How to Take a Great Photo on a Boat

Water Sports
If you’re not an experienced photographer, and you want to take better photos from your boat, try these suggestions:

1) If you are in the market for a new camera, buy one that has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). OIS can eliminate much of the ’camera shake’ that causes blurred pictures, and since boats in the water rarely hold still, OIS can help your photos.

2) If you know how to manipulate your camera, use a fast shutter speed whenever possible. This is most easily accomplished in "A" (aperture) mode at the fastest setting, which is the lowest "f"
number. If you are unsure how to do this, but your camera has "Scenes" mode, use the "Sports"
setting. It will give you faster shutter speeds and freeze the action so that you get less blur.

3) Under-expose a tad; set your exposure to -.3 or -.7 on bright, sunny days. That will cut some of the blown-out whites on boats, or glare off the water.

4) CROOKED HORIZONS are probably the #1 mistake people make when taking boating photos. The ocean NEVER runs uphill or downhill, nor does your local lake, so bad horizons are easily noticed by viewers. Fortunately, this is easy to correct in almost any photo-editing program. Even the totally free program Irfanview can level the horizon for you, with very little effort. Just be sure to level your horizon before cropping the image, or it will end up smaller than you wanted it to be.

5) PRE-FOCUS! The #2 mistake people make is to give the shutter a "full" snap when they take a picture. Give it a half-push first, which pre-focuses your shot. It also allows you to look hard at the picture and see if you have it framed correctly. If you like what you see, push the shutter the rest of the way down and take your photo. You’ll get better focus and fewer blurred shots if you pre-focus every time.

6) Don’t shoot in "Auto" mode. Use Program mode instead, or a Scene mode like Sports, if you do
not know how to use "A" mode. You will be surprised at the difference.

7) Take LOTS of pictures, and experiment with framing the shot and metering off the best part of your subject. Digital is free! You can always toss the bad ones, and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

8) Have lots of fun! Don’t be discouraged if your photo does not win this month, just be sure to bring your camera along the next time you get on the water and try again!

Good Luck!

Content shared with permission, courtesy of Bill Lewis at Boating Picture of the Day.