The photographic opportunities in the Caribbean are outstanding. Carnival, tropical flora, waterfalls and bright blue skies and seas offer excellent imagery for the photographer. However, with all that bright sunshine and tropical weather you’ll be up against some challenges. Read on to find out how to overcome them and take great photos in the Caribbean.
Prepare Before You Leave Home
Draw up a wish list of the places that you want to go to, activities that you want to do and subjects that you want to seek out. You’ll cut down on time spent looking for your subjects by preparing in advance.
Get a Good Kit Bag
Travel can often involve bumps and impact to photographic equipment so be sure to invest in a good bag for your kit before you leave home. You’ll want something sturdy and water-resistant. Packing two black bin liners in your bag can be very useful for protecting both your kit and yourself in a sudden downpour. Keep in mind the luggage allowance of airlines for when you travel.
How to Deal with the Harsh Light
The Caribbean’s sunrise and sunset are ideal times for capturing images, but what about during the midday sun. The light can often be far too bright for people to look at the camera. Therefore, make the most of the shade and use it for your pics. Try taking pics under trees and zoom in closer to your subject. You can always crop out any spots that are too bright afterwards. Your camera will be able to adjust to a fairly wide range of light – otherwise use a white umbrella to diffuse some of the light.
Perspective changes can make a big difference
Some sights are amazing in person, but when you try to capture them with the lens they come across as bland and boring. To spice them up try a different perspective – such as lying on the floor. Alternatively capture the image at an angle. It’s only landscapes that should be level. Pictures of carnival, flowers and people can all be taken at an angle for stunning results.
Experiment with ISO
The bright sunshine means that you can use lower settings on your ISO. Try 200, 100 and below if your camera offers it. The higher numbers are ideal for when the light is low – such as during the evening at restaurants.
Carry a shoulder bag
The Caribbean may be known for being laid back, but you never know when something will happen that deserves to be shot! By using a shoulder bag, you can reach in to grab your camera fast, and you won’t attract any unwanted attention with a cumbersome kit bag.
Ask for local advice
The locals obviously know everywhere better than the rest of us. Ask for advice on where you can take great shots of views etc. You can ask taxi drivers, street vendors, store assistants for help on this one. Most people are very friendly and willing to help.
Food, water and sun protection
Lastly be sure to keep yourself in good shape. You’ll need to rehydrate regularly, keep your sugar levels up and protect yourself against the strong sun. The Caribbean is very close to the Equator and most fair skinned people know the discomfort that sun burn can bring about, not to mention sun stroke!
What we’ve covered here should contribute to the groundwork of taking some fabulous photos on your next trip to the Caribbean. We’d love to see them.