A Woody Boater Special – Behind The Scenes Of A Brass Bell Photo Shoot On Lake Dora

The Brass Bell is the quarterly publication of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, and is considered by many folks within the hobby to be one of the top publications in the antique & classic boating hobby. One of the many benefits of being a member of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club is the anticipation of recieving the Brass Bell, to read the always informative stories and articles that fill the magazine. The Brass Bell has also developed a reputation for it’s high quality photography, which is simply—second to none.

While in Lake Dora for the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival yesterday, Woody Boater was invited to join Don Ayers (Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Director of Research) and Angilla Baccus (Brass Bell Associate Editor) on one of their legendary photo shoots on the Lake Dora. Of course we jumped at the opportunity to join along, just to experience first hand how the magnificent photography is created. This also gave us the opportunity to share this “Behind the Scenes” experience with the Woody Boater community.

The boat that was chosen for the photo shoot was Member Jim Frechette’s rare 1940 Chris-Craft Red & White Express named “Old Paint”. Over the last few weeks Woody Boater has featured Jim’s Red & White in a few stories leading up to the Sunnyland boat show, as this is where “Old Paint” would be unveiled after her recent resoration.

In anticipation of getting some perfect light for the photo shoot, Jim and “Old Paint” met us at the dock at 7:00 AM just before sunrise, and we headed down the lake to meet Don & Angilla at the boat show dock in Taveres.

Paul & Karen Harrison agreed to let us use their 24′ Chris-Craft Sea Skiff for the photo shoot which was docked at the boat show. The big Sea Skiff was perfect as a shoot boat because it is easy to move around in, allowing Don to safely get out on the front deck to shoot at 25 MPH while maintaining a nice steady, safe speed for the photo shoot.

Don Ayers has a great deal of experience with these type of photo shoots, and simply directs Jim where he wants him to go to capture the unique characteristics of “Old Paint” and best overall photos of the boat in the early morning light of Lake Dora.

The photos we managed to get of Don in action were fun, and help us explain to our viewers how the whole process is done – but while Don was gathering over 600 digital photographs from every possible angle, Angilla was following the action with a portable video camera. Wait until you see this folks…

What an outstanding experience, and now you have a better understanding and appreciation for what it takes to complete an “On the Water” photo shoot, and how they capture the incredible photography which can be found in each and every issue of the Brass Bell.

Don and Angilla have posted this video and some of their other video work from Lake Dora on the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Forum known as “Boat Buzz” – you can click here to go directly to the forum. The Boat Buzz Forum is another benefit of being a member of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club… Another reason to sign up for a membership if you haven’t already.

A specal thanks to Don Ayers and Angilla Baccus for inviting Woody Boater along for the photo shoot, we had a great time and apprreciate the opportunity to share this with out viewers.

Matt & Texx

12 replies
  1. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Very cool shots and video thanks guys. Best time of the day to shoot boats, heck best time of the day full stop. Im looking forward to waking at 7.00 am my time and seeing more of your day.

  2. Jim Godlewski
    Jim Godlewski says:

    Great shots! And neat video too. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Old Paint is looking good.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Great shots and what a wonderful video. Thanks for posting them. The biggest problem all of us should have is spotty wifi coverage while at that event. Let the fun continue.

  4. Tom T
    Tom T says:

    Geat shot and I really love the video!!. Thats a beautiful boat. Thanks you started my day off great. Tom

  5. John Lahti
    John Lahti says:

    Some people have all the luck. I can’t remember a day here when it wasn’t snowing. (Lake Tahoe) Having been on numerous shoots with Don, watching this makes the snow shoveling a little easier. Matt, looking forward to meeting you. What a fantastic job you are doing!

  6. Allen Willey
    Allen Willey says:

    Well, Matt and Texx you have us drooling for more today and you are too busy to share…..omg warm weather when we are in the 20’s and a teaser video…..there you sit/stand shaking hands and yuking it up with the boater guys hopefully not engaging in any” he said-he said-he said and the pictures are” banter about Thayer IV and Mariah……keep posting……we all keep checking to see whats going on…….its like addictive…..thanks for what you do for all of us in this hobby. More video on varoom PLEASE !!!!!

  7. Allen Willey
    Allen Willey says:

    I was just thinking next year we need to figure out how to do a “webcam” for the show……as it happens stuff so everyone can watch ya’ll !!!!

  8. wood-boater
    wood-boater says:

    As I put the bottom on Old Paint I’m glad to see it didn’t come off during the photo shoot. I think Jim has now exceeded the 15/15 warranty; 15 minutes or 15 miles… whichever comes first.

    Great shots around dora. Could not make it this year so thanks for the many great shots and commentary. Makes me realize my priorities are all screwed up.

    Jeff @ Antique Boat Shop.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Hey Jeff – Thanks for the comment today. “Old Paint” is a true classic and a big hit at the show this year.

      And Mr. Frechette… He is now close to “Rock Star” status in Florida!

  9. Jim Frechette
    Jim Frechette says:

    I just wanted to report that “Old Paint” is safely back in the barn in Austin. We had a great time in Tavares and I just wanted to say thanks to Paul and Karen, Texx, Matt and Don for the wonderful hospitality. It would not have been the same without your help and friendship. See you next time!

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