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How to shoot on a boat - Use VR? - Use Tripod - Use Both?
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Nov 8, 2018 06:33:40   #
Architect1776 (a regular here)
 
rvenn wrote:
Should I use a Tripod on a flat-decked pontoon boat. Should I use VR with the Tripod or without the Tripod?


Absolutely no tripod or anything fastened to the boat or resting on it.
Handheld using IS and appropriate shutter speed, preferably a higher one.
Anything resting on the boat will magnify the motion of the boat, it is hard enough to handhold and keep on the subject.

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Nov 8, 2018 06:34:19   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
rvenn wrote:
Should I use a Tripod on a flat-decked pontoon boat. Should I use VR with the Tripod or without the Tripod?


A tripod and monopod will only increase your motion and make it difficult to get a good image. If your going to shoot faster than 1/500 sec. , then you don't need VR. I would hand hold with elbows loose so as to not pick up boat motion (you cushion it that way) and shoot at least 1/1000 sec. That should do it. I would also stop down the lens 3 stops for sharpness.

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Nov 8, 2018 06:41:07   #
NormanTheGr8
 
MT Shooter wrote:
Always keep in mind that motor vibrations will always be transmitted through the tripod directly to the camera/lens mounted on it. NOT a good idea. Best results will be hand held with stabilization turned on unless you can shoot at high shutter speeds of 1/1000sec or faster then stabilization is not needed. using stabilization when not necessary not only uses excess battery power but will slow down the AF system so don't use it unless you need it for the shot.



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Nov 8, 2018 06:51:00   #
gwh1bass
 
Shoot with a high SS. This was shot HH no VR wide open f2.8 from a very bouncy boat.



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Nov 8, 2018 07:41:31   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
VR handheld.

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Nov 8, 2018 07:52:54   #
mborn (a regular here)
 
TerryLA wrote:
I have taken many pictures from various types of boats which were traveling at different speeds and being hand held has always been my choice varying my shutter speed for the speed of the boat I'm on and always with the vr on.


Me also no tripod or monopod

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Nov 8, 2018 07:54:48   #
magpix
 
As a semi-retired photojournalist for the boating industry, I agree with these responses....No tripod! Keep your knees bent slightly to better absorb boat movement. Keep your arms close to your body. Most important of all, use a high shutter speed. When shooting from a boat I normally shoot at 1/1250 to 1/2500 or even higher when using a lens of 400mm or more. Usually there's enough light not to have to worry about raising the ISO above what your camera is capable of. I can shoot my Fuji XT-2 or XT-3 at ISO 3200 with little noticeable noise. Here's an image shot from my bouncing 17-foot Boston Whaler at 1/3500, f/6.4, ISO 640. AF-C.



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Nov 8, 2018 08:18:47   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
I've always handheld with VR - if I had it. bent knees can absorb a lot of movement.

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Nov 8, 2018 09:18:54   #
rplain1
 
I have seen all of the above comments about no tripod, and I have also taken handheld. I took an airboat tour in Florida and used handheld with VR on, but I also took a boat tour out of Rockport to see the whooping cranes and did use a tripod (with VR off). And contrary to many comments above, there were no problems with vibrations. Granted, the captain did slow the boat for photo-ops so we were either stopped or going very slowly, but he did not kill the engine. There were several other photographers and almost all used tripods anchored to the boat with equal success. I am sure it also probably depends on what type of boat - a smaller one such as a private motorboat might be more of a problem. In my case also - we were not on the ocean or lake with waves so there was no pitching or rolling. If that were an issue I would definitely go handheld.

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Nov 8, 2018 09:19:45   #
bpulv (a regular here)
 
rvenn wrote:
Should I use a Tripod on a flat-decked pontoon boat. Should I use VR with the Tripod or without the Tripod?


The trick to marine photography is high shutter speeds, VR and handheld. A tripod will only transmit movement of the boat or ship to the camera. Your body is the best shock absorber in the world and that is what you should used to stabilize your camera unless you have a steady-cam type device for that purpose. On one Alaska cruise, I was photographing video from the bow of a large ship creeping through Tracy Arm Fjord at under 2-knots. The water was dead calm, so I used a monopod and it worked well, but that is the only situation where I would have considered that solution. Also, don't try to hold the camera against the ships structure either.

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Nov 8, 2018 09:24:30   #
rvenn
 
Thanks much!!

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Nov 8, 2018 09:40:03   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
rvenn wrote:
Should I use a Tripod on a flat-decked pontoon boat. Should I use VR with the Tripod or without the Tripod?


Use steadied hand held with, full frame, high shutter speed, high ISO, shorter focal length than you really need and CROP your way to your final composition.

..

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Nov 8, 2018 10:05:24   #
throughrhettseyes
 
A tripod on a boat would be helpful to help support a long lens. Say a 200-500 on a Gimble mount. Since the boat will move up and down like a bobber the tripod would only be good to help support the heavy lenses but not to stabilize them. VR would help in this situation. So now you can move the camera with the flow of the boat and get a better shot similar to panning a race car in motion. Of coarse a higher shutter speed will help also. Take your time and learn to feel what works with your style when shooting sports action and wildlife.

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Nov 8, 2018 11:01:40   #
RolandDieter
 
You are referring to a small boat since you say you will have the motor off and use the boat as a blind. Just your body movement will have the boat will be moving, even if only slightly, in more than one axis. So will the tripod. Hand held stabilization will likely be the best bet. Not sure if this will work with all cameras that have a "hand held night scene " mode, but with mine I found you can use this to steady any shot, daytime as well as night.

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Nov 8, 2018 13:20:48   #
cambriaman (a regular here)
 
If the ships engine is running, it will transmit vibrations through the hull to the deck and therefore, I never use a tripod on a boat (or a ship). The camera's VR or OS internal system and a fast shutter speed should be all you need.

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