ANGLES

a. From the towboat
Shooting from the boat is the most simple and the easiest camera angle to shoot. Once you get the subject (rider) in focus, you can put the camera into manual focus mode, because the distance will never change. Putting it into MF mode will keep the camera from losing focus on the rider. Also, when shooting from the boat, you can change film or change lenses easily. One drawback to shooting from the boat is that many shots appear "generic." The photographer should use a lens between 70mm and 300mm, depending how much you want the frame to be filled.

b. From a sideboat
Shooting from a sideboat can be more difficult than shooting from the towboat. The driver of the sideboat must keep you alongside the rider at a safe distance, while maintaining the same speed as the towboat. You, the photographer, must constantly be refocusing on the rider, as the distance will be contstantly changing. The angle you get when shooting from a sideboat can be much more dramatic than that of shooting from the towboat. Use a lens between 50mm and 200mm, depending on how much you want the frame to be filled.

c. From a follow boat
This is dangerous, and takes lots of practice by the driver! The follow boat should be directly behind the rider, keeping a distance of 10-20ft. The driver must be constantly alert, and prepared to turn/stop instantly if the rider falls. This should not be practiced without an experienced rider. The photographer should use a lens between 14mm and 50mm, depending on how close you are and how much you want to fill the frame.

d. From a tube
There are two ways to shoot from a tube: front tube and follow tube. When shooting from "front tube", the tube is between the rider and the boat, 3-7ft from the rider. The alternative is "follow tube," where the tube is a few feet behind the rider. This allows the photographer to include the boat in the frame. The photographer should always wear a vest and a helmet when shooting from a tube, to protect yourself in the event you fall out of the tube and may come into contact with the rider or board. You will need a waterproof camera or a housing for your camera. Bring a squeegee or a can of compressed air to keep water droplets off of the lens. The photographer should use a fisheye lens or a lens between 14mm and 35mm.

e. Sitting duck
This angle also requires a waterhousing. A helmet and lifejacket are ESSENTIAL. You also may want to wear fins for mobility. Basically, the photographer floats in the water, and the boat goes right by him/her. The rider then cuts into the wake (or hits the slider) close enough to the photographer to yield a good picture. This is a dangerous angle to work from...that CANNOT be stressed enough. Many photographers and videographers have been landed on or otherwise hit in this position. Recommended lens is between 14mm and 35mm.

f. Other angles
There are an infinite number of angles from which wakeboarding can be photographed. For example, some photographers shoot out of helicopters, from on top of the tower, or while riding on another wakeboard. These are beyond the scope of this article.

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