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View Full Version : tips for shooting on a small boat.


jann1033
10-17-2007, 08:50 PM
as i may have mentioned we are going on a couple nature boat rides...my hands/arms are extra shaky presently so i have had to use a monopod with just my 70-200 f4 most of the time lately and was planning on doing that on the boat if they haven't improved but not being a boat person, not sure if that would make it better or worse..obviously no room for a tripod but will hopefully be using my teleconverter...one is at late afternoon, the other early-mid morning so not bright light( Nov). i am just wondering if the waves/movement of the boat( not sure if they stop in one place or just cruise slowly) would make a monopod/camera move to much since it would be resting on the floor of the boat..any ideas? if so i might try my 28-135 even though it won't get as good a distance...not sure if i can use a teleconverter on the long end of that lens or not or if the is would work still or not, but guessing i could( it fits)..kind of would like to plan it out somewhat rather than have to experiment and botch the photos
thanks

MICKEY88
10-17-2007, 09:16 PM
I'm thinking the monopod will help, yes it will move with the boat, but even if your hands were rock steady, you will move with the boat also, same as the monopod, therefore you have nothing to lose by using it, but you will gain the steadiness of eliminating your shakey hands..

AndrewWG
10-17-2007, 09:23 PM
I'm thinking the monopod will help, yes it will move with the boat, but even if your hands were rock steady, you will move with the boat also, same as the monopod, therefore you have nothing to lose by using it, but you will gain the steadiness of eliminating your shakey hands..

I have to agree. Your body is just a big "bi-pod" if there is such a word. A two legged monopod, so you should move as much as the monopod will with respect to the boat movement. If your hands are that shaky, I would certainly say to try the monopod. It should be fine.

MICKEY88
10-17-2007, 09:41 PM
I have to agree. Your body is just a big "bi-pod" if there is such a word. .


I think you just discovered a subspecies of humans, those of us with a camera permanently or semi-permanently attached to our hands...:thumbsup2

AndrewWG
10-17-2007, 09:45 PM
I think you just discovered a subspecies of humans, those of us with a camera permanently or semi-permanently attached to our hands...:thumbsup2

Yeah, we are no longer known as bipeds, we are now bipods. Like it or not! :laughing:

jann1033
10-18-2007, 09:55 AM
Yeah, we are no longer known as bipeds, we are now bipods. Like it or not! :laughing:

:rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
so with an added monopod, i guess that would make me a tripod anyway;)

Groucho
10-18-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with everyone here. Remember my fireworks photos that I took with a tripod from a boat?

http://www.totalsham.com/pics/gallery/86-4/070623Boat07.jpg

And that was from a decent-sized boat! Trying to anchor your camera to the boat itself is no different than trying to use a tripod on the Safari ride at AK - what you're doing is picking up every movement and vibration from the vehicle itself.

What you want to do is isolate the camera as much as possible, so your arms will act like a sort of gimbal. Your best bet, IMHO, would be to shoot in shutter priority mode and select a reasonably high shutter speed, as fast as you can get without having to dip into a high ISO.

Also expect to be doing some straightening in post-processing, it's hard to keep your horizons level on a small boat! :)

handicap18
10-18-2007, 02:57 PM
How small is the boat. I'm sure those of us that grew up on or near the water would consider a small boat to be the 12' row boat we kept on the beach and would either do some sailing with or go fishing with.

I've heard other people in my travels think that a 70' boat they do parties on is a small boat.

I think the biggest thing to watch for is how fast the boat is moving and how calm the water is or isn't. If its a fast boat on semi-rough water, then getting any pictures is going to be very tough. A slow moving boat on very calm water during the middle of a sunny day shouldn't really present any issues with getting fast enough shutter speeds to counteract camera shake. In this case the monopod would probably help you out depending on the lens you use.

Though keep in mind, that in some past photo assignments a few members have posted pictures they took while water skiing and knee boarding.

jann1033
10-18-2007, 05:08 PM
hmm good guestion about the boat itself...all it says is an evening float( in november guess 3pm is evening) in a pontoon boat( sounds slow to me)that one is expressly to go to pelican island national refuge in indian river lagoon
but, i don't think you can go on the island itself,. i'm hoping for some dolphins as well but who knows

the other is the south prong of the sebastian river to see manatees, alligators, birds etc. also pontoon...

we aren't driving it since the last time we tried that we ended up stuck in the shallows:rolleyes1 :rotfl: but our canoe trips are even worse, like i said, not boat people:rotfl2:

i tried to get more info from the woman who took our ressies but she had a hard enough time figuring how to run a cc through...

groucho, just post them under the artsy fartsy thread and no one will be the wiser;)

MICKEY88
10-18-2007, 05:15 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with everyone here. Remember my fireworks photos that I took with a tripod from a boat?

http://www.totalsham.com/pics/gallery/86-4/070623Boat07.jpg

And that was from a decent-sized boat! Trying to anchor your camera to the boat itself is no different than trying to use a tripod on the Safari ride at AK - what you're doing is picking up every movement and vibration from the vehicle itself.

What you want to do is isolate the camera as much as possible, so your arms will act like a sort of gimbal. Your best bet, IMHO, would be to shoot in shutter priority mode and select a reasonably high shutter speed, as fast as you can get without having to dip into a high ISO.

Also expect to be doing some straightening in post-processing, it's hard to keep your horizons level on a small boat! :)

I respectfully disagree, there's a big difference between night shots and daytime shots, as far as shutterspeed, you obviously had a rather slow one, the problem is the OP has shakey hands, so she needs a way of steadying that..

shooting with a high shutter speed will minimize boat movement, and the monopod will minimize shakiness...:thumbsup2

AndrewWG
10-18-2007, 05:48 PM
If it is a pntoon boat, I would suspect it to be very steady. I think those are some of the nicer rides. Not a V hull type boat that rocks like crazy everytime someone shifts a cheek on their seat. I would bring the monopod, and if it doesn't work well, you can always fold it up and use it handheld.

Groucho
10-18-2007, 09:52 PM
I respectfully disagree, there's a big difference between night shots and daytime shots, as far as shutterspeed, you obviously had a rather slow one, the problem is the OP has shakey hands, so she needs a way of steadying that..

shooting with a high shutter speed will minimize boat movement, and the monopod will minimize shakiness...:thumbsup2
Right, but I think you folks underestimate the amount of shaking that even a relatively calm boat will do. Your body acts like a buffer to help minimize that.

Now, if you have really bad shakes, then perhaps the boat's shaking is even less... but it's still there. The other thing to keep in mind if you do use a monopod is that you definitely want a ball head that's not tightened down at all, as you will be constantly adjusting the angle.

Jann, if you can get fairly steady shots hand-holding your camera on land, you should be fine doing that on sea. :thumbsup2

MICKEY88
10-19-2007, 03:02 AM
Right, but I think you folks underestimate the amount of shaking that even a relatively calm boat will do. Your body acts like a buffer to help minimize that.

Now, if you have really bad shakes, then perhaps the boat's shaking is even less... but it's still there. The other thing to keep in mind if you do use a monopod is that you definitely want a ball head that's not tightened down at all, as you will be constantly adjusting the angle.

Jann, if you can get fairly steady shots hand-holding your camera on land, you should be fine doing that on sea. :thumbsup2

i think you are overlooking the first thing the OP said...
as i may have mentioned we are going on a couple nature boat rides...my hands/arms are extra shaky presently so i have had to use a monopod with just my 70-200 f4 most of the time lately

jann1033
10-19-2007, 09:21 PM
i think i'll take the monopod and my IS lens and hope if i can't use the 70-200 and teleconverter either with or without the monopod at least the IS might give me the extra length...although i don't know if the IS will still work with the teleconverter or not, i'm thinking since the electrical works it should but i don't really know..i have to remember to try that out.

the initial thought i had was similar to groucho...would it be better to sway with the breeze so to speak and would the monopod just amplify the boat's movement overriding any help it would do with my personal movement..but right now i can only use the IS lens that way( well i think, i haven't looked at what i shot today yet so maybe not;))...maybe it will be better by then anyway.... i tried some shots today with the 70-200/telec. minus a monopod so i'll see just how bad they are:rotfl: