Tips for Luxury Yacht Feature Photo Shoots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' started by JMASTERJ, Apr 4, 2014.



    Apr 4, 2014
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    Hey guys! I am taking some photos for a web site I am working on for a friend who restores and details luxury yachts. Basically we need photos of shiny and luxurious details of the ship that has been worked on to show it off, so I guess you can imagine this being like a photo shoot by someone going to a boat show? Few questions are

    • What time of the day is best for such photos? Its all outdoors in the boat yard, non-negotiable for location
    • Are there any basic settings I can use or is auto just best? I need to go tomorrow so I would love to learn all the manual settings but just dont have time right now... so if u r experienced with such things, I would love to hear them
    • I assume flash, no matter how good, wont help here?
    • In the broad daylight I assume a tripod is not necesary?
    • What light angles? I assume its best with the sun kinda behind me, or just to feel out the best gloss possible? Since the ship is not movable, I guess I'll just have to go with visual decisions on the spot?
    • Which lens should I use, if it matters at all

    ANY other advice that may help is much appreciated, since we dont have many chance on these fast moving projects, when its done, they have to let them go unfortunately, so some pressure here. The saving grace is that it is for the web, not a magazine, so we have some wiggle room for non-perfection, even though its hurts me to say that.

    And for those of you who may not know me from before or whatever else, I want to say, in no way am I disrespecting the photo industry and looking for quick schemes etc... I understand this is a lifelong process of learning and adapting... unfortunately right now I have neither luxury, so trying to do the best I can with what we have.


    Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i
    Flash: Speedlight YN560x2
    Lens: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS , Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto
    JMASTERJ, Apr 4, 2014


    Dec 11, 2006
    Likes Received:
    San Jose, CA
    This is too late for that photo shoot, but best time for any outdoor photography is around sunrise and sunset, preferably starging shooting slightly before sunrise or after after sunset (or with a light overcast). that takes care of the big contrast between shadow and brightness, and most of the bright reflection issues.

    But in lower light, a tripod is recommended, because you'll be shooting at a slower shutter speed.

    You can often avoid reflections, anyway--or make sure that reflections are reflecting something other than you--by trying different shooting angles.

    For simplified use of settings, I'd go with aperture priority so that you can pick a very wide opening (lower numbers), which lets in more light but gives a shallower (shorter) depth of focus, which you might want for close-up details, or a very narrow opening (larger number), which lets in less light but gives you a greater depth of focus. If you use your narrowest aperture when there's a small, bright reflection of light, or light shining through a small hole of some sort, it can sometimes give a "starburst" effect that's pretty cool.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
    Elf, Aug 21, 2014


    Dec 29, 2014
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    Thanks for your suggestion.
    spiritmotne, Dec 29, 2014
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