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Photographing Your Cruise
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Photographing Your Cruise

The key to taking photographs on a cruise is that you have to be prepared to work in a lot of different lighting situations: on deck in very bright sunlight, indoors by dim available light, and in both good and bad weather. One of the nice things about shooting digital on a cruise is that most cruise ships have a computer lab or cyber café where you can download and print your images and email them home (via satellite connection) or burn them on to a CD.

One of the blessings of cruising is that you can bring a ton of gear and it's as near as your cabin. If you are a DSLR shooter, bring a pair of zooms (a wide-angle-to-normal and a telephoto zoom) and an accessory flash.

If you're making an inland passage or are cruising in an island group like the Bahamas, you'll have many opportunities to photograph scenery from on deck. Coming into port is an especially exciting time, but it happens quickly and often at dawn, so be up early and bring everything you need. Work from the upper decks and use a wide lens to include the bow or side of the ship for scale and perspective. On breezy days there will be a windward (windy) and leeward (calm) side to the ship; if the scenery is equally nice, shoot from the latter.

Most ships publish a daily calendar that is slipped under your door each night by seagoing elves; it lists the next day's events and helps you plan your day's shooting. On a ship, you don't have to worry about not being included in pictures; the ship's photographers will capture your group's every waking moment and post the photos for sale each evening.

Next: "Parades and Ceremonies"