The Top Ten Tricks To Getting That Perfect Photo Of Your Classic Boat.


Shot last year with a Nikon Sunset, flat water.


Same shot, same time, same everything, shot with an iphone 6

Yesterday on Facebook, fellow Woody Boater Steve Morley asked how we got one of those boat out in the water shots. I all along just figured everyone did it by towing a boat out and setting her adrift. Thats how I do it, but others , OK everyone else just ducks down in the boat. Of course I am usually alone when that happens, or need someone to drive the boat I am shooting from.

But if you want to get some shots to send into Classic Boating, and yes they are asking, here are a couple tricks. Seem simple, but will make a huge difference.


Just the right light – The sun set 5 minutes later


See, bad boat shot great sky though

1. Number one and always the biggest number one, or your shots will look like number two! SUNRISE, OR SUNSET!  Here is why. The sun is your light source, and you want it low to light up the sides. It also creates strong shadows which define the boat, car, whatever. The sun overhead is like a big flat life suck. I know I know, but Woody, I am out on the water at noon. Hey, Mr Magoo, this is art we be talk’n about here!

2. Ditch the crap. Lines and pop/soda cans.

3. Bring a good looking person if your having a person in it. GOOD LOOKING! Which rules out half of you. bring your better half. If they can wear a neutral thing, or anything that is not lime green or modern. Timeless.


Good Lookn Smiln people help

4. If you are doing the all alone shot. Have the driver duck down on the floor. Yes its strange. But its OK. If you are towing the boat out or just two of you, get someone to drive you around the boat. Wait for the light, it will happen and POW.

5. Its OK to push the boat around and set it in place.


A little shove can be cool

6. Shoot a crap load of shots. A CRAP LOAD, why a crap load, cause 99% are gonna be crap! Hey, it happens to the worst of us. Me! I can shoot over 500 pics in one shoot, and get 10 out of it.


This shot had houses and plastic boats and junk in it.

7. If you know photo shop, it will save your patootie. It can help with little things and add light etc.

8. Find a simple setting, so the background doesn’t compete with the boat. I spend most of my photo clean up getting rid of strange distractions in the background.


Simple setting – Not great light by the way.

9. Make sure you are between the sun and the boat, if you’re shooting into the sun the boat will be a black clump.

10. Send us the shots not Classic Boating, hey, its a dog eat dog world out there.

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

    It’s good to learn how to do it right, but I will probably keep taking bad pics of people having fun.

  2. Greg Lewamdowski
    Greg Lewamdowski says:

    I really appreciate all the great tips. Will they all work with my flip phone Camera?
    I also want to wish a belated happy birthday to you and Texx. I was unable to post yesterday. Thanks for all that you guys do for the lifestyle.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    My eyelids don’t work at sunrise and the tequila is working by sunset so bad mid-day pics will need to stay the norm for me. Please keep your better pics coming.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I also missed yesterday, so Happy Birthday. I think we need to start planning a big party for next year when you hit the big One-Oh.

    One of the problems I have with photos is the perfect light at sunrise comes before I have had my morning bacon and well, you gotta have priorities.

  5. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    Matt does what it takes to get the perfect photo. I have seen him in much stranger and unsafe positions than this, but he gets the shot.

  6. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    In case any one is wondering what the header boat looks like, here she is. Pic taken with my I pad camera a few years ago at Tahoe.

  7. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    When I get in that position it is usually because of too much Tequila that needs to be expelled through my intake system.

  8. Ron in Seattle
    Ron in Seattle says:

    Happy belated birthday!
    Great photo tips!
    Found something for M-fine it the other day, in time for cold weather….

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