"Behind the Lens" Part 37 Night Photography

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Published 13:23 on 15 May 2020

I think about pictures a lot. Often when I am out walking and I have an image in my mind I go over and over it trying to figure out how to capture it. If there is one recurring technique that has always interested me its night time photography.I had the idea on Drum (1985) to try and show what its like to sail at night.There are many non sailors that think we put the anchor down at night and go to bed.

On film it was always a bit of a guess and in the beginning I had a lot of black celluloid but with a lot of experimentation I worked it out and I started getting the picture I expected.On digital its much easier as you can check in real time if you have an image.

I still use regularly use this technique today, in particular on Super Yachts.The images of Super Yachts have changed over the years and one of the reasons is the underwater lighting as this presents a new image that wasn't imaginable a few years back.

The standard top of the mast shot in daylight now looks a bit dated compared to a shot at night with all the underwater lights on.There are two examples of this here, one is a fleet of Super Yachts at the dock in Porto Cervo.I had gone up a mast to take the picture in daylight and that got me thinking how I could do that same shot with all the lights on at night, I tried it a few nights later with Drumbeat and the help of her skipper "Legs".

I took the technique forward using a circular fisheye lens. During the Monaco Yacht Show I did a shot for the top of a mast within the harbour to show all the yachts in the show.Shortly after that I was commissioned to do a shoot with the beautiful Dubois/McKeon design 66m Aglaia.This was a perfect opportunity to try the technique from one of the highest masts at the time. Many thanks to the Captain Mark Stevens for his patients and trust.

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Last updated 18:52 on 2 October 2023

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