Cameras and Photography
Cameras can be a help or hindrance when trying to get to know the locals. When traveling in the backcountry, you’ll run into folks who don’t want their pictures taken. Keep your camera put away until the right moment. Always ask permission first, and if someone doesn’t want his or her picture taken, accept the refusal with a gracious smile and move on. Especially sensitive to this are Mennonites and Mayans, who often specifically request that you not take their photos.
Many Internet cafés have readers for your digital camera card, so you can make CD backups as you go. To be safe, travel with extra cards, readers, and cables.
Most travelers use disposable underwater cameras, which may have depth limits, but if you’re looking to publish something in Dive Fever magazine, you’ll need a bit more under the hood. Some hotels, resorts, and shops in Belize rent underwater DSRL cameras or housings for your own camera. Don’t expect a large selection.
A strobe or flash is a big help if shooting in deep water or into caves. Natural-light pictures are great if you’re shooting in fairly shallow water. It’s best to shoot on an eye-to-eye level when photographing fish. Be careful of stirring up silt from the bottom with your fins and try to hold very still when depressing the shutter; if you must stabilize yourself, don’t grab onto any live coral—you will kill it and you may hurt yourself as well.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition