Why Should I Take My Cube Camera Diving in Curaçao?
Crystal clear waters, dolphins at play, giant sea turtles… welcome to Curacao, a stunning Caribbean island that’s quickly developing a reputation as one of the world’s premiere scuba destinations. Together with Aruba and Bonaire, Curacao makes up the Dutch “ABC Islands”. Curacao offers both the cultural excursions and beautiful beaches found on Aruba as well as Bonaire’s stunning marine biodiversity, ensuring visitors will have plenty to explore above and below the surface.
Trade winds keep the island a pleasant temperature year-round and thanks to the island’s far southern location, Curacao is usually unaffected by the Caribbean’s hurricane season. And with water temperatures remaining in the upper 70s even in the winter, Curacao is open for diving year-round. Even better, with numerous dive sites, you don’t have to go deep to drift by corals, giant sea turtles, rays and dolphins. After a morning diving Curacao’s reefs, spend your afternoon relaxing topside on one of 38 small, intimate white sand beaches nestled in secluded coves around the island. Or, for a cultural adventure, take in the colorful sights of Curacao’s capital city, Willemstad, which is lined with buildings of bright yellow, orange and blue– almost as colorful as the corals below. With more than 50 nationalities present on Curacao and a unique history reflected in the islands’ forts, art galleries, historical sites, and diverse culinary delicacies, there’s something for the entire family on this tiny Caribbean island.
Curacao’s warm, clear waters are home to a rich variety of marine species that make for awe-inspiring underwater photos and videos. The good news is you don’t need a lot of expensive technical diving camera gear to capture the perfect shot. The Polaroid waterproof camera transitions easily from filming your dive buddy swimming through a school of fish in the morning to snapping stunning panoramas of the evening’s sunset. Even beginners can snap standout photographs. Follow these tips to capture the perfect moment whether you’re diving underwater and relaxing back on dry land.
1. Stay shallow to avoid color loss.
The ocean acts like a sunlight filter, absorbing colors in the red part of the spectrum. For this reason, the deeper you dive, the more colors you’ll lose. At just 15 feet, you’ll start to lose reds from your photographs. As you go deeper, more colors will begin to drop out. Professional underwater photographers often carry expensive strobe lights with them to depths of 60 or even 100 feet in order to create an artificial light source that adds the color back in. With over 60 dive sites, Curacao offers a nice mix of deep and shallow diving. For the best dive pictures, stick to shallower sites or snap photos at the beginning and end of your dive when you are at a shallower depth. Mako’s Mountain is a famous dive with a shallow start that takes you through fleshy corals. Keep an eye out for porcupine fish, rays, morays and lobsters. The famous Mako shark was once spotted here, too!
2. Switch to video for moving objects.
In order to maximize light exposure (and thereby maximize color saturation), you’ll need to use a slower shutter speed when taking photos. Unfortunately, a slower shutter speed also makes it more difficult to freeze frame moving objects. That’s why a school of fish or other moving marine life may appear blurry in your photos. Switching to video makes it easier to record all the action as it unfolds so you don’t miss a sea turtle or the famous green moray eel at Playa Kalki. A camera like the Polaroid CUBE+ lets you switch effortlessly between recording video and photos, a huge bonus when you’re diving and don’t want to miss a moment on a dive crowded with stunning marine life. There’s a good reason the locals nicknamed Playa Kalki “Alice in Wonderland”!
3. Swim up close to your subject.
Whether you’re photographing your dive buddy or a friendly sea turtle, remember that objects underwater appear about 25% closer and about 33% larger than they truly are in real life. This means that while a sea turtle may look pretty big to you underwater, it may only appear as a dark smudge on your photo. While you never want to accidentally disturb the marine environment, whenever possible swim closer to your subject if it’s safe to do so and your tank and fins have clearance. Eliminating a few feet of distance between you and your subject may not seem like much when you’re underwater, but it can make a big difference for photo quality once you’re back on dry land and reviewing your pictures.
4. Go big with panoramic photos.
The colors of Handelskade in Willemstad – a picturesque stretch of pier along the Queen Emma Bridge – can’t be constrained to a traditional rectangular photo. The Polaroid CUBE+ features a 124-degree wide-angle lens for capturing the vibrant pinks, yellows, oranges, and turquoise colored store fronts. Other must-photograph spots on the island include the lighthouse ruins on Klein Curacao, the Curacao Natural Bridge, and the island’s many hidden beach coves. A wide angle lens is truly unrivaled for capturing the island’s never ending blue skies and blue waters.
5. Record a time-lapse sunset.
At the end of the day when you’ve rinsed off the salt water, taken off your fins, and you’re relaxing on the beach, a dive camera like the Polaroid CUBE+ can do double duty and capture that stunning sunset, too. Secure the Polaroid CUBE+ to the top of your beach umbrella or cabana using a strap mount for a hands-free, unobstructed view. While you sip a refreshing island drink, your camera does all the hard work. Once the sun has set, you can use the camera’s Wi-Fi capabilities to edit and share your video. Instagram’s Hyperlapse is a fun, easy program to use that includes built-in image stabilization. Simply send the sunset video to your smartphone using Wi-Fi, open the Hyperlapse app, choose a time speed you like (1x to 12x), and then share your video with friends on Instagram.
When it comes down to finding the best dive destinations, ocean-lovers have options all over the globe. But for crystal clear waters and a unique cultural experience that makes for great photo-ops, you can’t go wrong with the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. Just be sure to pack a lightweight dive camera like the Polaroid CUBE+ that’s Wi-Fi enabled so you can instantly share all the fun with friends and family back home.