• 04-03-2014, 09:31 PM
    Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    Hey guys! I am taking some photos for a web site I am working on for a friend who restores and details luxury yachts. Basically we need photos of shiny and luxurious details of the ship that has been worked on to show it off, so I guess you can imagine this being like a photo shoot by someone going to a boat show? Few questions are

    What time of the day is best for such photos? Its all outdoors in the boat yard, non-negotiable for location
    Are there any basic settings I can use or is auto just best? I need to go tomorrow so I would love to learn all the manual settings but just dont have time right now... so if u r experienced with such things, I would love to hear them
    I assume flash, no matter how good, wont help here?
    In the broad daylight I assume a tripod is not necesary?
    What light angles? I assume its best with the sun kinda behind me, or just to feel out the best gloss possible? Since the ship is not movable, I guess I'll just have to go with visual decisions on the spot?
    Which lens should I use, if it matters at all

    This type pf photo:
    Superyacht Sycara V Costs $739,000 A Week - Business Insider

    ANY other advice that may help is much appreciated, since we dont have many chance on these fast moving projects, when its done, they have to let them go unfortunately, so some pressure here. The saving grace is that it is for the web, not a magazine, so we have some wiggle room for non-perfection, even though its hurts me to say that.

    And for those of you who may not know me from before or whatever else, I want to say, in no way am I disrespecting the photo industry and looking for quick schemes etc... I understand this is a lifelong process of learning and adapting... unfortunately right now I have neither luxury, so trying to do the best I can with what we have.


    Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i
    Flash: Speedlight YN560x2
    Lens: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS , Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto
  • 04-04-2014, 08:53 AM
    Re: Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    Those are some broad questions. You may need to make a couple of visits depending on how the light works out but I'd say to go for early morning or around sunset for the nice golden light. I'd be prepared to shoot wide up close, and telephoto from afar. Think about reflections that will enhance or hurt your shots. Consider backlight and how to avoid it or use it to your advantage.
    For interior shots you may need something like a fisheye or at least something pretty wide. HDR ight be good for interior shots that include windows to tame the dynamic range. I'd also bring a few speedlights and radio triggers so you can put some light on details you want to highlight.

    Sounds like a fun assignment. Show us how it turns out!
  • 04-04-2014, 11:13 AM
    Re: Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    Another thing you may have to consider is your photo editing software, this will have a big effect on the final result. Often the stuff straight out of the camera needs quite a bit of work before it's ready to present.
  • 04-04-2014, 12:41 PM
    Re: Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    Yeah, shoot raw for more options in post too.
  • 04-05-2014, 10:51 AM
    Re: Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    It looks like you are really jumping into the deep end here to learn to swim. The only thing I can suggest, as there is so much you need to know, is to shoot lots and lots then pick out what works for you. You will need to get in close to some details and vary your angles, it's amazing just how much the light in an image changes with a small angle change, it's called working the subject. Also looking at your gear list I see you are using an older kit set up, if the time and the budget permits I might suggest upgrading your small lens to the sigma 17-70 OS this will give you a bit more flexibility in your shot options. So the main thing is to shoot lots and have fun and the odds are you should get a few keepers.
  • 04-06-2014, 02:56 AM
    Re: Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots
    Thanks for the suggestions guys.... Here are the first run photos... I feel as though some of the smooth surfaces are very grainy... my fault, ISO way too high, but anyways I used

    • The "P" setting
    • Used the exposure brackets and tossed out all the bad ones... I think I set the brackets too wide apart (full range selected) so basically only one was usable in most cases.
    • I was also a bit confused in that I manually held down the shutter for 3 shots every time, but are you supposed to do that for the bracket to work or... what happens if u hold it down for like 5, 10 shots?
    • Used a tripod for most of these (no remote, but real gentle trigger finger)
    • All taken from 17:45-19:45 in South Florida (sunset was at 19:38)
    • The closeups were taken with the 18-55 and the ones from the right side across the water were taken with the telephoto (all tripod of course for long range)
    • AI Focus
    • Images below were the JPG downsized to 20%, no post work at all yet


    And yes I took about 800 shots, about 500 were deleted from bad bracketing or just bad shots. And I am a graphics and web designer so the Adobe suite is pretty much on my PC like 24/7, so post work is not an issue, but as we all know, I rather have the least amount of post, besides the fact that post cant fix super grainy crap easily, so I need to tidy up my camera settings.

    And ya, I know there are many equipment components that cam improve my performance, but I think I better start the investments on learning my camera better and maybe for more in water shots, getting a polarized filter, etc... unfortunately lenses and bigger purchases will have to wait.

    Any suggestions welcome for the next shoot.... Thank you.