Gaff Rigged Sailboat

Lyons Imaging Blog

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hasty Heart

I was fortunate to catch the beautiful Swan 61 "Hasty Heart" out beyond Point Bonita last weekend. Conditions were ideal, and they looked great under a huge spinnaker. I grabbed some video of them, too, as they sailed in past the lighthouse.  To see the video in full HD, or to check out all the other images, visit the gallery.

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The past week has afforded me the opportunity to shoot several talented kitesurfers playing in the wind near the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm just posting a few favorite shots. It's a very dynamic sport that lends itself to lots of free-styling. Some of them can really catch some air. Looks like good fun!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going over-the-top with the editing

Adobe Lightroom has proven to be a great tool for managing a large library of images (presently nearly 250,000 of them) and it's a versatile editing tool as well. Normally I use it conservatively--adjusting just enough to make a subject look as bright and bold as it did in reality. But there's room to play, too. This image of the J-120 yacht "Mr. Magoo" racing on San Francisco Bay has been taken to an extreme. I've boosted the recovery all the way to 100%, bringing down every bit of detail available in the brightest areas. Fill light, too, goes to 100%, opening up the shadows. Contrast, clarity, and vibrance are all taken to their highest extremes. Normally blackpoint, too, goes to 100, but in this image, it worked better at 55. At that point, the image is wildly gaudy, until the saturation is taken down to around -80 to counteract all of the rest. Does it look natural? Not at all! But hey... it's just for fun.

More images like this one are here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spinnaker Cup

Though mostly cold and foggy, the Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco got off to an enthusiastic start, with numerous racing yachts coming out for the annual Spinnaker Cup Regatta--a race from San Francisco Bay, running 88 miles South down the Coast to Monterey.

With the Lyons Imaging RIB hauled out at Drake Marine for (hopefully!) the last weekend, I positioned myself on the Golden Gate Bridge, near the North Tower. I reasoned that with the flood current at the start time, much of the fleet would favor the shore, and would cut across the channel further out. About two thirds of the fleet did just that, and for them, I was able to get some cool shots of boats coming directly under me at times. In fact... as much as I miss my boat... the bridge may have been the better vantage point for this event!

Check out the rest of the shots at:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Corinthian Yacht Club Midwinter 2009

There wasn't a lot of wind, but the sun was shining and the racing fleet turned out with good numbers (as usual) for the first weekend of 2009 Corinthian YC Midwinter racing. Just like last year, this time around featured periods of no wind (allowing everyone to bunch up) followed by periods of light wind (allowing everyone to play bumper-boats around the marks). Good times!

The young lad in this picture celebrated his fourth birthday on the water. Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Maltese Falcon collision

Two years of shooting maritime events on San Francisco Bay has never before created such a rush of attention to my website--to see Tom Perkins' 289 foot modern square-rigged Maltese Falcon get slammed by a 40' sloop.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rolex Big Boat Series 2008

Sunday wrapped up San Francisco's highest-profile sailing event--Rolex Big Boat Series. Four days of great racing for lots of great local raceboats, and a strong showing of visitors too. And as always, some especially big boats.

Rolex and the St. Francis Yacht Club host the event, held each September on San Francisco Bay. This year there were one-design starts for J/120s, J/105s, Express 37s, 1D35s, Beneteau 36.7s, Express 37s, and the Melges 32s. The IRC classes encompassed the rest of the racers, including some of the biggest contenders in IRC A. At 78 feet, Bill Turpin's R/P 78 "Akela" was the biggest boat racing this year, but even the smallest boats on the bay got plenty of attention. The Melges 32s are an amazing sportboat capable of 20+ knots downwind in good breeze. (That's what I clocked Joe Fly at.)

Many of the most impressive new boats showing up on the racing scene now are from Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design. Everything from Akela down to the new Melges 20. Check out some of the new hotness at

Partying on the dock and in the club is as much fun as the racing, but after four solid days of such great competition, I can't be the only one who was ready to catch about 12 hours of sleep.

Lyons Imaging photo galleries for all four days of BBS 2008 are online now here at
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