Nyfiken på… Thierry Martinez, seglingsfotograf


Bladerider, view from under water.

Thierry Martinez inledde sin karriär med La Poste och jobbade sedan med Team EF och Assa Abloy. Han är nu officiell fotograf för Alinghi i Americas Cup.

How did you start with sailing photography?
I was working as photographer “inside” La Poste ( French Post ) when they build a boat for Whitbread round the world race in 1987. I did most part of 1989/1990 race ( following the race and doing photos mainly at start), and since that time have quit French Post to be free lance.


Alinghi, winner of LV Act 13


North shore of Maui Island. Surfer in action at “JAWS”.

Which picture are you most satisfied with?
Normally the last report I did. ;+)

Best regatta to shoot?
Many, Archipelago Raid, America’s Cup fleet races, Moth World, Volvo Ocean Race, etc…

Worst regatta to shoot?
Any one finishing under the rain by night.

Who inspires you (other photographers)?
Erwan Quemere (FRA), Christian Fevrier (FRA), Carlo Borlenghi (ITA) and Gilles Martin-Raget (FRA).


2006 Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight. More than 1600 sailing boats. Part of the fleet under spinnaker at “The Needles” in light wind.

What gear do you usually use/favor (camera/lenses)?
Canon, only Canon !! I have 2 EOS 1DS Mark II, 1 EOS 1DS , and 1 EOS 1D mark II 14mm, 16/36mn, 28/70mm, 70/200mm, 300mm, 600mn, and an extender 1.4 (all CANON) and a SEACAM housing system for the EOS 1DS Mark II, for under water and wet photo.

Computers: Apple 3 G5 desktop in office and a Laptop Macbook pro 17″.

Software: Photomechanic, Photoshop CS2 and a photo server online CUMULUS.


Super Maxi “Mari-Cha IV”, 2004 Antigua Sailing Week.

Any advise for those who want to become a better sailing photograph?
Do a lot of images…. Take care of shutter speed (minimum 1/1000 with long lenses) 100 ISO, and shoot RAW! Don’t be you 1st fan, be realistic.

How do you see sailing photography develop in the future?
Good question, as we are in Digital system now, it’s hard for us to predict future. I don’t know how young (or beginner) will make enough money to cover all cost to produce images and make a leaving when there more and more ©-free images in circulation…. ????

We are all part of the process, and don’t know what will happen.


29 October 2006. Single-handed transatlantic sailing race: St Malo (FRA) / Ponte a Pitre (Guadeloupe/ French West Indies) 3543 NM. Start from St Malo on 29th Oct. Open 60 multihull “GROUPAMA” surrounded by spectators boats.


10 November 2006. Single-handed transatlantic sailing race: St Malo (FRA) / Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe/French West Indies) 3543 NM. Roland Jourdain(FRA) skipper of open 60 Monohull “SILL & VEOLIA” Winner in monohull class of 8th Route du Rhum.


2006 was a busy year!

Update 070630: some core comments on equipment from Thierrys forum:

I have 2 CANON EOS 1DS Mark II, 1 CANON EOS 1D Mark II, and 1 CANON EOS 1DS. since nearly 3 years, I am shooting only in Raw.I don’t think it’s serious not to shoot in raw for a professional photographer. With a Raw file you can do so much on the image without distroying the file, on your computer.

For lenses, I got (all in Canon) 14/2.8, zoom 16/35 2.8, zoom 28/70 2.8, zoom 70/200 2.8, 300/2.8 and 600/4. I have also an extender 1.4 which good on 70/200 (America’s Cup racing from helicopter), 300 and 600.

For on board photos I alwyas use flash Canon 580EZ.

In EOS 1DS Mark II, you can use Compact Flash card. I have 7 Lexar 4 Gb. many time I fill up all cards, specialy during an helicopter photoshoot.

Sander was also asking me if changing lenses was a big issue. It will be great to have enough camera to have one per lenses. it’s just a dream. So we have to change lenses often. in helicopter I try not to change the body mounted with 600, as it’s heavy , and not always easy to manipulated in an helicopter. the second body is teh one I use for 300mn and under.

I always set up camera on Tv (priority speed) and with lenses over 200, I shoot at 1250 or 1600 sometime with 600 or longer (with extender). Iso : 100. In heli I under expose 2/3 (-0,6) , rest of the time cameras are set up under exposed 1/3 (-0,3). From the air, sea look very dark, and you have a risk to lose details in white (waves, decks, sails, etc…)

One thing is very important for us, as all photographer using digital SLR, is to have a sensor without dust. So we have to take care, but we need to clean camera, every 2 shooting days, and sometime every day. For that I use a kit from Visible dust.