So far 2018 is shaping up to be a good year with lots of projects and plans in the pipeline. Cowes Week is booked in my diary and plans are afoot for media passes and access to a photographer’s rib for what should be some great photographic opportunities so cover the various sailing races and events.
This week I am meeting North Norfolk boat builder Neil Thompson to discuss a photo study of their boat-building process. Neil’s business is nationally famous for their Norfolk Oyster yachts and have introduced some new models in recent years including the Urchin, Gypsy, Smuggler and Explorer. I’ve also been in contact with the production company that makes the BBC programme ‘Saving Lives at Sea‘ regarding providing aerial footage for the 2018 series which follows the exploits of various RNLI crews around the country.
On Thursday next week I am heading out to the Norfolk Broads with the Coastal Rowing Association Blakeney, a rowing club based in Blakeney who make their own boats and can often been seen rowing around Blakeney Pit. In the winter they keep up fitness and training on the Norfolk Broads and I’m looking forward to spending a morning with them to photograph and film them on the water.
I have plenty of other events planned for the year and various marine-based shoots which figured would benefit from a longer reach on the camera so I recently decided to take the leap and get a superzoom. The Canon 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS MKII is a stunning lens for the money. Super sharp right to the edges, fast to focus and not ridiculously heavy or large and with breathtaking image stabilisation. Combined with the Canon 1.4x extender MKIII on the Canon 5D MKIII’s I have nearly 600mm of zoom available and it can still autofocus which is going to be perfect for close-up shots of the sailing action this year.
Yesterday I took the lens out for a trial on the cliffs here at Sheringham and was really impressed with the results. The first shot below was of the Canon 24-70mm F2.8L lens at 70mm, pretty much what the eye sees, you can just make out the little white dot of a small trawler in the middle of the frame. With the 100-400mm plus 1.4x extender and a bit of fairly heavy cropping in post process you can actually read the boat’s number (in the second shot) and the image is still relatively sharp considering how much it’s been cropped. Really impressed with this set up and looking forward to trying it out at the various regattas and sailing events I will be attending this year.
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