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.