In Crystal Yacht Cruises™

Crystal Esprit, Through the Lens

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 arrives at Eden Marina in the Seychelles
Crystal Esprit arrives at Eden Marina in the Seychelles

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.


Crystal Esprit sits on the horizon while adventures ensue under the sea.

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.


Small details can be beautiful aboard Crystal Esprit.


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.


Delectable treats aboard Crystal Esprit
Delectable treats aboard Crystal Esprit

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.


Close encounters with the local residents in the Seychelles
Close encounters with the local residents in the Seychelles


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!


A morning feast awaiting travelers in Crystal Esprit's Patio Cafe.
A morning feast awaiting travelers in Crystal Esprit’s Patio Cafe.

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.


A bird's-eye view of the spectacular Seychelles.
A bird’s-eye view of the spectacular Seychelles.

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.


A bottle of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut, 2004 smashes against the hull of the yacht during her christening ceremony
A bottle of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut, 2004 smashes against the hull of the yacht during her christening ceremony

Champagne Christening

Perfect timing for Champagne!







Share Tweet Pin It +1

You may also like


Posted on December 28, 2016

Previous PostCrystal Memories with Mom
Next PostCrystal Snapshot: A Moment of Magic in Ubud, Bali


  1. Shaun Herbert
    5 years ago

    What a fascinating insight into those the stories behind these great pictures, I’m sure there is so much more time and effort that goes into capturing these images..well done Ian & your team & thanks Crystal for sharing.

  2. Pete Baldwin
    5 years ago

    Fantastic photos and insights by a man I am very proud to have grown up with in our native Zimbabwe. After many years of hard work and persistence, Ian has become a remarkable photographer and I am thrilled that he is is receiving the recognition he so richly deserves.
    Onwards and upwards my friend.

  3. Claudia Ferris
    5 years ago

    Amazing pictures but what really impressed me was how Ian shared not only his mastery but his techniques. Well done!

  4. Ricki Le Vine
    5 years ago

    Breathtakingly beautiful! What a wonderful addition to the Crystal family!

  5. Karen Pilling Johnson
    5 years ago

    Beautiful pictures!! Well done!


Leave a Reply