Not many people in this world like to photograph boats. The ones that do would need to travel to the shores of lakes, rivers, or seas. If you live in New England, you’re not too far from the coastal areas. The easy access to such places would make it convenient for you to indulge in some boat photography.
From the coast, you’ll find all kinds of boats, such as fishing and tourist boats. Upon getting to the shores of rivers, you can take some perfect shots of canoes and kayaks. Here are some fabulous tips that would help you in photographing boats:
1. Choose a kit for photographing boats
A standard zoom of the range 35 to 80mm would be fine for photographing boats. You can get the entire boat in one shot as it’s usually wider. It’s also long enough to capture the hull, sails and other finer details. If the boat is further away, you can go for a longer lens of the range 80 to 200mm.
This lens is also useful for shooting smaller details, such as portraits of crew and mini flags. You’ll need a polarizing filter to reduce reflections. If the boat is set against a sky that’s bright, a gradual filter would be fine. Take a tripod with you if there are plans to capture panoramic images of marinas and harbors.
2. Shoot one boat instead of many
When you think of a harbor, scenes of colorful boats set against beautiful blue skies come to your mind. In the waters below, you can see the reflection of these scenes as well. To get some perfect pictures of these scenes you’ll need to have a sunny day. Besides, the waters must also be still.
Choose the viewpoints without much clutter and use a polarizing filter to make the colors saturated. Instead of shooting several boats in the foreground, it would be more impressive if you shoot a single boat.
3. Wait for the tide
You can photograph moored boats grounded on the beach or in mud when the tide goes out. Make sure that everything from the front of the mooring rope to the distant boat is sharp. For this purpose, a small aperture would be needed. If you shoot from a low angle and accommodate a brooding sky, the photo will be more dramatic. To darken the sky, the use of ND filter or a graduated grey would be ideal.
4. Explore opportunities on a river
Instead of a coastal location, you may choose to photograph a boat on a running river. You may come across a variety of boats on the river, from small cargo boats to large sailing boats. You don’t need to worry about planning or using ultra-fast shutter speeds. Boats run at a relatively slower speed on the rivers. This would make shooting a boat easier for you on a river.
The side or low bank point provides a lower angle for maximum impact. Try to capture some interesting landmarks in the background if you can. Some of the charming elements you can include in the photo are odd buildings and trees. The presence of a bridge would make things a lot easier. You can use the bridge as a frame when the boat passes under it.