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Photo Tips - Introduction
C.J. Gustafson, Freelance Writer and Photographer

Hola, Cozumel Insider readers.

If you're checking out this section of the website, it probably means that you have an interest in photography or at least in taking better vacation pictures. C.J. Gustafson, Freelance Writer and Photographer That interest and a camera are really all you need to take good photos on Cozumel. The endless supply of subjects, the beautiful lighting, and constant activity make it basically effortless, but it never hurts to have some Insider information.

I've worked as a freelance photographer for almost three years, so I'm really just getting started and I still have a LOT to learn. There are many professionals out there more knowledgeable and skilled than I. But I know Cozumel and I know how to get great shots of my favorite Caribbean paradise, so I've agreed to share some of my photos and knowledge. Because the point of this feature is to help Cozumel visitors take great vacation pictures, the images on these pages are shots that anyone with a standard 35-mm or digital camera could take. I didn't use a tripod or professional film or special processing, although I did use a longer lens for some of the close-up shots. These are my fun shots, not my work, and nothing on these pages should be considered too complicated or over anyone's head.

**If you'd like to see my photos of Cozumel using more advanced equipment and techniques, I encourage you to check out my website at

I've grouped photos into several different categories and provided information specific to each group. I didn't include many people pictures because unless you're shooting at a public event, you generally need to get written permission from people to publish their pictures. The best quick blurb of advice I can give about taking pictures of people is to try and make sure they're in the same level of light as you are, unless you know something about metering or you want them to be silhouetted underneath the shady palapa. And catch them doing something candid, not posed like a statue. It's much more interesting.
A Few Suggestions About Equipment
  • The most important thing is to make sure you have your camera with you. You can't get that great shot if you left your camera back in the room.
  • Carry extra film and batteries. People always seem to run out of both just when the shooting gets really good.
  • The heat and salt air are extremely hard on camera equipment. Protect your gear as much as possible and consider getting your camera cleaned when you get home. I use a small, soft-sided cooler to carry my camera, film and spare batteries. A cold or frozen bottle of water wrapped in a cloth keeps everything cool and gives me something to drink later in the day.
The Beauty of Cozumel
Check out some of my photo tips to see the pictures and learn about where, how, and when to shoot that particular subject.

Please Note: All photos related to this web feature are protected by copyright. Use of materials without written permission from the photographer is prohibited by law.
Other Interesting Perspectives and Tips by CJ you might Enjoy!
 Spicy Travels - Introduction
Romance, adventure, good food, hot dancing, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the island of Cozumel!
 Spicy Travels 1 - The Iguana Adventure
He's little, he's cute, he doesn't bite me, and he eats mosquitoes and other bugs. I'm on a Caribbean island with no worries. Let it go. It is all part of the adventure - but what an experience!
 Spicy Travels 2 - Moonlight Dance Adventure
These are the times in your life where you have to tell yourself that times like these seldom come along in life and you can't let them slip by because you're embarrassed or nervous or afraid.
 Spicy Travels 3 - Language Learning Adventure
My adventure reminded me that there is common ground when it comes to language on Cozumel, with both tourists and locals wanting to learn how to better communicate.
 Spicy Travels 4 - Barracuda Adventure
Suddenly I saw a large shadow move across the ocean floor and I looked over expecting to see another snorkeler swimming alongside.
 Travel Tip 1 - Cozumel is a State of Mind
There's something about a Caribbean island that is just fundamentally different from the rest of the world. This definitely true of Cozumel!
 Travel Tip 2 - Always Bring Music
I've learned through my travels that music can set the tone and enhance the enjoyment of almost any activity on the island.
 Travel Tip 3 - Learn Spanish
Although many people on the island speak English quite well, there have been numerous instances where I was glad to know some Spanish.
 Travel Tip 4 Ė Explore Cozumelís Underwater World
Donít let fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing Cozumel's beautiful underwater world. This truly is one of the most unforgettable aspects of the island and there is more than one way to experience this!
 Photo Tips 1 - Cozumel Sunsets
Cozumel has some of the most beautiful sunsets to be found on earth. Here are some tips on capturing them!
 Photo Tips 2 - Hit the Tourist Spots
Don't avoid the tourist spots completely because they provide some good photo opportunities as well as fun activities - all in one location!
 Photo Tips 3 - Walk Don't Ride (At Least Part of the Way)
It has been my experience that very rarely do you get good Cozumel pictures riding in the back seat of a taxi cab.
 Photo Tips 4 - San Miguel & the West Coast
Taking pictures in town can be a bit of a challenge because there is usually so much activity. But thatís what makes it so interesting!

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