So you want to be a yachting photographer?

Published on October 21st, 2014

Abner Kingman, winner of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2013, shares his views on yacht racing photography…

What are the key qualities of a good yacht racing image?
Abner Kingman: The best yacht racing images both evoke emotion and provoke thought. They affect the viewer on a gut level first, and then, on second look, intellectually. They feel true and honest, not contrived, cliched, syrupy, or sentimental.

What do you think about the job of ‘yacht racing photographer’?

AK: Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? I suppose a lot of people think it does and that is why there are so many photographers at every yacht race. Very few of them are in it for the long haul, though. Aside from any artistic talent, it takes a relentless doggedness to succeed.

What yacht racing image would you like to see; what hasn’t been done yet?
AK: I don’t suppose there are many images that haven’t been tried before. What is very difficult to capture is an image that is worth looking at again and again, because each time you see something new.

What is your relation with yacht racing photography?
AK: I work as a marine photographer and that includes a fair bit of yacht racing. When I was younger and racing, but not yet shooting I always relished looking at the shots that could make me feel the way I did when I was on the water.

Background: Started in 2009, the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image is the world’s premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing. The photographs contending in 2014 will be displayed on the event’s website on November 1, allowing the public to vote. The award winners will be announced during the World Yacht Racing Forum in Barcelona, Spain on December 11, 2014.

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