Tuesday, August 20, 2013

America Cup creates images that look real

Visit to the America's Cup Park walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco and you see huge photos of catamarans racing. Action shots with Alcatraz Island in the background or the San Francisco skyline. It looks real, but they were created BEFORE the races even started.

Were they taken during a practise race a year earlier or were the yachts pasted in front of skyline shots? I can see that the sails and marking have all been retouched. But pasting the entive sailboat over a photo of San Francisco is hard. Matching light. . .perspective . . .scale... but it works.

They could of simply had graphics, type and a shot of the trophy, instead they created action shots. Covering the event for Demotix/Corbis, I was interested in spectators, They had predicted that it would bring a billion dollars of business to the bay area, but on a weekend during the height of the tourist season it wasn't crowded. Fisherman's Wharf was just as crowded, few people seemed to be interested in the sailboats.

America's Cup was doing everything right, with giant action shots, they also had the crew stop and come ashore prior to the race to be interviewed on stage for "fans." Live TV coverage, aerial views, remote cameras positioned on the boats, it is a big event. But baseball and football teams don't have to worry about it stealing fans.
Does sailing have fans? Countries competing for the America's Cup might create a national following, but if you've never sailed it's hard to get excited.
Digital illustration at America's Cup Park