The Cover Photo Of All Brass Bell Cover Photos – How Kent O. Smith Jr Got The Shot!


The Brass Bell cover as printed.

If you are a member of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club, you have a whopper of a Brass Bell to show up in your mail box soon, if not already. A mail box.. Its a box that sits outside your house where a person called a Mail Man/Woman puts things made of paper with stuff on it for you to read. I have no idea why, when all the good stuff is here on the internetter? Not sure if it will catch on. Like that thing on your desk called a telephone??? You can actually talk with people in real time? Go figure. Anyway I digress. Cause the new Brass Bells cover is worth getting the mail again for! And man oh man did Kent O. Smith Jr deliver the… well.. Mail on this one. Here is a cool story. Not in print, from Kent on the photo and how he pulled it off.  Take it away Kent O. Smith Jr


The original image, the first of the burst.

How I Got the Shot – Another Brass Bell Cover
I got a call from my good friend Larry Jamieson telling me he was getting married…again.  “Come up to the lake for the wedding!”
Well, he finally had the right lady, they are perfect together.  So we headed up to Lake Cobboseecontee near Augusta, Maine in the summer of 2013.  Not only would be fun to hang out with buddy and his bride, but I was sure we’d do some woody boating too.
Larry’s boat is a 1932 Chris Craft 21’ triple with a modern Crusader 350.  You might recall seeing it on the cover of the previous Brass Bell issue.  It is named “Mi Piace,” which roughly translated from Italian means “she pleases me.”  And the boat certainly does.
Lake Cobboseecontee is a beautiful unspoiled lake about 12 miles long with only one motel and fuel dock.  A busy afternoon on the lake means there’s six boats out there.  It is also home to quite a few Woody Boaters besides Larry – the Hippler brothers and our frequent WB visitor Troy Hersom.
The afternoon before the wedding, the weather was glorious, and Charlie Hippler suggested we get a few boats together for a cruise.  He and his family picked us up in his brother’s 21’ Continental because it had more room than his Racing Runabout.  Brother Jim followed in the Racer and we met up with Larry et al somewhere on the lake.
Being the photo nerd I am, I couldn’t sit back and enjoy the ride without snapping a bunch of shots.  You never know what you might capture.  I had two cameras with me. The Canon 7D with 70-300 zoom that can shoot ten frames per second is my action camera, and the 5D Mark III with 24-105.


An image from the middle of the burst.

The late afternoon sun was shedding golden light on the lake and mahogany.  As we cruised the shoreline, the boats jockeyed positions offering a plethora of shooting angles.  The 7D with the long zoom captured the stern angled shot of Larry’s boat that became the Brass Bell cover in June.

As the sun became lower, I had an idea to try to get a sunburst effect from behind the tree line along an island.  “Mi Piace” and the Racing Runabout were off to the port and would be silhouetted by the sun.  Since they weren’t that far away, I framed them up with the 24-105 lens at the widest which allowed a little part of the side of the Continental to be in the frame.


An image from the end of the burst.

Shooting in aperture priority, I set the camera to f/22 which creates the sunburst effect, and also slowed down the shutter speed to 1/20th of a second.  I fired a burst of shots just as we came to the end of one island.  Of the burst, my favorite shot was the first one because the sun is more hidden behind the trees and the bow of Larry’s boat is more defined due to the break between islands.  That’s how I got this shot.
The original image was shot in landscape orientation.  Magazine covers need a vertical photo.  While the original was croppable to suit the space, the Brass Bell designers opted to lay it out differently, cutting off the bottom and expanding the blank blue sky, giving room for the BB logo.


Nice big logo on this issue!

I have also included a couple of the out take images, one from the middle of the burst, one from the end, where you can see the forward progression of the boats.  I like their position better in the first shot, though it is interesting to see the reflection of the flag in the Continental’s chrome trim.


Ellen arriving in style!

By the way, the wedding was lovely despite the overcast weather, and Ellen arrived in Woody Boater style!

Not a member of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club..WHAAAAT? You can renew or new your membership right here. BAM!

13 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Can’t say enough about Kent’s photographic eye!

    Even though I have been communicating with Kent since he did a story about our Cobbossee gang back in July of 2013 we have yet to meet in person.

    Here is another of my favorite Kent O. Smith Jr. shots.

  2. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    …and all I got with my “point ad shoot” was a bunch of victrolas. (11/7 Woody Boater).

    Nice work Kent…Wish I’d known you when I was doing The Brass Bell. I’m anxious for my current copy to arrive. I’m old enough to remember how to find a mail box.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Just noticed: Is the nose of the Century that Ellen is in below the water line. Glad she got out before the water came up too high. Hate to see a beautiful woman have to swim in her wedding dress.

  4. Randy
    Randy says:

    Wow, if Kent is selling large size copies of the header I would buy one to frame and hang!!!!!!

    WB add prints to store sales item???????

  5. Norm Kitching
    Norm Kitching says:

    Great shot, will be neat cover ! Think it will bring out a lot of bridal pictures. Brides and Boats !!

  6. Flash
    Flash says:

    Kent’s work never fails to amaze me. He is incredibly talented and we are lucky to have him as a contributor to the Brass Bell and the CCABC. We truly appreciate your great work Kent. Thank you on behalf of the CCABC.

    Andy Riggs

  7. Charlie from Maine
    Charlie from Maine says:

    A great couples wedding, brings out a great story, by a wonderful person and photographer.

    – Charlie and family.

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