October 17, 2017, 12:07:15 AM

Author Topic: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated  (Read 1692 times)

ahsanford

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • **********
  • Posts: 5531
  • USM > STM
Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« on: August 03, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »
Off to Belize soon.  Very short trip (just a couple days), will be in the San Pedro area for most of it.

Normally, such a short trip out of the US, I'd bring a very skinny kit: 5D3 + either my 28 IS or 35 IS and that'd be it.  But we're literally on the beach (eastern side of Ambergris Caye) so I'm tempted to gear up, bring the Gitzo, L plate, grads, a few lenses, all that.

Looking for locations/gear advice.  If it helps frame up your advice:

  • As usual, I'm not traveling alone and my fellow travelers aren't photographers, so other than some solo sunrise/sunset tripod work, it will be stick-and-move / keep up with the team sort of travel/street/candid/vaca shooting.

  • We'll certainly get in the water but I have no intention to bring my camera when I do (unless it's something very dry like a boat ride, water taxi, etc.).

  • I'm down with informal/drive-by macro work if it's easy to get to.

  • We won't be headed to the mainland, we won't get into the rainforests, to Xunantunich, do any birding, etc. so you can skip that advice.

  • I'm a bit of a foodie.  If you know of any tasty spots -- something different/memorable/unique -- wow me.

Given all that, what locations / gear might you recommend?  I'm decently equipped for 16-200mm on FF with the 2x T/C if need be.

- A

canon rumors FORUM

Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« on: August 03, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ************
  • Posts: 21572
Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 10:38:26 AM »
It's been many years since we went to Belize, but it's definitely a fun trip.  We spent a week on Caye Caulker before heading inland to the Cayo region and Guatemala.  Most, if not all, of my recommendations would be out of date.  Manatee tours at Swallow Caye are still running, but we were able to go out with Chocolate (to manatees what Jane Goodall was to gorillas), and he has passed away.  Rasta Pasta was great, but closed. On Ambergris, BC's Beach Bar had great BBQ, but apparently they're closed too.  More generally, as a foodie you'd likely enjoy conch, but unfortunately it's not conch season (which runs fall to spring).  On the bright side, lobster season alternates with conch season, so enjoy the lobster (it was a treat when we lived in CA, but here in New England it's about the price of a cheap cut of beef, albeit a bit more work to eat). 

The Cayes didn't strike me as great for photography (at least, my sort).  Sunrise shots over the ocean, if you aren't sleeping off too many Panty Rippers.   Lots of good opportinuties for street photography, though, and many interesting and brightly-colored beach cabanas.

If you dive, there are some good opportinuties.  The Blue Hole is the most famous, and trips out there generally also include dives at the Half Moon Caye Wall and 'The Aquarium'.   Also lots of snorkeling opportunities close to Ambergris and Caulker.  Even if you're not considering a housing for your 5DIII, you might consider renting a waterproof P&S (lensrentals has the Canon D30), or even picking up one of the Kodak/Fuji disposable waterproof 35mm film cameras just for fun.  The shot below was taken off Caye Caulker with one of the Kodak disposables, the subject matter is an obvious choice for me ;) .

Enjoy the trip!
EOS 1D X, EOS M2, lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

ahsanford

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • **********
  • Posts: 5531
  • USM > STM
Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 11:48:57 AM »
Yes, the Blue Hole looks stunning, but as I'm not a diver, the shot I'd want to take would require a helicopter ride we're probably not going to take:

https://goo.gl/fr1aR2

Good call on the cheapo film move for snorkeling.  Will do.

- A

tcmatthews

  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 411
Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 10:32:31 AM »
On Ambergris they are somewhat use to tourist and cameras.  But there are still local groups that have superstition towards cameras taking their soul.  So I would ask before taking the pictures of local people.  You do not want to be chased by an angry Carib wielding machette wanting to destroy your camera.   Also do not be surprised if you see some people disappear when you pull out a camera.  My parents and their friends cleared a bar in Placencia by pulling out a disposable camera.  The bartender literally jumped out the window.

Be careful in Belize City I am sure that is still has high crime areas. 
7D II, 60D, Rebel XS + some Canon lenses, A7II + Sony + some Sony lenses, OMD EM1,OMD EM5 + some m43 lenses, adapters and Fd and M42 lens.  Sold 6D,Nex6,EOS M1

ahsanford

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • **********
  • Posts: 5531
  • USM > STM
Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 04:24:49 PM »
Had a lovely but all too short trip.  Just got back. 

Snorkeling (off-shore of San Pedro, we took a boat to a number of spots on the reef) was top drawer -- 8 foot nurse sharks, barracuda, sting rays a good five feet across, and more types of fish than I could count.  Simply stellar.

I rallied for one sunrise with all my kit on the beach but the clouds from an incoming storm front completely snuffed it out.  Here's the one sort-of-decent memory I reeled in despite that:

24-70 f/4L IS
105mm CPL on full blast (still got a healthy sky reflection)
10 stop ND
3 stop soft grad
ISO 100 / f13 / about 6 minutes

This was not my normal workflow due to not having my comp on me.  This one was cooked from RAW very quickly/crudely to taste on my iPad + the free Adobe PS Express app, believe it or not.  It has basic slider RAW support if you can get the RAW file transferred over via other means (I used the Apple SD dongle as my 5D3 lacks wifi).

The sunrise would have been on the right 1/3 of that shot.  Thanks, clouds.  :P

Thanks for the travel advice, gang!

- A

Macoose

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 07:07:08 PM »
Had a lovely but all too short trip.  Just got back. 



Still, that is a lovely shot. Glad you had a good time.

Macoose

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Headed to Belize -- gear advice / locations appreciated
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 07:07:08 PM »