Photos by Andy Newman

The distinctive red, white and blue winged-funnel (left photo) on Carnival Cruise Lines ships is a company icon.

The top of it almost served as a photo platform for me last week.

I was on the Carnival Inspiration to produce an editorial photo library of the 11-year-old ship that had undergone significant refurbishments, including the addition of a WaterWorks theme park at sea on the ship’s aft deck. A facet of the line’s “Evolutions of Fun” program, WaterWorks features three huge water slides, one that winds high above the aft decks.

I envisioned a bird’s eye perspective of the entire complex and thought shooting from on top of the funnel might offer that angle.

Escorted by Inspiration’s staff captain, after a rather arduous climb up three sets of vertical ladders inside the funnel we emerged out of the top, some 165 feet above the water. But other than the view, the exercise was futile. I discovered it would be too difficult to safely get to the back edge of the funnel to shoot straight down as I wanted to do. So, I settled for a ladder positioned at the top of the slide and my trusty full-frame fish-eye lens to capture (right photo) an image to help communicate the ship’s new feature.

I’ll try my original vision in the future, from a more comfortable and safer position — in a helicopter.