Photographer Pete Boden, whose work is featured in the first installment of “Portfolio”—a new feature on speedonthewater.com—describes himself as “52 going on 30.” After spending a little time with him for the second consecutive year at the BurgerFi/Speedonthewater.com party during the recent Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., I can vouch for that. In fact, I think “30” might be exaggerating his maturity level a bit, especially when he and his fellow photographer, friend and general partner in crime Jim Winters, whose images will be featured in Portfolio in the near future, get together.
But here’s the thing about Boden, a U.S. Navy veteran who makes his full-time living in the heating and air-conditioning world: While he doesn’t take himself a bit seriously, he takes his photography—showcase on his Shoot 2 Thrill Facebook page—very seriously. And it shows in the finished product.
That Boden is completely self-taught as a photographer isn’t surprising—many of the most talented shooters in the offshore racing and high-performance powerboat worlds today are self-taught. Inspired by longtime Powerboat magazine photographer Tom Newby, Boden started shooting in 2006 and listened carefully to his more experienced colleagues including Winters, Ned Dawson and Charlie Lai. Growing up, he had his share of SLR (single lens reflex) cameras but by the time he got serious the digital age had arrived in the photography world. Memory cards, not film, are part of his shooting routine.
For our inaugural installment of “Portfolio,” we asked Boden to choose 10 of his favorite images. With the recent SBI Key West Worlds just around the corner, he opted to select all of his images from that event. As you can see from the slideshow above—complete with captions supplied by the photographer—his photos are powerful.
“In 2007 (former Powerboat magazine publisher) Vicki Newton approached me about some pictures from the OSS World Championship in Destin, Fla., and the next year I was working in the Middle East and went to Doha, Qatar, for a Class 1 race. Then it took off.”
Since then, Boden has captured thousands of images from the go-fast powerboat world. His photos are distinctly his own, and yet he says he has no particular “style.”
“But I am always looking for a different angle or perspective,” he says. “You can’t always shoot from the same location. Otherwise, all the pictures look alike. And in the end, they all have a very similar appearance.”
In Boden’s case, that happens to be a good thing. A very good thing..