HMS Oardacious – Training Row

Panorma of HMS Oardacious taken mid afternoon using telephoto lens, sunlight on the white reflective surfaces and under exposure to create the main aspects of the image.

Creating Images with Light and Angles

A long planned photography trip to coincide with the penultimate day of HMS Oardacious 8 day training row as part of the Talisker Whisky Transatlantic Challenge.  The aim was to create some images that the team could use to promote and showcase they challenge which ultimately is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and funds for the RNRMC charity.  It was also key to ensure we did not interfere (too much) with the teams training row.

To achieve this took two photographers, a support yacht, a couple of large strobe lights and three different cameras.  This blog highlights the results of some of the shoot so you can decide for yourself whether we achieved our aim.

I am indebted to my fellow photographer, Gill Williams, who captured the shots from within the water, the HMS Oardacious team for putting up with us as we asked them to make some transits back and forth at the end of a very long week and also to the crew of our support yacht whose skill allowed us to get close enough to make use of the strobe lights.

The signature image of the shoot and one that had been storyboarded before we arrived. Gill was in the water with a Canon 5D MkIV in an Aquatica Digital housing and made images as the team rowed head on towards her, passed alonside then rowed away. Post production made the image look a little like a periscope view as an acknowledgement that the HMS Oardacious team are all submariners and we were working only a short distance from Faslane, the Royal Navy's principle submarine base.

Three further images from Gill.  With a wide angle lens attached we could create two very different feels.  When we allowed the boat to get close we could make the short chop of a swell look more dramatic whilst with the team further away a sense of isolation could be achieved.  Though we were operating in fairly closed in waters, just off Gourock, we were able to perhaps give a sense of the open Atlantic ocean.

I was operating off the yacht with two different cameras and lens combinations.  A Canon 5DSr was linked to the Profoto strobe lights via a transmitter and had a 50mm lens attached.  The strobes had CTO gels for some of the shots and clear for others.  With the gels on the lights the camera's WB was at 3400K whilst without the gels it was at 6000K.

The second camera was a Canon 1DX MkII with the 200-400mm zoom attached.  This allowed detail to be captured, like the oars, as well has getting some close up images of the rowers and being able to play with compistion and zoom effects.

The long lens images were captured at the same time as Gill created hers.  Whilst the images using the strobes were taken afterwards.  We were very keen to minimise the time we were on location as after we had finished the team still had to row (against the tide) up the Clyde to Glasgow ready for some media work with STV and BFBS the following day.

2 Responses

  1. Peter Newman
    | Reply

    Wonderful collection of photographs by you and your team. BZ. Always enjoy your work so please keep on so doing.
    Regards and good health

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