AS many of you will know, Ingrid Abery is an internationally acclaimed photographer, with yachting regattas being her favourite subject. There are many great yachting photographers around the world, all doing great work, but Ingrid’s sixth sense of positioning makes many of her shots stand out from the crowd. Being able to do this requires a thorough understanding of the sport, especially top level yacht racing. Over the years she has sniffed out just where and when to position the rib in order to capture some amazing and exciting shots.
Here in these following pages we show a sample of her amazing work and how she manages to be in the right place at the right time !
Les Voiles des St.Tropez:
It was the penultimate day of Les Voiles des St. Tropez and I was on the Wally Division course. The fleet was approaching the line jostling for a good position. The Wally 80, Tilakkhana, was pointing towards Ryokan 2 and not bearing down. As the start beckoned I watched the bowman and my intuition told me they were heading for drama. As our photo boat rolled about in the chop I literally counted down the seconds, 3-2-1 Bam!, freezing each frame through the point of impact as bits of carbon splintered off. The shocked faces of the crew on Ryokan 2 heightened the visual impact. All photographers strive for that special moment that transcends the subject and place and can be looked at for a long time to come. This I think is one of them.
The 2010 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia:
A start sequence was underway. The fleet of more than twenty yachts was tacking up and down behind the line as the final seconds dropped away. Brandishing my lens I studied the scene unfolding. Bows nosed to windward. In those final moments the 30M Southern Wind yacht Illusion misjudged its distance and ploughed straight into the Swan 90 Kora. Crew were thrown across the deck and one person was catapulted backwards into the water. My lens caught the whole sequence with a cracking shot of the somersault. The key ingredients to mastering another striking image were observation, instinct, anticipation and a calm yet immediate reaction.
Pro-Vee Powerboat flip:
it was in fact a day off! It was a drizzly rainy day and I thought, “Do I really want to photograph today?” Fascination had gotten the better of me. Joining the press RIB that morning we’d gone out to photograph the start. The fleet of power boats in the Pro V European Championship were to lap the Isle of Wight, UK, anti-clockwise. As the leaders came back into the Central Solent our RIB was trickling along past Egypt Point at about six knots to one of the final turning marks. The fleet would do a show lap before crossing the finish line.
The two Italian crew in the lead boat Panerai Ceramica saw a gaggle of camera lenses pointed in their direction. Keen for some extra publicity the pair altered course at about 95mph. Going at such speed they misjudged our wake and it flipped the boat. Our press boat was laden with seven photographers. I had elected to work from the back almost leaning over the outboard engine. When I realized they were coming too close my reaction was ‘Click, click, click’. The momentum barrel-rolled the 44ft Pro Vee RIB about 25 feet above the water, it landed on its side and was catapulted back into the air continuing along 20 feet upright above the water for what seemed an age, but in truth more like 60 seconds and then it just dropped out of the sky. It was a fantastic sight!
I had presumed the other photographers where taking pictures too. That’s what we’re there to do, that’s what it’s all about! We photographers travel the world to capture la crème de la crème of regatta images to excite, to entertain, to amuse those interested in the sailing world. This was it, the money shot. It felt natural to me to just keep shooting.
After we checked the team was still alive and picked up their engine cover, our driver turned to ask if anyone got the shots. People shook their sorry heads. Every other photographer had panicked, ashen white, jaws dropped and no one else got the shot! I then I put up my hand and whispered, “I did”.
It was the 49er medal race at the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdau, China. Throughout the race numerous teams had ‘turned-turtle’. It was like shooting goldfish in a bowl! On the second downwind leg I noticed way up the course, while the other photographers were chatting, Stevie and Ben out of control. So I quietly lifted my lens and photographed them take a nosedive. The bow of the boat dug in. It seemed they were nose-down for minutes when it must have been seconds in reality – I kept shooting and froze that magic moment!
Again it was a case of being aware and not switching off. You don’t make a photograph just with the camera. You bring to the act of photography all your past on-the-water experiences, reactions, emotions, compositions, style and technical know-how to produce an arresting picture in these circumstances. There was a sense of watching history unfold.
Beautiful hand prints of these and many other images are available to purchase. They can be viewed on Ingrid’s site: www.ingridabery.com
Alternatively contact her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A striking Instagram selection can also be enjoyed at: studio_abery