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How to capture your river cruise holiday

Whether you have been enjoying escorted river cruise holidays for years or are about to get ready for your first time, you may want to learn a few hints and tips to best capture the experience so that you have tangible memories to hold onto for a lifetime.

This guide will provide you with a few photography tips and words of advice from our expert friends to help you capture your river cruise holiday at its best.

The products

Before you set off on your cruise, you’ll need to make sure that you have the tools of the trade, and the camera and software that are right for you.

When it comes to river cruise photography it is more about getting the best camera for your ability than the most expensive equipment on the market. Digital Photographer magazine, a publication for enthusiasts and pros, recommends the Canon EOS 1100D for a DSLR that doesn’t break the bank as it comes in at around £250. You can then add accessories and invest in more lenses as your ability grows.

Canon also has a great range of smaller digital cameras, such as the Canon G12 that will also help you capture the best of your cruise experience, adaptable for evening dinners as well as views from the water whilst being small enough to carry around in a clutch.

Panasonic also has a great range of cameras that are adaptable for every river cruise experience that you wish to capture. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 near enough guarantees that perfect shot and is great for capturing the best of the natural light from the innovative open air balcony on your Emerald Waterways cruise.

On a river cruise you may see a lot above the water, but for those unusual underwater shots, either by the riverside or in the pool, nothing beats GoPro technology. The GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition takes super high quality photos and videos whilst being able to withstand being fully submerged in the water. What’s more, this new edition can be mounted on near enough any surface and can now be synced with your phone via a free app for easy uploading, so you can share your memories from the day with friends at home whilst sipping your evening drinks.

When it comes to uploading your photos you will need software that can do your images justice. Apple Aperture and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom are the two best photo-management software options, where you can edit your snapshots to ensure they are the very best they can be before showing them off to friends and family, or even entering into photography competitions.

The publications

When it comes to tips to help you successfully master your camera whilst on the water, it is best to trust the experts. Here we have enlisted the help of Digital Photographer magazine, who have shared with us their 3 tips for taking better river cruise photos:

A river cruise is the perfect opportunity to test out your photography skills. Your proximity to land can result in some amazingly unexpected opportunities that don’t always appear on deep-ocean voyages. Follow these tips to get the most out of capturing your river cruise.

1. Invest in a versatile camera

While the secret to a great photograph lies with the photographer, the type of camera you choose can make a huge difference to the results you get. Inexpensive digital point-and-shoot cameras are perfect for brightly lit sunny days, but their performance decreases significantly in low light situations.

2. Take your time

Take some time to really look at what you’re photographing… you’re on holiday after all! Really consider the subject and look for interesting angles and shapes to pick out in your composition. If you add your own individual perspective, when you look back at your pictures the memories will come flooding back much more than if you’d taken a postcard image.

3. Beat the rush

While the tourists and other travellers are still asleep, make the most of the early morning light. One hour after sunrise is best, depending of course where you are on the globe, as this is the perfect time to capture that wonderful warm, golden glow of the ‘magic hour’ and avoid the harsh contrast of the midday sun.

Assuming the boat is moving, in low light you’ll need a slightly higher shutter speed to avoid blurry shots. If you don’t quite understand how to set this manually, most cameras will have an automatic function that will work out the best settings for you based on the available light.

The pros

From experienced publications to experienced photographers, here professional photographer, author and creative photography teacher Jim Zuckerman shares his words of wisdom.

"Don’t be disappointed that your camera didn’t record what you would see.  Learn how to see as the lens sees and you will take a quantum leap forward in your photography.” Jim Zuckerman

Having taught creative photography in America for a number of years, Zuckerman has also been a contributing editor to Photographic Magazine and written a series of books on how to capture the best photographs. See his website,, for further information and inspiration ahead of your river cruise holiday in Europe in order to get the best from your lens.

Image Credit: Canon

This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.