November 11, 2009

Photo of the Day: Freedom

The crazy days of summer have been replaced by the lazy days of fall.

latitude/LaDonna
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This weekend’s sublime conditions made for idyllic daysailing weather. Light breezes coupled with warm daytime temps lured scores of sailors from whatever chores awaited them ashore.

Jib Martens took full advantage of what the weather gods served up on Sunday by taking out his appropriately named Worth 40 – Freedom.

latitude/LaDonna
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The docks at Ayala Cove were buzzing with activity and good humor. The young people on Dark Star were particularly cheerful as this was their first outing to Angel Island aboard their new-to-them Edson B. Schock-designed 1939 woodie. "We just bought her on Wednesday," said beaming co-owner Omar Elafifi, 29. In fact, Omar is the oldest of the four boat partners — the others are Scott ‘Gundo’ Gundersen, 27, Nick Niedospial, 26, and Alex Kleeman, 26.

The crew of Dark Star included Laurel Carman, Nick Niedospial, Tobey Martin, David Rodriguez, Ashlee Duprey, Alex Kleeman and Omar Elafifi.

latitude/LaDonna
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The gang — who’ve owned three other boats together — plan to sail and work on the 40-ft Dark Star with the ultimate goal of entering her in the 2012 Pacific Cup. From there, Kleeman has set his sights farther afield: "Maybe a circumnavigation," he hedged. Now that’s the kind of freedom we all yearn for.

Show Us Yours

Even if you’re not a pro photographer, sailing vacations can yield a wealth of cool photos.

© Zac Turpin

After announcing our World of Chartering photo contest last month, we received a bunch of pretty cool photos. But we want more before picking the winners!

We know that hundreds, if not thousands, of you take charter vacations as often as you can afford to. And we have to believe you all take along cameras. So don’t be shy, show us your best images. Naturally, we’d like to see shots of action under sail, or eye-popping nautical scenes. But you’re also welcome to submit images depicting any aspect of a sailing vacation, including underwater scenes, sights ashore, anchorages, beach bars, your goofy kids, whatever.

The combination of rich topographical textures and a smartly painted island sloop makes this a dramatic image — not to mention the studly guy on the foredeck.

latitude/Andy
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Because we know you’re probably as over-extended these days as we are, we’ll extend the submission deadline to January 1. Email us up to five high-resolution JPGs, and you’ll have a chance to get your shots published in these pages, and also receive some much-coveted Latitude swag.

On the other hand, if our plea for stunning photos makes you realize that you really don’t have any, perhaps we can offer a few tips. Over the years we have, after all, shot about a zillion frames.

Since most sailing vacations are taken in bright, sunny places — and more often than not, in the tropics — getting evenly balanced photos can be a challenge. Polarizing filters can help reduce glare, but don’t try using old filters from your film camera on your new digital. New electronic cameras require specifically designed filters.

If you browse through a National Geographic you’ll notice that many of the most impressive shots have very warm lighting, with highly defined highlights and shadows. That’s because pros often shoot in the early morning or close to twilight, when colors are the richest.

When out on the water you’ll eliminate the chance of blurred images by choosing ‘shutter priority’ and assigning a shutter speed of 1000 or higher.

Another tip that’s especially useful in the tropics is to become familiar with your camera’s fill flash settings, which can brighten faces beneath hat brims without looking artificial, and also light a subject in the foreground (i.e. your sweetheart), while accurately recording the ambient light in the background (such as a sunset). Experiment and have fun. Fooling around with photography can be an added pleasure when vacationing in geographically dramatic and culturally rich places.

“That wasn’t so hard after all!” For many in the fleet, completing the Ha-Ha is the inaugural step in a new life of cruising.
With the conclusion of the Baja Ha-Ha on Saturday night, the Grand Poobah/Publisher of Latitude 38 finally got some time to review the coverage of the loss of J/World and the Coast Guard’s helicopter rescue of her crew — skipper Eugenie Russell, instructor Barry Demak, and students Raymond Quinn, Mark McKinnon, and Judy Land — 200 miles southwest of San Diego.