As a city with a good amount of harbourfront, you’re bound to run into boats. Whether it’s a yacht on the waterfront or a canoe at the cottage, shooting a boat is slightly different than shooting a landscape. Check out our top boat photography tips to capture everything from your family’s pride and joy to that sail boat in the distance.
Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take boat pictures because the water tends to be still and will allow for better reflection shots. The wind is also quieter but this can be an issue if you are shooting a boat that has sails as billowing sails make for better sail boat shots.
Photo by @boatsmart
Being close to the water puts your lens at risk of water damage. Using a UV Filter will prevent water from getting on your lens and a Polarizing Lens will reduce the glare of the sun in your photos.
Photo by Guillermo Sanchez
See what is in the general area of the boat you want to shoot. A cluttered background may take away from the beauty of the boat. Having multiple boats in the background though might add nice contrast. Scope out the scene before you start shooting. Keep your shot simple.
Photo by @evaosterlee
Look at the details on the boats to make your shot stand out from the rest. Full pictures of boats are so common. Try to find an interesting detail such as an anchor or a sail to make the image stand out.
Photo by Mauricio Artieda
To freeze the water, use a faster shutter speed. This is great to capture rolling waves and intense water sports shots. When you’re zoomed in, your camera will be more prone to camera shake so use a higher shutter speed to avoid that.
Photo by Chip Vincent
Shooting with a tripod isn’t always practical on the docks so be sure to shoot with your camera stabilization mode on to reduce camera shake. If you’re shooting on a stale dock, then use a tripod but not all docks were created equally so bend your knees and hope for the best on shaky docks. Try to find something to lean against as well to act as your own tripod.
Photo by Bobby Burch
If you are capturing the people aboard your boat, try to get the sun behind them. This will avoid sun squint and make for better facial expressions in your pictures.
Photo by Jordan Bauer