EDITORIAL By Kevin Falvey
16 | BOATINGMAG.COM | JUNE 2019
picture may be worth a thousand words, but it can cost a heckuva lot more than a thousand
dollars to produce. By the time we fly in a crew, charter a helicopter and pilot, hire a model
or professional athlete—as we did for this month’s cover featuring professional wakesurfer
Ashley Kidd—feed everybody and house everybody, well, let’s just say that enough money
is spent to cover the purchase of an entry-level PWC, a three-cylinder outboard engine, or a large,
touchscreen multifunction-display chart plotter. What do we get for that outlay?
A magazine’s cover photo serves as its calling
card. The image must tell the story of what’s between
the covers and must do so in an instant. For this,
our Watersports Issue, we chose Centurion’s Fi
as archetypal of leading-edge tow boats. Then we
put Kidd in its wake doing what she does best—
wakesurfing—which is the hottest watersport going.
It does a great job of telling a story, but it also conveys
the feeling of running a boat with a rider behind you
or of simply riding behind a boat. The cover image
delivers the experience of owning a watersports boat,
summed up in one-thousandth of a second.
director and staff
Cortese shot the image
shown on this page
seconds after the image
on our cover. Same boat,
same rider, same day,
same water conditions.
Except that it tells a different story.
Shot from directly above, it’s less familiar than
the boater’s vantage of looking aft in the cover shot.
On the cover, there’s scale and dimension to the
waves (can’t you hear the hiss of the foam?), and
we see the concentration on the skipper’s face and
Kidd’s body English wrought in otherworldly grace.
The photo on this page shows the size of the boat
better and lets the viewer see the layout in more
detail. Images lack some of the advantages of words,
chief of which is harnessing the power of the readers mind to conjure a personal and unique image.
Words harness imagination. Images drive imagination. That’s why we pay so much for them.
Kevin Falvey, Editor-in-Chief
EYE OF THE
A peek behind the scenes of content creation
A magazine’s cover serves
as its calling card. The
image must tell what’s
between the covers and
must do so in an instant.