On a recent vacation to Southwest Florida, I had the opportunity to race in the Marco Island Winter Cup. A friend has a custom 42′ sloop he keeps down there. I hadn’t raced in years, but was eager to go. And naturally, it would present some photo opportunities 🙂
Naturally it was the coldest and windiest day of our vacation. But we braved the elements and raced against eight other boats in our class. This was a handicapped race, meaning all the boats were different and are assigned a hanidcapping factor that mathematically balances out the differences between the boats. You don’t necessarily have to be the first across the finish line to win.
I could only bring a minimal amount of gear aboard, so I chose the 5D Mark III and two lenses; the 24-105L and my new 16-35L, the f/4 version with Image Stabilization. Most of the race I was busy manning the jib sheet, but every now and then there was some time for me to grab the camera and shoot a few frames. With it was cold and windy, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky…both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you envision your final images.
The crystal blue sky contrasted nicely with the pea green water of the Gulf of Mexico. Shooting aboard a moving vessel in windy conditions with decent size waves is a challenge. Fortunately, both lenses have Canon’s Image Stabilization (IS). Every with reasonable shutter speeds for hand holding, the pitch and yaw of the boat made for a challenging situation. IS was indeed helpful.
Overall, I preferred the images with the wider angle, by emphasizing the height of the mast, size of the sails and length of the boat, I think it makes the viewer feel like they were actually aboard.