Regardless of the cruise line sailed, the places visited along the way or who is sailing with us, we want to capture the moment with photos. We might do that with the camera in our smartphone, use an easy point-and-shoot camera or invest in professional-quality equipment. However we go about it, what counts are the cruise photos we end up with and will share with friends and family or just keep for our own amusement.
Focusing our attention first on some basic image-capturing guidelines then on the subject can make all the difference in the world.
- Shoot Wide, adding more border around a shot than is necessary is a good idea that gives us more to work with later. While we may be focusing on a person, place or thing, the camera sees it all and might see something we missed at the time but are happy to have later.
- Take Two Shots of everything to be sure you have captured what you intended. Holding down the shutter just a little longer gets the second photo which can also be sharper because your finger is not moving.
- Back It Up. Have a way to back up photos, either by syncing a smartphone with a laptop, copying them on to an external drive or, if the at-sea Internet situation allows; sending up to a cloud-sourced backup supply. Using multiple memory cards can also be helpful here.
- Be Aware Of The Sun and where it is located. In most cases, your best bet is to have the sun at your back, shining on the subject. Still, don’t be afraid of the sun either. Some of the most amazing photos can be had at sunrise and sunset, a golden time at sea as on land.
- Learn How To Edit your photos using built-in programs and downloadable apps for your smartphone and software for your camera. Practice this before going to sea so you get past the learning curve and have a working knowledge of how to manipulate/fix images while sailing.
- The Rule of Thirds is a basic composition rule that photographers use, dividing a picture into thirds, horizontally and vertically. Placing important parts of the picture on the lines or at the intersections will make your photo more interesting than a catalog view, centered photo.
- Consult An Expert, On Board- Applying all of the above can improve your photo skills in a hurry. To go further, consider onboard programs that might help teach passengers how to get the most out of their camera, hosted by the ship’sphotographers. Consider the source: those people are at sea all the time; its their job to take good photos. Why not take advantage of their knowledge?
- Get Your Eyes Checked- This seems so simple but can make a huge difference in photos. If what we see through the camera viewfinder is out of focus, what we see in the photo most likely will be also. Duh. Many thanks to Cruise Critic editor-in-chief Carolyn Spencer Brown for pointing that out a few events ago…which leads to the next tip
- Be Honest When Asked Your Opinion about the photos of others, especially if the person taking the photos is serious about it. Don’t hold back your comments and you might very well help that person bring home some stunning images.
- Use Camera Pre-Sets when available is a tip Whitney has been telling me for quite some time. After using the Autumn Colors setting on my camera for our Fall Foliage cruise with Crystal Cruises, I’m sold.
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