When international photographer Ian Schemper aims his lens, some of the world’s most stunning sites become even more glorious. Ian joined Crystal Esprit in the Seychelles last month for the ultra-luxury yacht’s official christening and the embarkation of her inaugural voyage, capturing glimpses of the special experiences in store for guests aboard our newest luxury vessel. Here, Ian showcases some of his favorite captured moments from last month’s launch. While we drool over what appears in the finished images, Ian shares a glimpse of what went on behind the lens to create each shot.
Crystal Esprit’s Arrival
As with many successful shoots, it’s the pre-planning that makes or breaks the end result. With the help of some local knowledge, we scouted this hillside the day before Crystal Esprit’s arrival at roughly the same time she would be cruising into Eden Marina. From this vantage point, we had a panoramic view of her journey and had a pretty good idea of what the light was going to look like the next day.
Sub and Crystal Esprit
My underwater housing has an 8” perspex dome in front of a fisheye lens that allows me to shoot both below and above the water level in the same frame. Every few minutes the dome had to be painted by my assistant with baby shampoo, which reduces the surface tension so the water glides off the dome instead of collecting in droplets. This shot required a lot of trial and error and a little bit of luck, as I was bobbing up and down in the waves and could only communicate with the submarine via sign language.
There is beauty and artistry everywhere on board – as much in the small details as well as the wide scenes. The use of a wide aperture and short depth of field have blurred and softened the glasses arrangement in a really lovely way.
Meat Carpaccio Starter
I can assure you it tasted fantastic, too!
It needed one soft light behind the plate and placed fairly low to catch the highlights on the oil, while a small reflector gently lifted the details in the shadows. Color and texture – key ingredients to any good food photograph – were also accentuated by the gentle back light. Shooting tethered to a laptop allows everyone, including the chef, to see the results instantly and any changes can be made quickly to ensure mouthwatering results.
This old guy had to be slowly coaxed down onto the beach for his picture, so just out of frame is a ranger with a branch of juicy leaves and flowers. I could see the tortoise’s look of irritation, and occasionally resignation, as the leaves were always just out of reach, but he was a great sport about the whole thing!
Patio Café Breakfast
When shooting a room like Patio Café , careful attention has to be paid to the smallest of details. Every element in the scene has to be in the right place. When it’s an actual breakfast setup, you have to work really fast before the first hungry guests arrive!
A ‘perspective control’ lens allows the image in the camera to be shifted over the sensor, which results in perfectly distortion-free verticals – usually desirable in architecture photography.
Aerial of Eden Marina
It’s no good shooting through the perspex canopy of a helicopter, so the door has to be removed and a safety harness is necessary.
The shooting itself requires fast shutter speeds to avoid camera shake from the chopper’s movement and vibrations. A polarizing filter on the lens removes some of the surface reflections on the water and adds a richness to color, particularly the blues of skies and seas.
Perfect timing for Champagne!