Having the right kit can really take your photos to the next level. The camera, the lens, and all the additional bits from tripods to lens hoods can make or break your sailing pictures. That said, you don’t need a professional camera to get a great photo.
Taking photos on a yacht:
You can get some stunning pictures from common digital cameras, whether DSLR or Point-and-Shoot. Both cameras have their benefits depending on your goals. DSLR cameras are better equipped to use sophisticated photographic techniques. They have a wide range of controls and interchangeable lenses, helping the photographer adjust to lighting, environment and different types of shot. DSLR cameras can also capture wider angles than a point-and-shoot.
However, the point-and-shoot is far less cumbersome and easier to handle while on a moving boat. For candid shots of your family and friends in action, the portability of the point-and-shoot is perfect, although it doesn’t have the lens capabilities to capture wider shots. Both cameras shoot on digital media (a memory card), making them easy to access, share, and print.
Taking photos on a dinghy:
The one big key thing to note here, if you’re on a yacht, any of the above applies. But if you’re on a dinghy, you need to choose a small, waterproof camera that you can attach to the boat. If you capsize, you don’t want to be worrying about whether you’re about to lose your camera overboard.
Generally, when it comes to getting shots on a dinghy, sailors tend to opt for a waterproof video camera, to record their entire sail or race, then cut it down to show just the best, or most dramatic (pitchpole!) scenes.
Taking photos from the shore:
If you’re planning on taking shots from the shore while your kids are out on the water (particularly great if they’re in dinghies), you may want to invest in a tripod for added stability. Buying (or making) waterproof covers is a good idea in case it begins to rain, or if you’re taking photos from a rib, while lens hoods are great for minimising picture flaws due to light.
Whichever type of camera you choose, a fast shutter speed (minimum 1/400th of a second) is essential to combat the motion of being on the water. Different types of shot may also require different types of lens. Wide-angle and standard lenses are great for sailing shots as they’re quick and versatile. Wide-angle lenses are particularly multi-purpose, letting you capture the boat, scenery and your kids, all in one shot.