Any photographer worth publishing is merciless when it comes to judging his or her own work. Former Powerboat magazine editor Mark Spencer, who currently handles marketing and media relations for the Baja, Donzi and Fountain lines in Washington, N.C., is no exception. Though the images he has provided speedonthewater.com since late 2019 have been mostly excellent, he’s never satisfied. He knows he can always do better.
And that’s what makes him great.
Technically flawless, timeless and evocative, this image is one of the photographer’s all-time favorites. Photo by Mark Spencer courtesy/copyright Baja Marine.
But during a two-day photo shoot in the summer of 2019 for the 2020 Baja sportboat line on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, Spencer captured this image—a “once in a lifetime photo” by his own description—of model Tristan Ventimiglia driving a 36 Outlaw sportboat.
“I was shooting from an open cabin deck hatch looking back at the helm for one of those rare moments when everything ‘clicked’ for the perfect back-lit photo,” he said.
Ventimiglia is the daughter of Bill Day, the owner of Day’s Boat Sales in Frankfurt, Ky., which is the largest Baja dealer in the country and was the host of the photo shoot.
“Normally, at sunset I like to shoot boat-to-boat because the low-angle light is optimal for action shots,” said Spencer. “However, in this instance I took a chance and used the best light of a spectacular day to shoot lifestyle portraits. Glad I did.”
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy images with different angles and lighting conditions, as well as a couple of outtakes, from the same photo shoot.
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