," Allen joked recently. It's true- Gov Cup is such a great event, with such enthusiastic participants, that we always love covering the race. This year's weather helped us create some especially good photos, as the wind picked up and the seas became lumpy as nearly 150 boats tacked their way down the Chesapeake. Add sunset lighting to the mix, and we're a couple of happy photographers.

Gov Cup was also special for PhotoBoat this year as it was our first event with our new VSR. We went through the entire 10-hour break-in period for our brand new Honda 60 during the race. We had no problem varying the throttle during the break-in period as we chased down more than 100 boats at full speed, then slowed down to photograph them! The VSR handled extremely well, as we knew it would, and moving forward we're extremely excited to use the boat in combination with our dinghies.

See the Gov Cup photos here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2011 Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge

Screwpile is one of our favorite events to shoot. Solomons, MD is a beautiful area, the regatta is very well run both on shore and on the race course(s), and the participants are there to have a good time- and it shows.

Better yet, we had some good wind this year. Nothing crazy, but just a good steady 12 knots can make all the difference. See the photos here!

2011 Flying Scot North Americans

More than 70 boats competed in the Flying Scot North American Championship in Westport, CT this year. What a week! The wind was decidedly well above average for Long Island Sound in July. Thursday's Northwesterly created some memorable moments for participants with some pretty intense gusts.

The Flying Scots are a great bunch of sailors, especially with a lot of parent-child and husband-wife (or wife-husband, as they call it) teams in the mix. We happened to take a lot of photos at the finish line at this regatta, and we caught a shot of a celebratory kiss from a wife-husband team that just had a good race. Awww.

The Law Trophy

This was our 5th time shooting the Law Trophy; this year, we mixed it up a bit by shooting both photos and video. We were pleasantly surprised by a high pressure system and the accompanying gusty Northwesterly breeze...what a great way for JSA to start off the season. Click here to see the photos.

Click here to see the video.

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 Block Island Race Week

Block Island Race Week is one of the best regattas we cover. One of the primary reasons is the first two words: Block Island. It's like going to summer camp, all the way down to riding bikes for transportation. The island is large enough to host everybody, but small enough to keep everything, and everybody, close by. It's easy enough to get to the island via ferry, but hard enough to leave to get to work or family commitments during the week. So without any distractions from the real world, everybody is free to have a good time.

The wind this year was a little light on average, but we still had a great experience. The highlight, as always, is the Around the Island Race. It's our favorite race to photograph because of the natural beauty of Block Island's lighthouses and cliffs. They create a terrific backdrop for photos. This year, the wind picked up to create some nice dramatic conditions on the east side of the island, and it made all the difference for us. See the photos here.

Marion to Bermuda Race Start

The Marion to Bermuda Race is run every two years opposite the Newport to Bermuda Race. In both '08 and '10, the Newport to Bermuda sailors (and photographers) lucked out at the start with beautiful, sunny weather and moderate but steady breeze. The Marion to Bermuda Race start in recent years is another story; in both '09 and '11, the conditions were just about exactly the same: nasty. This year a squall came through just after the start. We were taking photos in more than 30 knots...and rain. We got soaked, but were able to go to shore afterwards and dry out before heading to Block Island the next day. The race participants had to get their foul weather gear wet right from the start! Hope they had a second set. See the photos here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Outside of the Box

When we’re hard at work doing our event photography, we take a lot of shots each day; while photographing a regatta like Charleston or Key West Race Week (200 boats or more), or even a smaller local regatta (75 boats), we click the shutter over a thousand of times each day. We strive to get a sizable and diverse collection of photos of each boat each day: upwind, downwind, crew close-ups, etc. 200 boats x 20 photos…you can do the math and understand how it gives our trigger finger a workout. Over the years we’ve heard comments like “I bet you go out and take thousands of photos to get one good one.” However, that’s not the case at all; we have developed a consistency that not only gives us a great yield of good photos, but allows us to display our photos on site immediately after the day’s racing.

But sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and we just can’t keep pressing the trigger. During a postponement due to lack of wind during Key West Race Week, I was frustrated that there was nothing to shoot. I knew that our normal customers would not enjoy buying photos when sailing in less than 10kts of breeze. So I changed my attitude and got an idea. Once the wind picked up to 6kts, I figured the race committee would try to start a race. I called Daniela who was on shore, and asked her to deliver (by bicycle) my 10.5mm fisheye lens and an old camera body to the end of a pier on the southern shore of Key West. I picked it up and raced back to the course where the IRC 1 boats were half way up the windward leg. I navigated my dinghy to about 3ft leeward of this boat’s starboard gunwale, put the camera over the side of my boat less than a foot off the surface of the water, and clicked off a shot. It has become one of my favorite shots and made this cover. While very light wind can put a damper on sales for photos of every boat, thinking outside of the box here helped me create a profitable day.