Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kiteboarder flipping in mid-air.

We happened upon a couple of kiteboarders enjoying a windy afternoon on Lake St. Clair. The wind was too strong for good waterskiing so we motored in the direction of the kites to watch this sport instead. The kiteboarders were tacking back and forth in a predictable manner so we were able to keep the boat near enough to get some photographs. One of the boarders obliged us by doing some of his best stunts, as shown here, while very close to the boat.
This image was shot with the lens set at 80mm, although it has been slightly cropped at the top. I was trying to shoot fairly wide so as to include some of the lake and shore for perspective but I only got the tops of the trees on the shoreline. I also took some shots that were framed much tighter but most of the time we were facing the mid-afternoon sun. This sport would be fun to photograph again when the light isn't so harsh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wooden Boat at High Speed

This is from a recent shoot of an antique, wooden Gar Wood boat. The boat is a nicely restored 1936 28' triple-cockpit runabout and we were photographing it shortly after sunrise on Lake St. Clair. The intent was to photograph some high speed turns and the driver was following a course that would bring the boat away from the shoreline before turning sharply toward me. The plan worked well and we got nice shots of the boat in action with nothing but the lake on the horizon.
This particular shot was not really part of the plan. I was tracking the boat and waiting for it to get away from shore and closer to me when I noticed the stark contrast. The boat is brightly lit and shows well against the dark water and the dark trees. It turned out to be one of my favorite shots from the morning.
I was standing in the water and the waves prevented me from standing very still. I compensated with a relatively fast shutter speed. This was shot at 1/1000 at 5.6, ISO 400, lens at 400mm.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High Speed Turn-Wooden Boat

Here are two photographs of an antique, wooden boat at high speed. The boat is a 1930 30' triple-cockpit, Hackercraft runabout operating on Lake St. Clair, Michigan. This photo shoot was planned and coordinated closely with the driver. I was standing in water about 4 feet deep because I like the low angle.
The plan was to drive the boat on a path perpendicular to me, then make a sharp turn in my direction. I fired a series of shots during the maneuver to capture the entire turn but my original objective was to get this second image with the boat directly facing me. I got the shot but the overall impact was less than desired. I expected the front of the boat to stay more out of the water which would give a much greater sense of action. Racing hulls will respond that way. Instead, on this hull the bow actually digs in on a turn and the sense of speed is diminished. Nonetheless, its a pretty cool shot with the spray and the boat banking sharply.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Horse Show; jumping a fence.

This horse and rider are jumping a fence during the recent Traders Point Horse Show in Zionsville, Indiana. I took many photos while I was there for a couple of days but this one stood out. Usually, the background is filled with distracting elements such as tents and people that are close to the rings where the horses are jumping. The background here is much cleaner than normal and the horse and girl stand out nicely. Also, the late afternoon sun is more flattering than during the middle of the day.
This image is an example of how several factors came together at the right time. I was only allowed to shoot from a couple of sides so it was fortunate that I could be looking toward the empty background. Behind me were tents and clutter. And it was fortunate that this rider had her class late in the day with the low sun behind me. These things are beyond my control but on this shot it worked out well.