YM's photographer, Graham Snook, shares his tips


Top Tips from Graham Snook

Make sure your camera equipment is covered. It may be covered under your household insurance, so phone and check before it takes a wave.

Spare batteries
Easy to overlook, but there aren’t many shops mid channel. When you’re trying to capture the illusive green flash, the last thing you’d like to see flash in the battery indicator. Take a fully charged spare or new batteries depending on your camera

Keep it protected
Unless it’s waterproof (like the compacts tested in the Feb 2012 issue of Yachting Monthly) Keep your camera in its case, tucked under the spray hood or inside your oilskins. Soggy cameras don’t take pictures.

Make it accessible
It’s no good having to rummage through lockers down below looking for your digital joy while dolphins jump spectacularly over the bow. Keep it on deck, but keep it protected. If it’s in front of you, you’ll be more likely to use it.

Check the lens
Have a quick look at the lens to make sure it’s water and fingerprint free, BEFORE you take the photo. Unless you wear glasses it’s easy to miss all the fine spray that flies around on boats, but your camera won’t.

Highest Resolution
Always shoot on the highest resolution. You would be heartbroken if you take a real winner, only to find it will only print out the size of a credit card. You can make them smaller, but not a lot bigger.

Buy a bigger card
Most storage cards that come with the cameras will only hold a small number of images at the highest resolution. Buy a card with at least 1GB and keep the other as a spare.

Take lots of photos
Sounds obvious I know, but take a few photographs each time, then delete the pics you don’t want. It doesn’t cost you any more whether you take 1 photo or 5, but the pattern of the water might look better in one, so just keep that image.

Use them as a note pad and binoculars.
Can’t make out a cardinal mark in the distance? Take a photo and use the zoom of the camera display to help you. The images are also time dated, so you have the time you passed a buoy, a bit like a digital log.

Watch out for the horizon!
The horizon is always horizontal, so try not to change the laws of physics and have sloping water. Is sounds obvious, but when the boat is healing over it’s easy to get distracted

What’s in my camera bag? In excess of £12,000 of gear

Canon 1DsmkIII
Canon 5D
Video camera
8mm 180º fisheye
17-35mm f2.8
28-70mm f2.8
70-200mm f2.8
1.4x Teleconverter
2 x 580ex Flash
1 Quantum Battery pack
1 Lightmeter
35 Gb of Compact Flash Cards
1 spare battery for both cameras
Spare AA batteries for flash
Chamois Leather – For keeping the lens clean