Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Kent O. Smith Jr for sharing these breath taking photos that are far far more than just my lame iphone stuff. This is art. Pure art! The event is an amazing event on Lake George The Lake George Gold Cup Festival was a non ACBS event and was a collective effort by a small committee of local Lake George residents including ACBS Past President Teri Hoffman and ACBS member Buzz Lamb. All the photos are 1200 PX so they blow up!
The Art of the Race
The Lake George Gold Cup Festival was held in Bolton Landing (NY) in late September. There were several days of local activities including a private tour of the Boathouse where famous racer George Reis lived and a private viewing of his infamous winning Gold Cup racer “El Lagarto” (The Lizard). But perhaps the highlight of the weekend was a recreation of the 1935 Gold Cup race with a course located like the original was in Bolton Bay but the Sagamore Hotel.
Over thirty boats were in attendance but a strong southerly breeze and large waves prevented the smaller racers from running on the course. Also, the few original vintage raceboats wisely stayed at the docks rather than risk damage pounding through the rough seas. After several heats, an informal parade concluded the event, and thankfully some of the old boats did participate.
The windy weather created some dramatic scenes allowing some amazing images to be captured – The Art of the Race – from a photographic standpoint. People often say to me “your camera takes great pictures!” to which I respond “your oven bakes great cookies.” The point is the camera doesn’t take the photo, the photographer takes the photo. The camera is just the tool he uses. You wouldn’t say “your chisel and band saw builds great boats”, would you? No, the boat builder makes great boats. The key is to know how to use the tool. It also helps to know your subject. I love photographing boats because I love boats. I can follow a boat through the viewfinder and anticipate how it is going to react to the wind and waves around it. Then it comes down to timing the shot and keeping an eye on the background.
Having adequate gear – the proper tools – also increases the likelihood of making good images. For the photo gearheads interested, these shots were captured with a Canon 7D Mark II body and Canon 70-300L zoom lens. I shot from a 24’ pontoon boat and it was so rough on the outside of the race course that waves came over the deck! Challenging conditions, to say the least.As for camera settings, I shot in shutter priority mode with a fast speed of 1/1000 to 1/2500 of a second. The camera body is capable of Auto ISO so I don’t have to worry about changing light conditions. I used single point AF in burst mode and AI Servo focus. I can shoot 10 frames per second 🙂
All images are captured in camera RAW format and post processed in Adobe Lightroom where subtle tweaks to exposure, color, contrast, sharpness and cropping can be made. In some extreme cases, I will remove a distraction in Photoshop like a post, pier, or spectator boat that is too close to a subject boat.
Don’t just take the photo, make the photo. This is how I made The Art of the Race.