This post is from the Occhio blog, Waste Knot Cover Shot – all content & photos courtesy of Marc Montocchio.

I’ve had this idea to shoot a moving boat from the bow point of view for more than 10 years since seeing a graphite boom used to shoot similar angles in commercial car photography. If during that period of time I had tried to force the shot with less than perfect gear, crew and most of all boat it would have fallen flat. The last two years since we started Occhio I have found myself in the orbit of an incredible bunch of people that have allowed me access to opportunities to bring it all together. One of the biggest changes was moving to Eastern North Carolina and being surrounded by some of the most beautiful sport fishing yachts in the world, some built as close as a few miles from my gallery. Although a very long way from my birth place of South Africa, I’m proud to call Morehead City my adopted home.

I’m constantly inspired by the lines of the Carolina flare, one of the trademarks of the locally built Custom Carolina boats. This flare starts from the rounded tumblehome of the transom and grows organically forward into a pronounced duck’s bill designed to push down and part the rough seas of the the North Carolina coast and it’s inlets. From the charter boats that cruise past the office window at the gallery, to boats I get to see at some of the most prestigious fishing tournaments in the world, there is no mistaking the elegance of a Custom Carolina. A custom Carolina is not just about looks, being on board a 67\’ boat in lumpy seas traveling at almost 40 knots is a uplifting feeling and testimony to it’s ability to handle sea. There are some great photo’s of the flare in action but I was looking for something different. I approached the Poole family, owners of a 67\’ Jarrett Bay, as well as Randy Ramsey of Jarrett Bay. From the Poole’s I needed their boat for a few hours and from Randy I needed help with the fabrication of my idea.

Randy sent me to see Rick McInerny of Jarrett Bay’s fabrication department. To get the shot I wanted I needed to position a camera three feet from the bow of a sport fishing yacht. The idea was to shoot the boat underway with a slow shutter speed to blur the surroundings while keeping the boat itself tack sharp. To do this the camera and boat had to travel at exactly the same speed. What I was asking was no small feat. The mount had to hold the heavy, 20 pound underwater camera housing perfectly, and yet have an almost invisible profile to avoid taking up too much of the shot.

Rick put his brain behind it and knocked us off our feet when he arrived on the dock with this massive, intricately custom-fabricated mount. It met my needs perfectly, although it looked like it belonged more on the space shuttle than the bow of the Waste Knot. Early one morning, late in the fall, Captain Pizza Kannan and mate Pete Zook met me before sunrise at the Waste Knot’s berth on the backside of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Pizza bought her in bow first to mount the camera, a Canon 5D Mark II with a 15mm fisheye lens. From the camera I ran a 60-foot USB cable along the ridge of the mount and down through the forward hatch into one of the staterooms.

The USB cable connected into my Apple laptop. From down below I had a live video feed from the camera to shoot the images as they appeared. Captain Pizza put the incredible Waste Knot through her paces once we got outside the Beaufort Inlet. The winning shot came as he put her in a wide arching turn, running almost 36 knots with the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean behind us. The light exploded through the smoky spray as the bow ate up the surface of the sea below. After shooting the Waste Knot a number of times over the last year, this was the first time I felt I was able to capture what that boat is all about: her elegance, grace, and raw power.

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