Nyfiken på… Gilles Martin-Raget, seglingsfotograf

BMW-Oracle tränar i Aukland ©Gilles Martin-Raget

Gilles Martin-Raget är en av de stora fransmännen. Hans karriär började 1983 när han var med det franska teamet i Americas Cup. När man blev utslagna stannade han kvar och fotade och skrev reportage. Han är officiell fotograf för BMW ORACLE Racing (2003-2007) och tidigare Orange/Bruno Peyron (2002-2004) och några av de stora varven. Gilles har också fotograferat till ett antal böcker.

How did you start with sailing photography?
I have been sailing for 10 years full time and was doing photos like everybody but started to cover the races I was involved in, especially america’s Cup 83 and 87.

©Gilles Martin-Raget

Which picture are you most satisfied with?
Every year there are one or two that will stay in the top ones you are proud to show on exhibitons or as a sample of what you have done. Trimaran fuji facing a big wave is one of them, taken in 2002, as it is the core of our mission: take a picture of something exceptional. I have been lucky to watch and bring it back to the general public to show the beauty of the sea and sailing.

Best regatta to shoot?
Offshore racing with big multihull is the most spectacular. They are the fastest boats in the world and sail in tough conditions sometimes. They jump, are colourfull, plenty of action. I love shooting maxis too because they push more water, though new boats tend to be less spectacular. I love tropical cruising shooting too!… Generally, the more windy, the bigger the waves, the better it is.

Worst regatta to shoot?
Any windless, grey sky regatta. America’s Cup is not that fun because it is very restricted in many ways, very repetitive, but it is the most prestigious saling event, so… you have to be there. And the final is always a great moment.

Who inspires you (other photographers)?
I like very much Philip Plisson, Carlo Borlenghi, Franco Pace, Christian Février. Carlo is by far the best one actually and he his really a great person. Philip is remarkable because, beside being a top photographer, he is good at mounting big project. It’s a point to be good with a camera in hand, but you need to be good at creating all the environment that will allow you to be in a position to just be able to do the picture.

What gear do you usually use/favor (camera/lenses)?
Canon EOS 1DS MK II, 3 zooms, 14 mm, 300 mm, 600 mm.

Any advise for those who want to become a better sailing photograph?
Stabilize yourself on the boat in order to diminish the movements, use fast speed (1/1000th second), try to keep the horizon horizontal, never wash your camera for one picture, you will need it tomorrow!…

Be kind and patient with the guy who drive your boat, he makes 50% of the shoot!… And with digital: back up, back up, back up!… All those things are only electricity, mechanical and chemical, so it could disapear forever very quickly!…

How do you see sailing photography develop in the future?
Generally speaking I think it will be replaced by video on professional end and by phones on amateurs side. Both video and still systems will combinate due to the digital technical improvements and the way we – and the younger generations especially – use photos on computers and any kind of screens rather than on paper will accelerate this trend. Even today, still frame from video is good enough for internet, so, in 5 years time it will have improved and we will be using only one system. So, they will be less profesional photographers, except at the very high end of the professional side, where big companies will always needs to feel comfortable using “big names”.

I think they will be many more amateurs shots on the market too. The central question will always stay: what use for the images?… and for the professional world: at what cost?!…

Update 070630: Gilles har nu en egen blog.