Nyfiken på… Franck Socha, seglingsfotograf


2007/LVCup/Finale

Franck Socha är väl inte en renodlad segligsfotograf även om han har fotat mycket Americas Cup och Kitesurfing. Han har bland annat haft bildreportage i Time och Playboy.

How did you start with sailing photography?
I’m not a “real” sailling photographer, as i’m doing many things around as reportages, music, portraits, xtreme sports…Then, I don’t really know, why i started photographing sailing, but i know that i wanted to shoot the America’s cup… But at the start, I’m from Music world and reportage…

Which picture are you most satisfied with?
Oups…Though question, but i have to say that when you see the action coming, you try to imagine what’s going to be the image and what you get is what you imagined, this is a good photo . Even if you never sell it… I have to say that i have a few photos , i ‘m quite proud of…

For example, the calendar i did for Areva Challenge this year with the Theme “what are they doing onboard?”, all in studio, was very satisfying as i had to imagine every single photo from scratch to illustrate in studio, what the guys are doing on the boat.. I had good fun with the sailors…


Valencia Louis Vuitton Cup Act 13 Day 4

Best regatta to shoot?
In fact, any regatta where there are men on boats and a bit of light and action, because i’m always impressed by the actions of the guys onboard… I like to shoot humans… may be more than boats…

Worst regatta to shoot?
A regatta where you have all the weather conditions to do fantastic pictures, and you have a problem with your gear… That happened to me in Trapani in 2005, when my autofocus was not working properly, 35 knots of wind, blue sky… Boats jumping everywhere… This is probably the worst time on water… Just before no wind with grey sky….


Valencia Louis Vuitton Cup Act 13 Day 4

Who inspires you?
Not a lot of sailing photographers inspire me.

I’m more inspired by photographers like Paolo Roversi (fashion), the way he uses the Polaroid 20*25cm, Annie Leibovitz (portraits), the set up she does or Sebastao Salgado (reportage), a b&w master… I’m sometime jealous :-) of some shots of my colleagues, but i hope sometimes they are jealous of some of mines.

And i have to say that i like the sensitivity of Gilles Martin-Raget

What gear do you usually use/favor?
I use Nikon D2X for action photography with lens from 10,5 mm to 600 mm. But I like also to work with a Mamiya 6… Or with camera 10*12 cm Arca in studio…

Any advise for those who want to become a better sailing photograph?
Look at the action, try to anticipate what’s going to happen except if you know how to swim very quickly keeping your 600 mm dry…

Keep your gear in good state… Cameras don’t like very much salty water…

Be gentle with the pilot… Stay quite…. It’s asbolutly annoying having someone onboard always screaming , complaining…. And we usually having to stay together a few hours… It’s more productive to give a feed back to the pilot or to the other photographers quietly around a beer at the bar… And anyway, screaming will never bring you back the photo you missed…

And definitly, know what you want to shoot….

How do you see sailing photography develop in the future?
Tough question, but it seems that we have to take care of the fact that videos are going to be better and better, Then we can think that on big events, there will be less and less place for us… But at the same time, the gear doesn’t make the image… So there will be always a need for people who makes nice photos…


Jérémie Eloy “The Frenchie” , one of the best kitesurfers in the world, goes to Cap Vert to ride the very well known wave of Punta Preta on the Island of Sal.

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