Nyfiken på… Sally Collison, seglingsfotograf

Sally Collison är före detta bildredaktör för Yachting World och Americas Cup men frilansar nu. Bland annat var hon officiell fotograf för Brunel i senaste Volvo Ocean Race.

How did you start with sailing photography?
I managed to find something that combined these two disciplines – by landing a job as Picture Editor at Yachting World magazine. Before that, I first picked upa camera aged 5. I joined in the magazine in 2000 and was there for 2 years. I loved it. After working in NZ at the 2002-3 America’s Cup as pic ed, I then embarked on my freelance photographer career.

Which picture are you most satisfied with?
There are a couple over the last year or so;

Start of Leg 3 Volvo Ocean Race, Melbourne to Wellington. As the boats were coming out of Melbourne heads I was in a chopper with TV cameraman Will Ingham. The light was perfect, and there was a big swell. A great shoot!

The In Port race in Cape Town on Boxing Day 05. I saw the bowman out on the sprit onboard Pirates and noticed the other boats coming up, I got the pilot to hold back a bit and I lined them up to create this shot.

Start of Leg 2 from Cape Town on 2nd Jan 06. This was about 2 hours after the start, they were just beating up parallel to the shore of Cape Point, to get round the point and out Eastwards across the Southern Ocean towards the next stop in Melbourne.

Again the VOR, this time at the very start, leg 1, Vigo, Spain. My first ever time in a helicopter, being looked after by Thierrry Martinez and his awesome pilot Eric. We waited until he boats were 50NM off shore, tracked their position on GPS then flew out in a tiny R44 to find them. You never forget your first time.. I had only a 10D and 100-400mm zoom lens, but you never turn down an opportunity to go in a helicopter.

Cowes Week 2006. A very windy Cowes week indeed, day after day or perfect conditions. For me the most picturesque boats weren’t the big fast race boats, but the smaller wooden ones with beautiful shapes and colours.

Best regatta to shoot?
Volvo Ocean Race.

Worst regatta to shoot?
America’s Cup.

Who inspires you (other photographers)?
All the good ones. But especially a few of my colleagues: Thierry Martinez, Carlo Borlenghi, Oskar Kilborg and Yvan Zedda and of course, Philippe Plisson.

What gear do you usually use/favor (camera/lenses)?
Canon EOS 1D MarkII, 70-200mm f2.8, 300mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4,also 100-400mm f4.5 is very versatile.

Any advise for those who want to become a better sailing photograph?
Try everything, find a mentor, follow the path you want to take not what the industry dictates. Do different stuff, don’t be a sheep, find your own style.

How do you see sailing photography develop in the future?
More and more people are coming into it, it’s an attractive way to make a living. But I hope that quality will not suffer – you’ve seen it a bit with the onset of digital. As long as photographers keep practising their art and keep quality at the forefront, capturing the magic of what is ultimately ‘man and the sea’ I think will continue to be a subject matter that will inspire many future generations.