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Behind The Lens: Sharkey Takes The Hudson

Last fall, photographer Tim Sharkey brought back some of his most colorful performance boating images of the year from the 2015 Hudson River Fall Fun Run. That’s just what happens when blue skies collide with fall foliage and 60-plus high-performance V-bottoms and catamarans on one of New York’s most historic waterways.

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For the 2016 Hudson River Fall Fun Run, the boats—rather than the foliage—supplied all the color. Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

But you can’t control the weather, as the saying goes, and last weekend’s predicted showers and overcast for the area culled the fleet for the annual, casual last-gasp-of-the-New-York-boating-season event from 69 to 40 entries. Still, organizers Chris Torrin and Jonathon Godfrey kept rallying their troops and ensuring them that—rain or shine—the show would go on.

“Hardcore Long Island performance boaters never seem to let weather deter them from doing one of the final events of the season,” said Sharkey. “I truly believe their enthusiasm—and the full court press from Maryland boater and event organizer
Chris Torrin who insisted the weather would not stop them—convinced many people on the fence for the event to come on out.”

But the morning fog that greeted Sharkey in the Hudson Valley when he arrived for Saturday’s run didn’t look promising, especially for aerial photography of the boats that would be running on the river below. The pilot ensured him that if the visibility was good enough they would make it happen, and almost on cue the fog lifted once the boats hit the water.

While photographer Tim Sharkey said he’s had much better lighting conditions, he’s never worked with a better pilot. Check out the gallery above.

“By far the best pilot I have ever flown with—he positioned the chopper in places I have never been before and with ease,” he said “Somehow he managed to keep the chopper extremely stable. It just may have been the difference in altitude that made a huge difference. The mission became clear: Get the best damn video and still footage I could ever get because I had a stable chopper and a confident pilot who knows how to get in all the right places.”

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