Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wood Speedboats Running Together

These two antique, wood speedboats were recently photographed running together on Lake St. Clair.  This photo shoot was planned for the early morning both for the low sun angle and for the lack of other boat traffic.  The low sun shows helps show the rich, mahogany wood of these old boats.

The drivers crossed in front of the camera while turning slightly.  This allowed part of the decks to be visible.  The camera lens was just a few inches above the water so it would have been difficult to see the decks if the boats were running perfectly level.  The location was chosen both for the uncluttered background and for the relatively shallow water.  100-400 lens at 100mm, f5.6 at 1/1250 second, ISO 400.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wood Boat and Sunrise

We woke early in the morning to photograph an antique, wooden speedboat at sunrise.  The boat is a 28 foot, Gar Wood triple-cockpit runabout.  The long deck, the spray and the wake help lead the eye to the distant horizon and the rising sun.  Its difficult to decide on the best exposure for a photograph like this.  Getting detail in the boat means the sun and sky will be overexposed.  We decided to underexpose slightly and make some adjustments later when processing the raw image:  The sky was darkened slightly and the boat and spray were lightened.  The original exposure was 1/100 second at f10.0, ISO 100.  24-70 lens at 24mm.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


This is a cool photo of a man wakesurfing on a large boat wake.  We timed the photo to capture the tow rope in the air as the surfer tosses it back to the boat.  He no longer needs to hold the rope as the wake allows him to surf on his own.  Several other attempts to capture the rope in the air were not as successful because the handle either partially obscured the surfer or was only partially in the frame.  This one worked well.
24-70mm lens at 24mm, 1/1000 second at f 5.0, ISO 100.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wood Boats and Drone

Two antique, wood speedboats running side by side on Lake St. Clair and followed by a quadcopter drone.  We recently directed a photo shoot that included still photographs along with video footage taken by the camera on the drone.  In this photograph the quadcopter is visible above the boat on the right side.  The drone pilot got some exciting video by flying in front of the moving boats as well as the overhead and following views.  The wooden runabouts are a HackerCraft on the left and a Gar Wood on the right.  A chase boat was used as a platform for both the still photos and the quadcopter pilot.
Here is a short movie trailer that features a small amount of this video footage.  We'll be producing a longer film later this year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Black & White Photo of a Flight Duck

This is a black and white picture of a flying drake mallard duck that was originally photographed in color.  The original was a very nice image with the background being a clear, blue sky.  The conversion to black and white seemed to increase the contrast somewhat and make the duck stand out even more.  Also, I like how the wings of the duck are outstretched and because he is in a banking turn this makes for a nice diagonal line.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Black and White Photo of Wood Boat

This black and white picture of an antique, wood speedboat was originally taken in color.  The boat is a triple cockpit Hackercraft runabout and was photographed as it was driving directly away from the camera.
The photograph lends itself to the monochrome conversion because of the dramatic contrast between the dark water and the bright spray.  The sky, too, is relatively dark while the boat consists of the middle tones.  We used the channel mixer to make the adjustments with some additional subtle dodging of the spray and the roostertail to make them a little brighter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Video-Two Wooden Speedboats

We recently produced this short video featuring two antique, wooden speedboats.  It's Volume II, following a similar one we produced last year with the same boats.  The photos and video footage were taken in July and August of this year.

The still photos were taken by me.  The video footage was taken by dedicated staff and includes GoPro camera work, both mounted and handheld.  A second handheld video camera was also used.  Our apologies for the handheld parts that appear shaky.  We rarely had calm water and the chase boat was bouncing.  Also, due to being understaffed on some days, I was sometimes driving the chase boat myself, not taking photographs but allowing staff to use the video cameras.