A New Perspective On Classic Boat Photography!

You get the entire picture from this perspective Back in the day they would shoot from a cruiser or the roof of a boat house. I dont think they were thinking about a parasail!

Last week we used some very cool aerial shots from Fellow Woody Boater Don Hardy of McCall Boat works, and Photographer pal Gary Ertter.  Dr. James Atkinson and wife Cindy owners owners of Twin Finn pictured had the wild idea to try and see what happens when you get out the parasail. That’s right, a gillion bucks worth or photography equipment up on a para sail, all so we could see life from a real birds eye view. The shots are stunning and add life to your boats image. The complete opposite from the dreaded dock shot that’s for sure. Thanks to Don and Gary Cindy and James for sharing the pictures.

What amazing images. The clean water blue is amazing!

When you click on these they will blow up.

Twin Finn looks fantastic from above! Poseidon is saying, hey guys, see it’s good to be the god of the sea!


30 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I believe Chris Craft used a bridge for some of their marketing shots. Parasail is cool, but I think a vintage sea plane would be the ultimate woodyboater photography platform. They sound way cooler than a parasail and they keep your wallet from getting bloated.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Here is a nice pre-war, as in pre-wwi, example. I am partial to the Curtiss models for the early period. If you want to got metal and post WWII, look north and get a nice radial engine Beaver.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Here is the Beaver, as cool a float plane as has ever flown, and check out the styling on the panel/dash.

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Beautiful photos and perspectives. When you posted those last week, I was almost certain the water was photoshopped. Sizable waves but not a whitecap among them.

    Next time up there — assuming there will be a next time — please shoot some video too. But don’t post it until this time of year again. Seeing such material in the season of perpetual white and grey and cold (up north) does a world of good.

    We need a trail of crumbs just like this to lead us safely to Spring.

    Thanks again.

  3. don hardy
    don hardy says:

    Thanks for getting back to the view. You take off from a platform on the parisail boat, and they winch you back to the platform.
    Not like you see in Mexico, where they drag you 100yrds.

    Cost $100.00

  4. don hardy
    don hardy says:

    That’s our beautiful Payette Lake, McCall ID.

    No Photo shop. This was at 9am in August on a Sat
    morning… where’s the traffic ?? How lucky we are.

  5. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Good aerial photography of moving objects is not easy. Using an airplane would make it even more difficult because of the difference in speeds between the plane and the boat. Most of the aerial boat photography for the manufacturers is done by helicopter using a gimbal-mounted rig with gyrostabilizers – pretty much set up JUST to do that kind of work. The parasail idea is a good low-cost alternative – you just have to shoot the subjects going different directions than the camera boat, or at least direct the subject boat to avoid the wake from the camera boat. Those power blue water colors could be heightened even more with the use of a polarizing filter.

  6. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Another comment. I make car commercials for a living. We use a lot of helicopters, but increasingly we’re using miniature remote control copters. We get amazing shots from them. They can sweep in within inches of a car going 100 miles per hour. Trying doing that with a $10 million dollar aerospatiale.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Very well except to be legal as an ultralight (except for training I believe) it has to be single seat. You really want the guy flying low and slow to be focused on flying, and a second person operating the camera.

      A light sport aircraft, new or old like a piper cub, can carry two people at speeds as low as 40 mph airspeed. With a cooperative head wind, most boats could keep up just fine. Heck, I have been in the air on a windy day where I swear the cows on the ground were passing us!

  7. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Not only is the perspective great, but this is an extremely well restored boat by McCall boat works. This is a quite rare model, too. Reminiscent of the Lincoln of this period in design inspiration.

  8. Slats
    Slats says:

    I must say I’ve been apart of them all in terms of trying to capture an aerial photo. Used a parasail, helicopter, ultra light, bridge, cabin cruiser deck, and even brought a ladder out on a supra and had an arthritic person atop holding camera and ladder(praying to the boat gods they didn’t fall). You never know what you have until the film is developed or downloaded. You get that one sweet shot, the one in a million, that one angle that keeps you sane in the middle of a Chekov winter and that’ll hang on the wall forever.

  9. Floyd r turbo
    Floyd r turbo says:

    An even rarer version comes with factory hardtop and is effing beautiful. It makes a great cocktail cruiser and I don’t even drink (that much).

  10. Jim Atkinson
    Jim Atkinson says:

    Thanks for sharing the parasail pictures of our Twin Finn. I had searched for some time for a way to get some quality aerial views. Most lakes, including Payette have FAA restrictions about flying lower than 800′ over occupied water. You also have the problem that most planes fly too fast, need special windows for the photographer and a lot of air turbulence. Gary Erter came up with the parasail idea, so we insured his equipment and rented the boat for two hours. The parasail does 25MPH and I was able to run circles up and out the wake at 40MPH, producing some incredible shots. The next day, the guys in the parasail forgot to fuel up and dunked a customer in the lake, sans cameras. Sorry Gary, no new equipment!

  11. Gary Ertter
    Gary Ertter says:

    Since I shot the photos I’ll give my 2 cents on ariel shooting. I’ve shot from airplanes, helicopters, boat tops and the parasail. An airplane is very difficult to shoot from, not only the speed, but the vibration and chop make it hard to get a clean shot, not to mention altitude restrictions. I’ve also shot from a helicopter and it has vibration issues too, then there seems to be an issue with flying over water without floats on a chopper if its a commercial flight. Of course there’s the cost, even a small Roberts can cost you $100 for 5 minutes. But oh how I would love to shoot from a Hughes!

    The parasail moved slow, about 20 to 25 mph I think, and the tether line acted as a nice dampening device, giving me a very stable and smooth ride. A big plus was that I was only about 100’ above the water so it was easy to communicate by way of hand signals to the boats.

    For you camera junkies, I used a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens for the shots.

  12. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    This is from 1995 at Lake Havasu, AZ. Seven of us split the cost of a helicopter for an hour.

  13. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Of course there is always Dave Wright’s sun deck at Tahoe for shots like this. Al Schinnerer has a good one from this angle as well.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Perfect – That method will fit our photo budget this summer… Just have to start the photo shoot up-wind.

      I could strap the lawn chair to my Harley-Davidson and blow up the balloons at the lake. Nice work Chad!

  14. Cobourg-Kid
    Cobourg-Kid says:

    In Muskoka or the Thousand Islands an alternative to a parasail photo platform is a ticket on a cruise boat. I have simmilar shots (filed somewhere) taken from the top deck of the Segwun (Lake Muskoka) and from the Gananoque Cruise Boats . The best part of this approach is that you can drink beer and shoot pics at the same time. Probably would not try that on a parasail , however, chad’s chimp probably would.

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