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Full Sail

By canonfan46  
I was asked to do the photography at a local sailing gala and this is one of the shots.
Critique welcome, educational pointers appreciated.

Tags: Sports and action

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VIKI 14 18 1 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 8:11AM
Well taken.
James_C Plus
11 38 57 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 8:31AM
Good morning John and welcome to EPZ.

This is an interesting picture of this yacht taken during one of those moments of high activity.

My first reaction on seeing this picture was that I wanted to crop it tighter to concentrate the eye on the boat and action. I would suggest cropping the top down to just above the nearside sail numbers and the rhs almost to the spinnaker. My second reaction was that the picture is slightly over exposed resulting in loss of detail particularly on the transom and the mainsail. I suspect also that you have taken the picture from some distance and may well have cropped the picture heavily already as the focus and general detail isn't as sharp as might be hoped for. It would be very helpful if you uploaded as a version the unedited original together with the settings you have used.

If I have assessed the situation correctly, this yacht is either racing or practicing for a race; has just rounded a mark, hoisted the spinnaker and is in the process of lowering the genoa. I used to drive a press boat for commercial photographers and they would want me to position the boat so that the yacht would sail past no more than 100 yards away - preferably closer. This would enable them to take a series of shots and choose their moment so that they could zoom in on the action if they wanted to and make sure that they could see the man on the foredeck, who is the centre of the action, or take an earlier picture to show the faces of the cockpit crew. (The other reason for being stationary - with a known escape route in case the action comes too close - is so as not to give your wash to the competitors). If photographing the whole boat they would want to try to catch it so that there are good shaddows on the sails to give them form and prevent them becoming a large blank area in the picture. Also, if the intention is a general shot, then, to give greater meaning to the action, it is a good idea to either include the mark in the picture or other boats - not essential, but it helps.

I hope this is useful to you.

Best regards,

canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 8:59AM
Thank you James, I've been reading your critique intently, very useful comments.
The yacht is indeed racing and has only been cropped a little. I have been messing a bit with exposure and colour in Lightroom but have only had the program for about a month so not really sure what I'm doing with
Your comments on position are spot on and I did have problems with my driver getting into the positions that I wanted. (he's was an amatuer just like me, and was afraid of getting in the way).
I will try your suggestions and upload a new version.
Thanks again
canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 9:06AM
btw, it was taken with a 70-200mm L set at 187mm. 1/400-f10-ISO200.
My excuse for focus (and I always have was that the RIB was bouncing around a bit.
I did have a great opertunity that day and really should have had much better results but "I'll be bach".
James_C Plus
11 38 57 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 9:17AM
As a ps to the above I note that the picture you have uploaded is 600 x 480 pixels - you can go up to 1000 pixels as an epz member, which would help with the quality issues.

I've also sent you a pm (private message).

canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 9:21AM
Great mods James, you have certainly added a little more punch to the photo and I really like what you have done with the colour.
When I tried a few ajustments like that I felt that I was ruining the quality, but I do have a few issues with my monitor colours and calibration.
I really appreciate your time and interest.
James_C Plus
11 38 57 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 9:25AM
I think our comments crossed - you really want to get the shutter speed up as high as you can in these circumstances as you are shooting, towards the limits of this lense, a moving object from an unstable platform. So - set the camera to shutter priority and go for max. speed; at a very minimum 1/600th.

canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
12 Aug 2009 9:32AM
A bit of my distant past showing up here James. 1/400 would have been fast in my old photo days and I just dident consider the capabilities of the modern camera. A silly mistake on my part but through your comments, one that will not happen again, thanks

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