The Bahamas and a Super Yacht
BOAT International Cover Shoot
/// During a blistering December cold streak here in Chicago, we were lucky enough to head down to the Bahamas and shoot an assignment for BOAT International. The project was to shoot their March magazine cover and follow the story of the AXIS, a 181 ft exploration yacht loaded with cool toys; a Triton submarine, ICON A5 amphibious aircraft, jet skis, auxiliary boats and much more. To say the least, it was fully loaded.
While spending time in the Bahamas is nothing to fuss about, this shoot proved to have it's own unique environmental and technical challenges. In the end we nailed some great moments, as well as the cover shot thanks to a solid team all working together. Here's a quick excerpt from our interview with BOAT:
What’s the trickiest part of shooting airplanes?
MB: Coordinating aircrafts to be in the right position can be difficult. I’m communicating what I want to my photo pilot, who relays the message to the other aircraft. The photo pilot then has to perform the right maneuver to get me in position for the shot. Luckily we have a great team to make it all happen.
Managing motion blur is another hurdle. I shoot at slow shutter speeds to capture the motion of the propeller. It’s a great look for the prop, however, this makes it difficult to obtain sharpness on the rest of the aircraft and the ship, especially at longer focal ranges. I use a Kenyon Gyro to compensate for aircraft vibrations, wind and turbulence.
Do you fly for fun, or is this just a work-related habit?
MB: I’ve had a passion for aviation since I was young. My Dad was a Huey pilot during the Vietnam War. The week I was born, he bought a Cessna Skymaster. We’d commute in that instead of flying commercial. It felt as natural as jumping in the car. That desire to fly has never left.
What was the most challenging part of the shoot in the Bahamas?
MB: When shooting remote locations, it’s crucial to pack everything necessary, but with efficiency. When we landed in Nassau, we had 17 large cases of photo and video equipment. Repacking for boats and small airplanes is a challenge. We had to strip the gear of their protective cases and ditch some equipment in the bushes on a remote island for a day, because it did not fit in the plane. Moving fragile camera equipment over seas, turbulent air and sandy beaches is not easy, but my camera assistant, Drew, did an incredible job managing all of the gear.
What was fun about it?
MB: Island hopping in the A5 is an amazing experience. You go from one place to the next quickly and with an incredible vantage point. We’d land and pull right up onto the beach. There is no better way to explore the Bahamas.
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