Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is what happens when you work too late sorting photos, they get harder and harder to ID as your eyes start getting blurry, finally you are basically hallucinating and the photos look like this and are really hard to identify! "hey I think that sail number starts with 4 and ends with a 36" Hmmmm.... now if I just look over the scratch sheet for 2 hours I should find it!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's nice to live in such a beautiful spot here in Freeport Maine. I saw this rainbow on the way home yesterday, and like any good pro photographer, I didn't have my camera with me, so I ran into the house grabbed my camera and drove down to the docks which are luckily only about a mile from my house. I played around with this a bit in photoshop then uploaded it to Panoramio and Geotagged it... check out my geotagged photos on Panoramia if you haven't seen geotagging yet, and pick a picture you'd like for you wall! I was pretty happy to see almost all my photos were selected to be viewed in google earth by google, cool!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Well it's 3am and I'm back home from a great day of aerial shooting off Newport for the BIG RACE. We also had the boat out there with two photographers shooting from the water, so we'll most certainly have the best selection of pics of any outfit, and you'll actually be able to see them online, get cropping and corrected proofs via email, choose exactly what paper you want, and order exactly what you want rather than getting a tube of really expensive aerial photos mailed to you that you don't want, then returning them only to have a collection agency after you. We had 21 knots up at 600ft. so it was probably a bit less down there, but it looked fantastic. We worked our way up and down the fleet and got some great "down the bow" shots that should be picture perfect for your wall. All the images we shot were shot in RAW format using Canon 40D's and L series lenses which means a few things, but let me just make simple and say it doesn't get any better than that... quality prints, reputable custom service, no wind vortex on your sails, and people who know sailing inside and out... the dedicated team at wavelength... and here they all are, just type your boat name in the search box...
Friday, June 20, 2008
Here's a fun, non professional, video I took with my Pentax Optio W30 -- a great little waterproof camera for onboard shots too-- of us heading out to the start of the Newport to Bermuda race... what a beautiful day for a plane ride...join me for the ride!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This isn't sailing but it's pretty cool... Me and my nephew Jasper headed down to the Celtics Victory Parade and got some great shots with the monopod and the 900mm on the 40D and me up on the edge of one of those statues hanging on for dear life. I then made this from the best hi-res photo and put it on ebay for sale as a print... Heres the complete gallery of photos... Jasper managed to leave his backpack on the TRAIN at Harvard, but luckily the SPOT tracker was in the knapsack so we had his mom track it online, and told the MBTA that it was going up and down the line, and to have someone one grab it for us... it got returned after a wild goose chase and 2 hours spent riding around the T... another lesson learned.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What a pristine perfect clear day for the "around island race." My associate Ken Winokur was in the Cessna dogfighting the boatpix chopper. Just a quick tip: do not buy helicopter shots from boatpix or any chopper outfit unless you want to continue to have them ruin both the purity of yachting and ruining your wind with their downward vortex. I am a CFI and I know you can take great pictures out of plane. Boatpix is a helicopter school, not a marine photography business of any quality, check the anarchy topic here on them before you fill out their online form. I'm sure you saw me in the Dauntless with the 300mm getting you head on and with the cliffs and ligthhouse in the backround... should be some fantastic shots... but it's been a long day and I'm hitting the Celtics Victory Parade tomorrow with my Nephew Jasper, then driving back to Newport for the Bermuda Race... wow, went to the pre-race party thanks to SLAM and I must say, the boats in this year's race are more than amazing, like mind boggling sick crazy carbon fiber rocketships.....
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I headed out to Block Island today and rented a bike to get some lighthouse shots, since the wind wasn't so great for yachting photography, and it looked like wednesday was going to be THE day to shoot... when I got out to the lighthouse I was shooting a portrait for this lovely woman (see up in the tower?) when an R44 came flying right through the lighthouse!... the Canon 40D is amazing, it shoots like 7 frames a second so I caught this image in spectacular fashion... surprisingly when I went back to the dock and told people about what I saw, they said I had been drinking a smoothie with one hand and fell off my bike and injured my brain - (yes I did fall off when my shoe slipped off the pedal while I was holding a smoothie in one hand, and yes I did decline the helmet, but my brain is just fine!).. so just email them this! Tomorrow we will have both aerials and on the water shots taken and lets hope the lighthouse reappears in its original form so we can get some great shots with you going by it intact and in all it's glory!
Looking at the forecast for block island right now... decisions, decisions...
Well I made this at the coffee shop yesterday, if I get enough positive comments (and not too many negative ones,) I'll make some more of this kind of stuff, so let me if you thinks it's complete rubbish or a masterpiece that should be in the MFA! (click "comments" below)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Here's a nice shot from sundays race of the new open 60 called Speedboat, and this thing sure is fast... Once I saw the facial expression of the crew, -sorry guys I hope your girlfriend(s) thinks this is funny at least- I realized this would be a great example to show how much information is actually in these photos which you never see online when you are perusing the galleries. I have heard comments in the past that customers think the photos look "fuzzy" online and that when they printed them out they weren't very sharp so they weren't sure whether or not to order an enlargement. This example shows the 3 people highlighted blown up to 100% on my computer screen. What does this mean you ask? Well I'll tell you. Your computer displays 72 pixels every inch. This means if you were to need a computer to view EVERY pixel of this image which is 3888 pixels wide, your screen would need to be 54 inches wide. That's pretty big, so if you have a 51" Samsung HD, you would be viewing every pixel of this image, and if you blew it up any more the screen, or rather the software used to run it would have to "interpolate" i.e. guess what pixels to put where you have to see something - ie. you can't just leave them "blank"... this whole process works in reverse as well when you shrink a picture down so people can view it easily on the web and it doesn't take an hour to download, you simply have to cut out pixels, which imaging software does when you save an image for web viewing. So the moral of the story is, remember there is always more information in all these photos you don't see here on the web, and photos can be blown up and cropped to a very large degree; for instance if you wanted to "cut yourself out" and order a 5 by 7 of that cut out, it would be plenty sharp even you took up only a paltry 20% of the photo! Make yourself a star and blow yourself up!
Over at Brewed Awakenings (wish I was actually awake) in South Kingston early this morning, think I'll take the day off and shoot block island on tuesday and/or wed. Only 56 boats I see so not a big market this year. But worth a good day or two, I haven't shot the around the island race in sometime so let's hope that it's wednesday so I can rest up for the Bermuda start friday. Looked through my associate Ken Winokur's photos from Friday. Some really good stuff from above. You can't even get this stuff out of a helicopter (unless you are shooting when your boatpix helicopter crashes) ...Ken's invented a new unmanned aerial photo gyro system he's patented and will be shooting a number of events using this proprietary system for me. We bought the rights for all yachting photography using this system through 2030 (I'll probably be pretty tired of shooting yachts by then.) Anyhow, check out this great shot on the left... we'll be posting boats by individual galleries this year, so request photos of your yacht to be posted, because it's first come first serve. We also have many excellent photos of each boat in this years regatta, including many super close up portraits of crew members which we will price so you can purchase a photo of yourself in a 5 by 7 or 8 by 10 for a very affordable price.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
It's sunday now and we've got some great shots so far. Today I'll be focusing on the leward mark takedowns, and more close up crew action with the 300 or 70-200 if the seas stay calm. Yesterday I was able to use the 300 with the 2x (making it effectively 960mm with the sensor effect) due to the flatness out there and subsequently got each crew member individually. This lead me to start thing about how to make these photos more affordable to crew members (a problem which has plagued me in the past) Now that I have the equipment to get "individual" people portraits, I will be looking into how I can make these photos as available at a non-custom print print price so that you won't have to pay $100 for a picture of yourself racing... Normally I send cropping proofs and digital corrections ect.. which makes selling prints for $15 or $20 a loss considering the time I attend to each detail in the image. In this case I will likely upload all these crew portrait photos to an automated site such as shutterfly so I won't have to do anything... sound good? My associate Ken Winokur got some great aerials (see posts above for samples) and we should have some beautiful "boat portraits" from this day. Remember to email me if you are jazzed for photos, you'll get your gallery posted first come first serve, and we are much more likely to shoot a sequence of more images of a rounding ect. if we know you'll be looking on the site for them...
Friday, June 13, 2008
I really get upset when the competition "out does" me so this time I ordered up a real bad boy. This thing can sink pretty much anything out there with one blow, and when the next boatpix helicopter crashes it'll be an easy salvage and a great platform to fly it from (with new graphics).. actually I think I'll just scrap it and actually take some good photos from the water... the only issue I had with the delivery crew is that they went and scratched my graphics while they were racing the CAT, that new high speed catamaran ferry out of Bar Harbor and Portland... you just can't find good help these days. My last assistent used to jump waves so much, he torqued the thing and the power head finally blew on the outboard. He's officially called "break-it" now and is always ready to lend a hand if you want to make sure something is rock solid (don't bet on it).
Wow it's working: Check out where I'm shooting (or where I last called it a day) at any moment now on a google map... I'll turn off the tracker at night when I'm wandering around aimlessly looking for a park bench to sleep on, or some boat that's got a nice empty bunk with my name on it. My loves this thing, and when people call and say "where are you" I just tell them to hit the site. I also found this great little pelican case for my blackberry which I am hoping will work with the new JawBone noise canceling blue tooth earpiece so that I can take calls on the boat of those high-tech folks who are surfing online while sailing, hit my spot page, and see that wow there I am 2 miles east of them... now all I need is a credit card reader for this thing and I'll sell them a flash drive full of photos on the spot after they call me from their cell 3 miles away and order the photo boat to start shooting them! My brothers wife who is a professor at the MIT media calls me an "early adopte." That's a nice way of saying that I'm the kind of person who can put up with many hours of troubleshooting technical issues in order to the coolest guy with the latest gadgets... and it's certainly true... (at least the gadget part)
* this service in beta, wavlength does not guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of this service.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Shooting sea life in glassy water is actually great. When the breeze dies just head out with your 600mm lens, some ripped biceps (wishful thinking,) and a stealthy boat that glides quietly toward a rock of sunbathing beauties...I turn the engine off to drift in closer hoping they won't jump in, and what do you know, my cell phone rings! It's Jeremy wondering if I'm going to hockey today...and what's that yelping in the backround he asks? My dad had told me the seal pups are out now so the seals are pretty vocal and skittish at the moment. He said you can hear them yelping for miles at night when the water is very still and sound travels seamlessly... this is also good advice for cruisers... don't blab about stuff you don't want to see on Sailing Anarchy's forums the next day if you are moored in a quiet harbor at night with calm water.
Headed out to Swans Island for an early father's day visit since the NYYC races are next weekend in Newport... the only dock was the ferry terminal and I took the "don't ask or I won't be able to do it" route and just left the photo boat there. When I came back there monday to leave there was this hilarious sign the Harbor Master left on the top of the ramp - a "hastily written scribbled sharpie law of order" from the top - something one only sees in Maine! Also love the way this sign is tied to the post with some trap line that was probably sitting around in the back of his truck for the last 5 years...
Well this was easier than shooting the sugarloaf marathon runners a couple years ago while skating BACKWARDS on rollerblades... If you are crazy enough to hold a 2 thousand dollar camera and lens with one hand backwards while riding your bike 2 feet in front of someone, you too deserve to get a shot like this! Now all I need is someone of the opposite sex and really cute and outdoorsy then I might be able to sell this image for big money... any volunteers? I'll give you a cut!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Panoramas are pretty cool, there's whole books on how to make these. I always seem to forget to set up the tripod... and used to even shoot them horizontally, oops... anyhow it's really quite basic if you just set the camera on manual, and are shooting digital, and have some nice software to put them together. Back in 1999 I was hired by Hinckley to shoot their "rendezvous" and after dropping my film off at the lab I hiked over valley cove to get this panorama shot of a zillion dollars worth of Hinckleys all rafted up like one big happy Mutual Fund managers meeting. The images were stitched together manually from 4 slides that were scanned by a friend of mine who had a really fast computer... I had to pay him $150 at the time, a steal considering I sold all 30 of these I made...(you can still order one if you want, I'll make a one off) It also made the front page of the web for a number of years (no, they didn't buy those rights) the calendar (not those either) and the Xmas card (yes you can use it there I said!) ... the freelance marketing lady responsible for this "photographer abuse" has since been "let go" so no grudge against Hinckley here... Anyhow here's the latest from Bernard Maine, what a great surprise gift this make for our hosts who woke up to this daily... I took this from their front deck then went in and some awesome New Hope Mills Pancakes, they were so good I ordered 4 bags for my dad on Amazon.com for fathers day... try'em you won't be disappointed...The 2 eagles perched across the way were just too far away even for the 600mm, so I just looked at them from there... Make sure to click on this image so you can see the enlarged version... rather nice I must say...
Well it was long day before I left for acadia, let's just say I got 2 hours of sleep the night before, as I had to help my friend storm a huge yard sale at my alma mater at 8am (we were 5th in line at 5:30) No $5 Mark III's, but I did pick up 3 epson printers (photo printing?) 3 sleeping bags (always useful for car camping) and enough hockey gear to get my assistant Devan to play hockey this winter... sweet! Met up with my buddy Rob up at the park (Tom Tom said I'd get there at 5pm and sure enough I pull in at 5:07 (I had to score a free waterski I saw left by the side of the road after another yard sale was over - another big score, as someone stole my last slalom ski ) Seeing that I had to try the new Mtn. Dew flavor on the way up (it's called Voltage which looks exactly like antifreeze, in fact you could easily get away with putting it in there in crunch) I'm still somehow awake so hit the trail. Pretty nice rock ledge at the top, I wonder what trail this was now? It's amazing what seems to fly into your picture when you least expect it! Is that an eagle? Wow I am good!
I've always been fascinated by the idea of tagging photos to GPS locations, after we would fly Civil Air Patrol photo missions a few years back, the process of detailing the photos to the upper commanders was quite poorly thought out. At that time I started researching how this could be done and found some great web sites and some very smart grad students explaining what you could do and providing free software. I then did a presentation to the squadron and showed them how you could take a picture of a Garmin Etrex with the time displayed on it, then proceed to do shoot aerials while the gps writes a "track log" which includes time stamps on each point, and then "sync" the photos EXIF data to the track log... The trick is to pick a small enough distance or time log so that the points are not too far apart. I decided to get up to date on what's going on in Geotagging. The results were great but let me tell I stayed up until 4am to get all these online and geotag all the photos. Google added a bunch of my photos to Google Earth after I uploaded them to panoramio, I think I'll keep it all a secret how I did it, but you can see the results of my experiments in Panoramio here, and in Flickr here.
A lot of what happens in photography is pretty hard to plan, and good shots you think you will get almost always turn out to be "something else" ... well anyhow case in point here I was coming back in from the reverse figawi and these kite boarders are cranking right past the mouth of the Bass River in Yarmouth, so I hang out, whip out the 300 2.8 (the greatest lens ever) throw it on my new 40D and start firing... well these guys obviously like to show off so they start sailing about 3 feet from the Dauntless then pulling these killer jumps, little do they realize I'm shooting their LEFT EYEBROW!... so I tell this guy (who appears to be REALLY good) to go jump over by the tower, which he immediately does and as I smartly set the shooting mode to "continuous" I say to myself "I paid big bucks for this gear, now it's time for it to do the work for me!" and I just hold down the trigger firing off about 15 shots... well here's the best one... it turned out to be TODD BAGGE, like the best windsurfer on the cape.
Looking windy so I think I best be getting my groove on... oh no it's memorial day, TOM TOM please help me get around these parades and over to the ramp! Do a casual launch thinking I've got this one in the bag, also cause it's blowing 25, I'm being extra careful that everything's in its place, as this is only my 3rd photo shoot of the season... get out a ways and some serious chop slows me down to about 4 knots, too slow to make what appear to be the fleet cranking over to Hyannis on a broad reach... oh well I have a chiropractic appt. every tuesday I say so it's pedal to the medal... upwind... ouch... hey wait, there's MYA in 3rd place! who knew? I track 'em down and shoot like crazy, but can't really see Ted at the wheel very well as the position of the sails completely block his face, oh well, it's a pretty boat at least... this reminds me of the time I was tagging boats off Swan's Island on a beautiful day way back before I knew the boat, MYA came up casco passage and I started shooting her... suddenly this big guy yells out "I'm TED KENNEDY send me those photos!" I said "email me and I'll send'em to you" which I did. He then placed an order right before the time his died in a plane crash which kind of freaked me out, cause here it is the news that he died, and Ted Kennedys voice is on my answering machine... anyhow I think these pics of MYA coming back from figawi are the best yet I've taken of her.. see'em all here...
Beautiful day on sunday at the cape, no racing, but the nephews want to explore so we head over to Chatam, puttering around, it's amazing though you can't use charts here because the sands shift so much... I use the latest online charts though and do a screen capture on my mac, then I send the pic to my blackberry so in case I get confusted it's right there! Genius! Felix managed to prove that his boat handling skills are on par with his older brothers, who managed to back the Dauntless into the dock after I stupidly jumped off without a thought on the dock and instructed him to "put it in reverse" bad idea... poor dock... it's a whaler!
Forecast pretty good for Figawi, and someone thinks Ted Kennedy might race! Gotta tool up the highway on this one, crashed somewhere at a rest stop and then turned on the TOM TOM and headed for my favorite ramp. No luck though, no sign of Mya, wind kind of died after the start, think I'll call it and try for the "reverse figawi" heck my brother's got a place right in Eastham, and they're waiting for me for dinner! No need to post any pics from this day here... It's a wrap...
Got the Dauntless ready after I heard the weekend cape forecast and headed down to the Around Block Island start off Stamford CT. Really nice wind for this race, and all the chutes were up.
Got a nice shot right when the sun went down of this crew silhouetted against it... nice!
See all the photos here