Retrospective photography: The timelessness of photography
From the likes of the legendary Eileen Ramsay, dubbed ‘Queen of Yachting Photography’, to more modern photographers such as Cory Silken, and with superyachts being one of the most beautiful creations on Earth, the question still remains, how can a photographer ensure that the sheer magnificence of these yachts are captured in a photo?
The history of photography can be traced back to Thomas Wedgwood. Wedgwood made the first reliably documented, although unsuccessful attempt of taking the first photograph in 1800. In the mid 1820’s however, despite several days of exposure in the camera, and crude results, French man Nicéphore Niépce succeeded.
It was from here the concept of photography was developed by Louis Daguerre, who went on to create the daguerreotype process, the first publically announced photographic process which required only minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear results.
Modern day photographers tend to use larger camera brands to capture their images, one of which being Canon. The EOS range provides images of a high quality, performance and reliability. The Canon EOD 5D Mark III for example, boats 22 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, 61-point autofocus, 6 frames per second and full HD movies.
Using the Canon Professional Network (CPN), pro photographers are able to view relevant news stories, product updates and share multimedia content. Canon claims that “The CPN website provides inspiration, information, education and motivation for professional photographers, videographers and advanced enthusiasts.”
The Nikon DSLR range is also a popular choice for professional photographers. The extensive range of cameras available give photographers the chance to choose the camera best suited to purpose.
Superyacht photographer Cory Silken commented, “I mainly use a Nikon D800 digital camera, often using lenses from a very wide angle at 14mm to telephoto at 500mm.”
Similar to Canon, Nikon have developed the Nikon Pro forum, where photographers can read blogs, search for retailers, and join the Nikon Professional Users Scheme.
The thought behind picture taking
It is apparent that with ever-changing technology, superyacht photographers are also opting to keep up with the times and continue to use modern methods to capture the perfect picture. Although the technology behind picture taking has changed dramatically over the past 50 years, the process of actually capturing an image has not. Both modern styled photographers and the more traditional will first look at the framing of the photo they are about to capture.
Whenever preparing to take a snapshot, the photographer will take a moment to think about how the shot is framed inside the lens, whether there is anything unwanted in the shot and if so, are these able to be removed?
How the lighting shines of the object being photographed plays heavily into how the final product will turn out. Natural light is always the best option as flash may wash the subject out rather than light it up. With the beaming sun shining down on superyachts stationed along the Mediterranean coastline, how could natural light be an issue?
Digital or film roll
Many modern photographers are opting to use digital technology due to its higher quality, speed, back-up option, size, and special features. Using digital cameras allows the photographer to process the images themselves, rather than have to wait for development in a dark room via a third party with inconsistent results.
When asked what makes you want to pick up your camera and take a picture, Cory Silken explained, “The beauty of the ocean and yachts! Growing up around boats and racing competitively myself, I am passionate about yachting and that inspires my photography.”
“I love the opportunity to work with the best professionals, on the most spectacular of superyachts, in the most extraordinary locations.”
Ultimately, in every job, there are challenges, as Cory Silken went on to explain, “The weather is the main challenge to overcome when working with superyachts, although, schedules, budgets, travel and breakdowns also play a large part in this.”
Mobile phone photography
It would be wrong to assume that a photograph taken on a mobile phone will be of the same quality as one taken on a digital camera, however, with the right lighting, the right angle, a steady hand, often a great image can still be captured.
Carrying around a digital SLR isn’t always practical, so the mobile phone could make the perfect alternative to capture a picture in the spur of the moment.
You don’t just take a photograph, you make it. Ansel Adams
Effects and edits are becoming a routine with modern photographers, allowing colours to be altered, shapes morphed and scenes assembled by compositing portions that were separately shot.
Back in the days of film, a photographer had to select the look of the image they wanted by choosing the correct film, however, with digital, photographers are now able to implement this step in post-production on the computer.