Photography Focus: Mark Kolanowski

It is a great pleasure to announce’s new “Photography Focus!” This is a new section that allows us to update the tired old banner that has been at the top of the page for a very long time.

But it’s much more than that.

Photography Focus will enable those who photograph our favorite boats, tell their stories while sharing a few of those pics with all of us. We’ll get to hear about the person, their gear, and how they go about getting those great heart-thumping shots of really fast boats!

It is an honor to introduce you to our first victim photographer, Mark Kolanowski!

Mark Kolanowski

Mark is a part-time photographer specializing in action and sports photography. His area of focus includes airshows, football, hockey, and of course, hydroplane races.

The images Mark is sharing here were captured at the 2017 APBA Gold Cup Race in Detroit. He was there shooting for the U-12 Graham Trucking team. In addition to behind the scenes shots of the crew at work, he always has a camera ready to go for whatever action was on the water.

The photos shared here were captured with a Nikon D500 and the Sigma 150-600 Sport Lens. The Sigma Sport Lens is something Mark has used extensively at air shows, but had not yet used for Unlimiteds.

The 2017 APBA Gold Cup Race in Detroit was the first opportunity for Mark to photograph boat racing in about three years. He wanted to make use of the airshow lens to really reach out and get close-up images of the Unlimiteds as they came through the famous Roostertail Turn.

With access to the pits and an area with an unobstructed view of the turn, he spent the weekend chasing his vision of photos where he could see completely under the boats. His goal was to capture a clear view of the running gear in action.

We all know how challenging that can be.

Mark is quick to give credit where credit is due by admitting that he can’t compete with the likes of Bill Osborne, Chris Denslow, and James Crisp. His believes though, if he has the right gear and the right location, he is a step forward in his endless pursuit of better and better images.

We appreciate his hat tip for giving him this visibility:

Thanks to Dave at for the opportunity to showcase some of my work with fellow hydro fans, and I hope to see some of you at the Detroit race in 2018!

Actually, I am the one who is grateful, getting to show much better images in our header than my old New Zealand shot! Not to mention an honorable opportunity to showcase the great work Mark is doing.

You can find more of Mark Kolanowski’s work from the Gold Cup events and beyond on Facebook, Flickr, and his own website.

Thank you, Mark, for sharing your work with Unlimited Hydroplane Racing’s Damn Smart Fans. We’re all about the boats, and you’ve given us a great taste of the season to come!

UHR Dave

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