Tomorrow I will be going on a boat cruise in the evening in London. I will no doubt be looking for photo opportunities on the boat, both of people, as well as the landmarks/surroundings. I'm pretty comfortable with indoor night photography using bounced flash, however I think I will struggle when I'm outside, with no ceilings for flash bouncing, and with the background constantly moving...

My kit includes:

  • Nikon D7000
  • Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
  • Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Nikon SB-400
  • Yongnuo YN-465

Parts of the original question have been moved out to separate questions:

I would still appreciate any general advice on any techniques I might use, and useful camera settings.

Many thanks in advance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Fan Yang, and welcome to the site. It looks like your question is missing a link to your example photo. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2, 2011 at 1:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd be interested to know the answer to this too.. It was far too difficult to hand hold the camera on the cruise than I had initially imagined when I did it. My advice would be travel light.. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2, 2011 at 1:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops, I was going to take the example photo bit out as I couldn't actually find a good example, but missed out that line... It's gone now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fan Yang
    Sep 2, 2011 at 1:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Fan Yang, and welcome to PhotoSE. While the list of questions ou have posed do relate to taking photos from a boat, it might be best if you ask each one separately, rather than in one umbrella question. You might want to keep #4, general advice, as part of this question, and break out #1-3 out as separate questions. Feel free to link this question in each of the other three, to keep them correlated, but overall I think this is too much to ask in a single question (as evidenced by @Craig's three separate answers.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Sep 2, 2011 at 2:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fan: Yes, create three new questions and remove them from the question here. Craig can copy his answers to the new questions, and I'll delete the copies here. Once its all said and done, it should look pretty clean. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Sep 2, 2011 at 4:49

2 Answers 2


For shooting people - try using a light modifier on your YN-465 like a Gary Fong Lightsphere (or similar product) that will create a more even spread of light. You won't need to bounce your light off anything in this case. Or get a small softbox for your YN-465. Set your flash to 1/2 power or lower to both increase recycle time and conserve batteries. Then shoot in manual mode with an exposure that works.

For example, pretend that you've figured out that your YN-465 at 1/2 power produces enough light for a group portrait at 4 feet away at F2.8, 1/100s, ISO 400 (those are arbitrary settings). Call that your baseline. You can then adjust your settings up or down as the situation changes from your baseline of 4 feet. After a few tries you get pretty good at estimating... i.e. notice your subject is 8 feet away and open up to F1.4, etc...

  • \$\begingroup\$ IMHO subject twice as far would need opening up by two stops for same flash illumination instead of stopping down. \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Oct 5, 2011 at 5:21

Don't spend all the time on photography, enjoy the cruise too. Especially if you travel with family or some other small group who might be interested in spending time with you - in this case, you might want to limit yourself to only a few pictures to remember the night by, not documenting the whole trip.

Prefer shooting times near sunset, which is when light quality is almost the best (sunrise being even better). You don't have to make a boring sunset picture of the sun itself; instead look how the nice golden light plays at the opposite side.

A night-time boat cruise will give lots of things to experiment with, like reflections, clean view without foreground objects and long shutter speeds. For example, I drew some giraffes with city lights last week.

Don't be afraid of using high ISO when there's little light, the results will be even worse with ISO too low. Especially considering the good high-ISO performance of your D7000.


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