Cruising without fancy camera gear

The beginning of this year was a bizarre one (not that 2016 hasn’t kept the “fun” coming all year). I was dealing with one of the biggest health issues I had ever faced – and at the same time, I was preparing for a fantastic cruise with the Grace Girls through the caribbean. The timing of it all worked out amazingly well. I went through radiation treatment on my arm in January and February and then was able to recover from that on this cruise before having surgery about 5 days after I came home. I celebrated my birthday on this trip, and having friends around me at this particular time was the best gift I could imagine.

As a result of my treatment though, I was not able to manage a heavy camera, so I took along a little 4x zoom, waterproof camera (the kind you would use to take pictures of people in a pool). I then proceeded to take all kinds of pictures it was never designed to handle:) That’s one of the reasons these pictures have not shown up before, and there are hundreds that will never be seen. However, after going through them I realized I did have some that showed you can do a lot with very little tech. So here we go!

First off we have the traditional view from your lawn chair. This was our last stop in Half Moon Cay, a private island owned by Holland America. We had rented a little cabana and this was the view.


25mm – f8 – 1/320 – ISO 100

At each of the ports, they had these little shopping villages. Since I was laying low this trip, I usually ventured out to these areas, did a walkaround and then headed back to the ship. Our morning in St Maarten was fairly overcast but I liked it as the colors of the stores stood out a little more.


25mm – f2.8 – 1/800 – ISO 100

While we were in St Thomas there was a torrential downpour. As I was taking cover, I found this point of view that had our cruise ship framed by a wall, making it look like a picture that had been mounted.


25mm – f2.8 – 1/1000 – ISO 100

Framing is something you can have a lot of fun with. In Martinique I came across this children’s area that had the ship in the background. I loved the bright colors of the carousel against the white of the ship.


25mm – f8 – 1/200 – ISO 100

I had noticed these lizards on a previous stop, but I hadn’t been able to get close enough due to the lack of zoom on my camera. In St Thomas however, a walkway took you along the seawall where they were hanging out. I eventually chose this picture with the sign so that you would have a sense of scale for the lizard. Luckily they were quite mellow and not rushing around.


100mm – f4.9 – 1/200 – ISO 125

When you don’t have much zoom, you need to find things that are close by. This tree was actually smack dab in the middle of a parking lot in St Maarten so I could walk right up to it.I loved the texture and layers of it. With the grey sky in the background, I could really get the details.


35mm – f2.6 – 1/125 – ISO 100

I love godrays. The sun blasting out from behind clouds will always catch my eye. This was early in the morning as we were heading into Barbados (you can just see the land in the background).


65mm – f14- 1/125 – ISO 100

I spent time looking for abstract shots as well, thinking I would try something a little different. This shot combines the sea, the railing of the ship and the floor tiles. I had taken the shot at an angle so the shape of the lines would be more interesting.


53mm – f3.4 – 1/100 – ISO 100

As we were leaving port in Barbados, the engines were churning up the sand in the port. The different shades of blue and green that resulted really caught my eye. I framed the shot so that the orange life boats provide contrast again the tones in the water.


25mm – f2.8 – 1/1000 – ISO 100

Finally my favorite shot of the whole trip. There were actually a number of rainbows along the way but this was my favorite. I went a long way along the dock to get the framing of this shot. Ideally I wanted the ship isolated in the water without the dock, but was not able to get that angle.


100mm – f6.3 – 1/320 – ISO 100

I hope I’ve shown that even with limited technology you can still get interesting shots. I find we’ve become more and more reliant on superzooms, and having the limitations of this camera made me look at the world a different way.

Join me next time as we get back into the holiday spirit with our household tree trimming!

2 thoughts on “Cruising without fancy camera gear

  1. I have ‘Yes, We have No Bananas’ and ‘I’ve got a Lovely bunch of Coconuts’ running through my head. I feel like I was there with you. The God rays are gorgeous – and of course they would have been in Bim and the rainbow with the ship is mind-blowing. Pro cam or no, you are one talented lady! I would be curious to see the Shopping, Taxi, Beaches from St. Thomas in black and white….I feel like it would be quite retro. Thanks once again for an awesome blog!!!! You are amazing.


  2. Thanks Sara now I do too…

    Ok I want to go there now. I always love the beach. The turquoise waters are amazing. I’m even more impressed by how you were able to capture these with a small non-fancy camera! It just goes to show you really do have a good eye and it’s not about the gear. What’s next a polaroid 😉

    My Favorite is the Ship and rainbow, and the framed shipped.

    I also love the St. Marten, the Caribbean colour’s make things pop even in a dreich day.

    Please keep them coming!!


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