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#240802 - 06/17/07 09:59 PM Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc.
Jason Campagna Offline
I was quite pleasntly surprised to find this forum! We are thinking about planning our first trip to Belize.

I'm a bit of a photographer - and my wife and I are headed to AC later this year. I'm curious about any advice you might give for us. We were thinking about Victoria House as a place to stay, and planning to visit the ruins as well as a little diving of course. And taking TONS of pictures...

Curious about a couple things from those that are native, or have visited extensively:
-Best place for some serious female form photography, waterfalls, etc.
-Requirements for novices to dive.
-Worth obtaining/bringing an underwater photography case for my DSLR?
-Suggestions on places to stay.

I know reading throught threads I will gain some of this imformation, but I really wanted some direct conversation about SP/AC. We aren't typical touristy people, and would rather get involved more when possible as more of a local.


Edited by Jason Campagna (06/17/07 10:27 PM)

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#240816 - 06/18/07 05:14 AM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Jason Campagna]
ScubaLdy Offline

Do you have a housing for your DSL camera?
Have you done any underwater photography?
Are you a certified scuba diver?

The answers to these questions are needed before any realist advice can be given. Then I can almost guarantee that you will get every thing you need
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#240818 - 06/18/07 05:32 AM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: ScubaLdy]
Jason Campagna Offline
Sure thing. Thanks for the reply.

Yes. I have one I can use/borrow from a friend, but may just purchase one so I can use the camera I really want to.

Some with P&S camera, however not with any of my DSLR's yet. nothing proish underwater to date.

No. however, we are trying to get some of that out of the way here in the states before our trip. I grew up with having a parent that was an driving instructor, but amazingly never obtained any certification myself.

J


Edited by Jason Campagna (06/18/07 05:49 AM)

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#240819 - 06/18/07 05:32 AM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Jason Campagna]
Anonymous
There's lots to photograph here, underwater as well as above. Don't know about female forms though (unless you bring your own) and there aren't many waterfalls on Ambergris Caye!

There are no requirements for novice divers other than the obvious. What are you thinking of? If you're certified you will certainly be allowed to take your camera down with you. But do remember that anything you take diving with you is expendable - if you aren't prepared to lose it don't bring it. Make sure you have insurance that covers flooding. If you don't already have a housing then maybe you aren't experienced at underwater photography, in which case it would be better to spend your money on a decent compact digital camera with housing before you spend a large fortune on an SLR housing.

One hotel that comes to mind for a photographer is Caribbean Villas. Very low density accommodation set in a wildlife sanctuary that has many birds, with an observation platform that looks over the canopy. Xanadu almost next door has a similar ambience. Or I'm sure there are lots of places well north of town that will give lots of wildlife photography opportunities. Victoria House is a good choice, but without the bird sanctuary.

We don't get many "typical touristy" people here - they tend to go to Cancun - and you'll find you quickly relate to the locals.

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#240820 - 06/18/07 05:46 AM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: ]
Jason Campagna Offline
Looking for stellar places ahead of time to do a shoot with her at. Will travel for the right place, inland, whatever. Really the primary purpose of the trip is romantic, but we both love photography so it tends to have a central focus.

I'm definitely more interested in stuff like candid portraits, local life, etc.; scenery, sunsets. I'm no nature photographer really. We love people. Underwater imagery would be more of a sieze the opprotunity kind of thing. I'd say we do plan to also travel inland to another area to explore. Not totally sure really. We're adventurous, we tend to grab onto whatever hits our fancy.

We were also thinking 7-10 days maybe? Late August/Beginning of September a good time to come or no?


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#240848 - 06/18/07 07:04 PM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Jason Campagna]
Barbara K Offline
Great waterfalls in the Cayo district in the Mountain Pine Ridge. I did a trip for a photographer who photographed the movement of water, water/light interplay, etc. He was thrilled with the Cayo area. Stayed at Black Rock Lodge and traveled all around the area with a guide. Email me for more info. I will look for his website info to post it so you can see what he did with it. Hidden Valley Inn may be a good choice for lodging too. Lots of waterfalls on site.
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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#240856 - 06/18/07 08:13 PM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Barbara K]
Jason Campagna Offline
Is it worth getting PADI certified here in the states prior to our trip?

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#240874 - 06/18/07 11:10 PM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Jason Campagna]
Anonymous
If you're not certified then definitely see about that near home. You'll have far longer to learn and you'll meet people you may want to hang out/dive with later on after you're back. It doesn't matter what agency the dive shop works with, as all certifications are recognised here. If you want to do just the class work at home and all the water work here, or (more usual) the classwork and pool work there and just the open water dives here, then that can also be accommodated. Again, it doesn't matter whether the two shops are affiliated to the same agency or not, though it does simplify things a bit if they are. PADI is by far the most common agency world-wide and dominates here.

A variant is to do the theory at home but not with a dive center there but on your own, either by private arrangement with a dive center here of your choice, or to use the new PADI on-line learning facility which you can find details of at www.padi.com. Despite the hi-tech aspects this doesn't really add much over the older distance learning system, under which you buy a manual locally, read it, and send tests etc by email to your chosen dive center.

Otherwise you can leave everything until you get here and that can work, but it's not the best way to learn and it'll eat up a chunk of your vacation.


Should have said - if you aren't currently a certified diver then DON'T buy a housing for your SLR. You won't know what you're doing and you'll waste a lot of money. If you already have a compact see if you can get a housing for it, or maybe think about getting the two new together. You shouldn't think of taking a camera down until you're at least reasonably competent underwater.

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#240878 - 06/18/07 11:31 PM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: ]
Jason Campagna Offline
Originally Posted By: pedro2
If you're not certified then definitely see about that near home. You'll have far longer to learn and you'll meet people you may want to hang out/dive with later on after you're back. It doesn't matter what agency the dive shop works with, as all certifications are recognised here. If you want to do just the class work at home and all the water work here, or (more usual) the classwork and pool work there and just the open water dives here, then that can also be accommodated. Again, it doesn't matter whether the two shops are affiliated to the same agency or not, though it does simplify things a bit if they are. PADI is by far the most common agency world-wide and dominates here.

A variant is to do the theory at home but not with a dive center there but on your own, either by private arrangement with a dive center here of your choice, or to use the new PADI on-line learning facility which you can find details of at www.padi.com. Despite the hi-tech aspects this doesn't really add much over the older distance learning system, under which you buy a manual locally, read it, and send tests etc by email to your chosen dive center.

Otherwise you can leave everything until you get here and that can work, but it's not the best way to learn and it'll eat up a chunk of your vacation.


Should have said - if you aren't currently a certified diver then DON'T buy a housing for your SLR. You won't know what you're doing and you'll waste a lot of money. If you already have a compact see if you can get a housing for it, or maybe think about getting the two new together. You shouldn't think of taking a camera down until you're at least reasonably competent underwater.


Good information.

Locally I can get certified for $240 (classword and pool) and another $125 for the 4 open water dives. They take the group to an interesting spring nearby.

How are the open water dives priced there in AC? Worth bothing with the open water part of the cert here in town?

I'm all about doing it right.

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#240879 - 06/18/07 11:32 PM Re: Trip Advice - Photography - Victoria House - Etc. [Re: Jason Campagna]
Jason Campagna Offline
Time...

Would you visit Belize in late August or in late November if those were your choices?

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