Santa Cruz Surfing

nat giving some spray for the camera

Some spray for the camera

Title says it all, shooting stills of talented surfers in Santa Cruz, CA.  I have had this trip planned for a month with my buddy Dave Robinson (Ride Guides) to scout for future shoots.  So ten days ago we hit go knowing the swell would be up.  Plan was to move around a bit, and expand my surf photography. Making my living on the around the water all my life, I love filming and taking stills of surfing, and of course waves.  Dave has lived in Santa Cruz for decades, windsurfs, surfs, mountain biking, and of course has a very cool, must check out local Ride Guides business.  With out Dave’s help this would have not been nearly as successful and fun.  And besides he deals with me in his house for days, Thanks Dave!

nssa competitor ripping it up

NSSA competitor ripping it up at Steamers

owning the lip at steamers

Owning the lip at Steamers

I was a day late to capture the biggest swell, but it was still great on Friday 18 Jan.  All part of the learning curve to set up future trips for surfing shots. Also Friday morning one of my lens, and camera body arrived half a day late in the afternoon so we were held up further. But we did hit it with an hour left seeing locals ripping it up at the Santa Cruz Harbor Mouth late in the day.  I am told this only happens in winter, and you need to know what you are doing, which was obvious on the drops.  Friday was double head high and more, the drop ins were stellar, with a few guys standing out, such as Troy Hinds, Jesse Columbo, and a couple others I don’t know yet. The town is filled with talented surfers who are a blast to watch, and of course shoot if they are into it.

troy making it look easy

Troy making it look easy, so smooth.

making the most of the white water

Making the most of the white water at Harbor Entrance

down the line

Harbor ride

I was on the East Jetty setup hand held with Sony A7R3 my camera of choice, partnered with the amazing Sony GM 400, FE f/2.8, OSS.  This let me get right in on the guys dropping and follow the focus with this amazing gear.  Did not nail enough of those shots, in the short time I was there, all the more reason to come back soon.

sony a7r3 and gm 400 at steamers

Sony A7R3 and GM 400, 2.8 at Steamers

Talked with a few of the guys who were killing it afterwards.  It was back lit a lot with haze from the spray, and moisture coming but, luckily the 400 has a huge lens hood to at least keep out the flare.  Not enough light on their faces to make me, excited about the shots. But with the latitude of RAW on the A7R3, 43MP sensor and its 5 axis stabilization along with the Sony 400’s OSS , that was designed for the Sony ASR3 and A9 body, I was still able to show a few here.

shooting at steamers

Grabbing the talent at Steamers

I went back Saturday for sunrise at the harbor, just because I love any sunrise shooting.  It was high tide so the break was empty, but still a great way to get the day going. Then Steamers for a few shots and up the coast a bit with my excellent guide Dave.  Sunday I hung with Dave, then off to San Fran for four more days of shooting.  Look forward to being back later in the Spring for a mountain bike video with Ride Guides, hooking up with some locals for surfing shots, and shooting from in a boat on the water.  Also I would bring my FS7MK2 for slow mo, 4K footage, paired up with the Sony 400 lens yeeha.

escape path

Nice escape path

I need to thank Dave, Carmen, the local surfers who let me grab shots of them, whom without I would be shooting just waves.  I love shooting waves, but grabbing action on the wave is a long term goal.  Next time I will be at the breaks early and hang for hours so I can nail the shots that make me smile. And of course keep having fun everyday for work, does not get better!

more locals enjoying the surf

Locals enjoying the break

saturday sunrise

Saturday Sunrise Harbor Entrance

Signing out in Santa Cruz, CA pre-sunrise, Paul Cronin Studios

Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | Leave a comment

Documentary, Rachel Carson Reserve

fs7 shooting timelapse sunset

Shooting timelapse of the sunset

Week after Thanksgiving I filmed the first part of a short documentary that has been in the works for over a year.   Working with the Boat US Foundation, NOAA, Rachel Carson Reserve, Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc./TowBoatU.S. and the Town of Beaufort, NC. This project was funded by a grant to clean up the Rachel Carson Reserve and the waters around Beaufort, NC. It was three days of filming, and I needed to bring a wide range of gear for studios setup, drone, POV’s, A and B-cams, along with all support gear.

paul filming paula_

Interview setup with Paula on camera, and Alanna doing the interview.

First morning filming was inside the NOAA building, for interviews. Starting with the Rett Newton, Mayor of Beaufort, and Ph.D Student at Duke University Marine Lab. The list of the eight interviews was impressive, and the knowledge and passion for this project was evident in every interview. Makes me smile knowing there are so many talented people, involved in helping our coastal environments.

paul filming wild horses

Filming horses on the Reserve

The last interview of the day was two grade school students, who impressed me with their on camera presence, their knowledge of the marine environment, along with what is happening to our oceans. They both taught me something about our oceans. Day one was busy and fun.

paul ready to fly

Ready to fly outside the Reserve

Day two started off with a cold front ready to pass through midday. We spent the day with Paula Gillikin, Central Site Manager, North Carolina Coastal Reserve. Paula was our guide and teacher for the next two days, and also organized the grant and project. Paula has a wealth of knowledge, is a hard worker, and passionate about her job. We were lucky Paula had the time to guide us through the three days of filming.

paul z90 shooting

Shooting fast moving clips with great Sony Z90.

In the morning we rafted to Atlantic Coast Marine Group/TowBoatU.S. team who were stripping parts off a sunken sailboat in the harbor. The boat had to be stripped before it could be excavated out of the silt, which is up to the sheer. A diver was using a sawzall to cut off parts and bring to the surface.

paul and paula

Paul grabbing clips of Rachel Carson Reserve with Paula driving.

Rest of the day was filming debris on the beaches and sand bars of Rachel Carson Reserve, and harbor. This included a sailboat, loads of single use plastic, construction materials from the hurricane, and opportunity to show the beauty of the Rachel Carson Reserve. We were lucky to spot the wild horse that live on the 1200-acre Reserve, and film them with a great backlit just before sunset. Then I was off to shoot time-lapse sunset and evening colors.

Third day I was out an hour before sunrise in 24 degrees with 25-30 kts of NW wind. Ah, it felt like home in RI. With the dry air and Main Street lined up with sunrise, I grabbed a few nice town shots.

paul filming cement boats 2

Filming Ferrocement boats with FS7 MK2 and Fujinon MK 18-55

Then we were off to film boats that were being stripped at the Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc./TowBoatU.S. Some of the boats were for disposal, and two ferrocement boats were going to become reefs for fish habitat.

shrimp boat rescue-

Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc/TowBoatUS at work

Then off to film a Shrimp boat that had been blow over by Hurricane Florence. Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc./TowBoatU.S., had the job in hand and we were very impressed how well they handle everything they touch. This area was hard hit, and the long-term damage was an eye opener. It takes a tough breed to live in middle and upper East coast towns. Beaufort is so low geographically and it is evident how much global warming is affecting our shorelines, not to mention the world’s environment. We ended the third day filming a beach cleanup on the NOAA grounds in Beaufort. Ending with a few b-roll shots of Beaufort.

paul filming beach cleanup

Filming two of the beach cleanup crew.

Thank you to Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore Hoofs & Woofs Photography for the shots of me filming.

sunset from room

Sunset from my room the last night.

Have Fun Every Day, and see you soon.


Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | 2 Comments

Must Read Holiday Story

Christmas Kayak


What does Christmas mean to you?  With the crazy fast pace of the world around us, we don’t slow down enough, and realize what really matters.  Here is a story that took me away and reminded me of what really matters.  Although I get that ever day sharing my wonderful life with Carol.

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas.  Link to Story

Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays 2018

Kincora reaching with Code 0 at sunrise after leaving Isle of Shoals

Here is a fun holiday video taken while sailing Kincora the last few summer.  What a great year sailing and look forward to spending holiday time with friends and family.

Enjoy the video that is updated with new clips from this past summer.

Video Link

Happy Holidays from In and OUT of the Boat Shop gang.


Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | 2 Comments

Ram Trucks Boat Towing Shoot

Lenny and Paul

A shot that just makes me smile. Picture taken by another great producer, John Burnham.

We did six videos for Ram Trucks while working for  This shoot was a blast, and we beat budget.  Two of my favorite people to work with on a shoot were part of the team.  Lenny Rudow who I have filmed in over 450 productions, is a great friend, fantastic on-screen talent, produces faster content writing then anyone I know, and makes me laugh.

Lenny and Carol

Carol and Lenny at a shoot in Canada, all smiles.  After just shooting a month with Lenny in France and UK.

Lenny and Paul Laugh

Carol capturing the goof balls having a good laugh after finishing a boat video.

Nice when it is this much fun. And my favorite producer, Carol Cronin.  Carol just gets it when it comes to video productions.  She lets us roll and keeps us on track at the same time, a true talent.  And will hear and see what most will just miss.  Besides being the best writer I know, and my wife..

Carol on screen

Carol is also a great on screen talent.

My dream team.

PCS filmed, directed, and edited the production.  Enjoy the video

See you soon, Paul

Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | Leave a comment

Episode 42 Lost Drone

catching drone

Read to catch the drone.

Happy Halloween, here is an episode that is a bit different, but I thought it might be fun.  I have been flying drones for a couple of years, and have my FAA Part 107 commercial license for over a year.

It has been a nice tool on a lot of jobs, and used a few times on Kincora.  All the jobs have been great, but we found a spookie spot where a black hole takes over.  Well a least that is a good explanation.  Check out the video and see me lose it, twice.

Have Fun


Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | 2 Comments

J70 Fall Brawl

September I emailed a friend Henry Filter, who I sailed with a lot in the past.  We sailed Melges 24‘s and J22‘s together for years, winning often and playing the top of the game at worlds level.   It had been about ten years (too long) since we sailed together.

Paul and Henry iin Bongo's

Paul and Henry racing Paul’s Bongo designs in Annapolis Spring 2005.

I had interest to see what the J70 was all about.   So Henry suggested I sail the EYC J/70 Fall Brawl with him, “Count me in”.  This was a great opportunity to sail together again and check out the boat.

The boats are Melges 24‘s on training wheels, which was a smart marketing move to get the masses involved.  I loved the Melges 24, but for most it was just too much boat.  And the hiking, well I am happy J/boats figured that one out.  But not the cost, which is shocking for a 1750 lb boat, even at used prices.  But, this was not about buying a boat, it was about checking it out at a regatta with friends, new and old.

So I was off to Annapolis again, home away from home, spring and fall.  Friday we had a practice day in 12-20 kts of wind.   Great learning curve for a team that had never sailed together, and good for my first time in J70.  Some downwind rides, and I was reminded how wet it can be in the front.  And the J70 is very wet in 20 kts of wind with short chop.  Oh well it is a water sport.

So after a fun few hours of planing around and figuring out a few things upwind, and working with Will on sets and douses, we headed in.

The team was Henry Filter (owner/driver), Alex Stout (Main), Will Wagner (Trimming), and me doing rig, breeze, tactics with Henry, and bad jokes.  I have known Alex for a long time through the Snipe class, and it was a pleasure to finally sail with him.  I just met Will on the practice day, and we clicked right away, great sailor, fun, and very strong.

Team Wild Child Oct 2018

Team Wild Child, Henry, Will, Alex, Paul, at awards

Saturday was as forecast with 9-12 kts of wind and tight racing.  Henry is great at starting which he did well in all five races.  As a team we were still figuring out some gears for the day, so we were better each race.  We did find enough speed to played the game.  As a team we were all laughing, having fun, and keeping it all in perspective, my only type of team.

Saturday night a front went through and it started blowing.  At EYC in the morning there was 25-38 kts on the course area.  So needless to say they canceled for the day.  Smart move by RC and a bonus day for me with friends in Annapolis.   We ended up second for the regatta and had a blast.

It was great to be back sailing One Design after only shorthanded racing over the last five years.  Look forward to more this winter.

See you soon, Paul

Posted in General comments by Paul Cronin | 2 Comments