Obviously we are talking about taking boat photographs with the vessel underway in a setting conducive to the relevant illusion. As “Over-boated?” teaches; latent in the buyer’s mind are a pre-existing set of illusions as to what boating is all about.
Don’t even think about static shots of the boat under covers, parked on some marina. This is heresy!
Your boat photographs are hopefully stoking a barely smouldering heap of latent buyer emotions into a flaming conflagration.
You may need to take hundreds of boat photographs before you find one or two good enough to serve as your principle photograph. It is worth any amount of pain to get the perfect pic.
If you use a digital camera, shoot to the highest resolution possible. If you use a conventional 25mm camera use a medium length lens. A wide angle lens should only be used for the interior below decks.
Make sure that the boat is cleared of miscellaneous gear and the scene is set as per the principles laid out in “Over-boated?”.
Take your shots in the softer light of early morning or late afternoon in preference to the glare of mid-day.
The background should offer no distracting detail.
First preference for shots of sail-boats, is close-up under sail and from the leeward bow.
Second preference is close-up under sail and from the leeward stern.
If you look at the classic J Boat photographs taken by Beken of Cowes ( Beken of Cowes “The America’s Cup” Collins Harvill London 1990) shots are taken both with the sun behind the camera and in front of the camera but behind the subject.
Even today, Beken is considered the undisputed master of boat photography. And he had a fast launch specially built for the purpose.
Generally Beken’s shots were taken from the leeward bow quarter or leeward stern quarter. Much later in his career he used helicopters.
Now we have drones equipped with digital cameras. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t forget the photographs of iconic bits of gear.