Sailing in the Sun and at Sunset in the Gulf of Mexico

One of my favorite things about being on a cruise is being out on the water, sailing away on the open sea. At first, that might seem a bit obvious, but when you spend most of your time on land as we do, being at sea is quite a special experience. Here are a few photos from our cruise through the Gulf of Mexico last summer on the Carnival Liberty.

Sailing at daytime on the Carnival Liberty

Whenever we sail, I spend a lot of time looking out at the water. On this particular cruise, we chose an inside stateroom to be more economical, so we spent lots of time at different railings around the ship so that we could get a good view of our surroundings. We were not the only ones out there, as you can see. That is, if you can take your eyes off of that beautiful view. Yes, there were quite a few clouds in the sky, and there was some rain in the area. But the view was still beautiful, if you ask me.

Blue Water seen from the Carnival Liberty

I never can get enough of the blueness of the water when we are out at sea, and I love watching the whitecaps and white bubbles form and disappear in the blue water as we move along. You will have to remember that this comes from someone who grew up relatively near the Mississippi River. If you have never seen the Mississippi River, let me assure you that the river water is never blue like this. Just lots and lots of brown. They don’t call it the Muddy Mississippi for nothing, after all. Anyway, I was fascinated with the blue water on our first cruise, and I still am each time we are out in it. I don’t think that will ever get old.

Sunset at Sea on the Carnival Liberty

Sometimes when you are out watching the water from the ship’s rail, you might just happen to see a pretty spectacular sunset. This sunset was from the last night of this particular cruise, and it was a great way to end what had been a great trip. Of course, if the cruise had ended with a night of rain instead of a nice sunset, it still would have been a great trip. This sunset was just icing on the cake. You might notice that most of the deck chairs were already stacked up next to the wall. Apparently, the ship’s crew was winding down the cruise as well, doing what they could do to be ready to unload all of us old passengers and load the new passengers the next day. Fortunately, there were still a few places to sit here and there, and you can see Laura enjoying the view from a bench on down the way. But with a view like that, we would have been happy to stand, too.

Setting Sun seen from Carnival Liberty

Here is a tighter view of the sunset, just as the sun was dipping down into the water to be snuffed out for the night. What’s that? You mean the sun does not actually go down into the water? Who knew? All my life I have been believing a lie. Next you will be telling me that we can’t sail off the edge of the earth or something.

Anyway, for this photo I had switched from the fisheye lens of the previous photo to the zoom lens to be able to zoom in on the setting sun more. It is nice to have different lenses for different looks.

Whether it is sunny, sunset, or even nighttime, we always enjoy being out at sea.

Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. - Psalm 127:1

About the photos:

Sometimes sunset photos can be a little tricky. I like to close the aperture as much as possible to get a bit of starlight effect, as you can see on the main sunset photo. That sometimes makes the rest of the photo just a little dark, but some processing on the Raw file helps to brighten things up. Take a look at this before-and-after version of that photo to see the differences that the processing brings:

Sunset at Sea before and after

Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens and Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: July 20, 2016
Location: At Sea in the Gulf of Mexico

2016 Cruise to Mexico

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.