Making your best shot of Windjammers June 30

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 8:30am

The parade of sails at Windjammer Days in Boothbay Harbor is a wonderful event to photograph and this year it will be on the early afternoon of Wednesday, June 30. Seeing the majestic Maine Windjammer fleet all decked out under full sail makes for some wonderful photo opportunities that many look forward to seeing each year.

One of the better ways to make your best shots of these sailing vessels is by being aboard the Windjammer Days Photography cruise. This cruise, aboard the Balmy Days out of Pier 8, takes you out to view and capture the Windjammers sailing into the harbor and you get the benefit of look angles that can only be had by being on the water. Lining up a sailing ships with a local iconic shoreline site — like Burnt Island lighthouse — and other desirable compositions is something that you can expect to get aboard this cruise. You do not need to be professional photographer - some people have captured amazing images just with a cell phone camera.

A versatile DSLR camera with a moderate telephoto zoom lens is preferred but again some of the closer shots that will occur can be covered nicely with a cell phone camera.

The Windjammer Days Photography cruise runs about two hours and has sold out in recent years. Tickets are still available at or by calling them at 207-633-2284.

If you prefer to stay on land to view the ships and still want to make your best shot you will want to find a place that will give you a good view of the outer harbor where the ships are more likely still have their sails up. The Maine State Aquarium on the west side of the harbor might be a good vantage point to consider. You’ll have a good view of the vessels before they lower their sails as they enter the inner harbor. One catch is that from that distance a good telephoto lens will be needed to fill the frame. A tripod might also be a consideration too as with any telephoto lens hand shake can make for a blurred image. A clear day will be preferable if you plan to stay on land.

Foggy conditions can make for a magical experience for photography and you should not be discouraged if that’s what the weather brings us on that day. Making pictures of the ships emerging through the soft fog can make for a ghostly appearance that can be really beautiful.

The Windjammer Days Photography cruise aboard the Balmy Days has been a part of Windjammer Days for more than 10 years and Mike Leonard been the host photographer for this every year. He is a local photographer who offers private and public photography lessons, Photoshop instruction, photography cruises and offers photo services that can be found at his website at