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Through the Lens

Jason Y. WoodI’m a photographer. As in, one who takes photographs (notice I didn’t say “I’m a good photographer”). In fact it’s been a boon to my memory, this smartphone-camera revolution. Think about it, today it costs you nothing to snap a picture and have it on hand wherever you go. 

I don’t think it’s an overestimation to say that 99 percent of the photos taken in the world today never see any physical form, and only exist in cyberspace, to be viewed through screens of various sizes on smartphones, tablets, or computer monitors, if at all. Even in the business of putting out a magazine, we print a lot of photos in ink on paper, but we post many more on the Web site and in our iPad edition. And if I could show you the hundreds of outtakes from our photoshoots with minute shifts of angle and F-stop and so on, you’d get an even larger sense of the boats we cover and the days we and our photographers spend on them (if you had lots and lots of time). But back to the snapshot idea as an aid to memory. 

Not long ago, I took out my iphone to find a photo of a boat I saw recently to show a friend and her immediate reaction was, “You have 3,300 photos on your phone?”

To which I could only respond, “I have a five-year-old.” Lots of great memories there.

I think back to my experience with photography in my youth, which was largely based on a Kodak Instamatic that my mom kept in her front-hall credenza. That camera only saw the light of day on holidays or other special occasions. So we would get a 24-frame roll of film developed and basically it would have the last three Christmases on it. After all, it was five bucks to get that film developed. Better make it count!

Now things are different, as you know. The beauty of it is that the days of Hold still. Smile. Hold still! are over. Just snap snap snap away and you’re bound to capture the essence of the event or moment you’re peering at (all too often for me it’s on a too-dim screen in bright sunlight). Plus, even better, there are ways to share the heck out of these pictures with folks you know intimately (e-mail and text messaging), reasonably well (Facebook), and not at all (Instagram and Twitter). We know. We do it all ourselves, both personally and through Power & Motoryacht’s platforms.

And we’re pretty sure the people you spend time with on the water do the same thing. If you’re not a shutterbug, chances are there are a few among your friends and family. They’ve probably got a visual history of time on your boat that you may never have seen, sitting in their phone or on a computer hard drive awaiting a hardware failure that will erase everything. Ask them for the files now. You won’t regret it as even a couple of shots will bring the memories flooding back.

And you can make more images: Just leave a digital camera out on the helm console, on the cockpit table, or on the mezzanine seat and tell everyone onboard to feel free to shoot away. You may be surprised at what things look like from angles other than your own (plus you may actually wind up in some of the pictures, too). Tell your crew what kind of shots you want: Fishing action, cool boats you see, smiling groups of friends, scenics, wildlife, all of the above. You’ll be surprised how competitive some folks can be about this.

Most important of all, share your photos with your friends—and with us, to be sure: We run a reader photo in Snapshot each month and you can send in your best shots to inbox@pmymag.com to be considered for that. We’d love to see your smiling faces in the pages of our magazine as you enjoy time on the water.

But you should also e-mail them to the folks that are in them and maybe even the people you invited that couldn’t come along. Days on the water let us live in the moment. But they also live on in our memories. Share them now and make as many more as you can.

See you on the water.

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