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Top Ten Tips For Taking Better Photographs On Holiday

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Taking better photographs on holiday

This week, we have Top 10 Tips on taking stunning nature photographs on holiday from Mark Baber, product & marketing specialist at Panasonic UK.

Mark studied photography when he was at Art College and has a huge passion for the form, helping customers make the most of their camera.

 

He writes:

“Nature and all its beauty are often missed or forgotten with our fast-paced lives but holidays provide us with the perfect chance to stop and appreciate it for a moment.

“Whether surveying vast landscapes or tracking elusive wildlife in stunning scenery, these top tips can help to provide you with the skills needed to take professional looking pictures of your surroundings.”

 

Liana Lodge monkeys eating Ecuador

Liana Lodge, monkeys eating, Ecuador

 

 

Top 10 Photography Tips in brief – details below.
1.         Think about the foreground and background.

2.         Identify an interesting focal point.

3.         Don’t forget depth of field.

4.         Get up close.

5.         Turn on the image stabiliser to capture crystal-clear images.

6.         Why not try a tripod?

7.         Come rain or shine nature still looks beautiful.

8.         Don’t forget dawn and dusk.

9.         Don’t let the stunning natural environment and wildlife inhabiting it pass you by.

10.       Practice makes perfect.

 

1.     Think about the foreground and background

When taking a landscape shot of the natural environment, identify whether you want the picture to have either a dominant foreground or background, as to have neither can result in your shot looking empty and boring.

If the sky is looking a little bland, place a point of interest in the foreground of your shot. This will really help your scene stand out and offer the viewer a way into the image. Remember you can always enhance your skies in post-production for that extra ‘wow’ factor.

 

2.     Identify an interesting focal point

Be it an enchanting looking tree, a mountain, or a wild animal in its natural environment, all pictures benefit from having a main focal point, as this ensures your eyes have something or someone to focus on.

The main thing to remember here is to think carefully about where you want to position this focal point, as that’s where your viewer’s eye will rest.

 

flamingo alto atacama Chile

Flamingo, Alto Atacama, Chile

 

3.       Don’t forget depth of field

Maximise depth of field in shots, by getting your zoom just right. Do this by ensuring that as much of your scene as possible is in focus. The simplest way to do this is to choose a small aperture setting, as the smaller your aperture the greater the depth of field will be.

A number of quality cameras also have an Electronic View Finder (EVF), which enables you to achieve stable, accurate framing, even when using the full zoom. This feature is ideal for following the movement of wildlife in the landscape or when the sunlight makes it difficult to see the camera’s LCD screen clearly.

 

4.     Get up close

Zooming in on the little things can often make the best images and really capture the essence of your subject. Instead of standing back and shooting a grove of trees from afar, why not focus in on one of the branches, or even a flower sprouting from it.

 

Sealion at Darwin Bay Genovesa Galapagos

Sea lion at Darwin Bay, Genovesa, Galapagos

 

5.       Turn on the image stabiliser to capture crystal-clear images

To achieve beautifully crisp stills, even when you are climbing mountains or trekking through jungles, make sure your camera’s image stabiliser is turned on.

A handful of new cameras have a Hybrid O.I.S+ feature, which delivers great results, even when you are on the move.

 

6.       Why not try a tripod?

For those heart stopping moments, when you finally spot the illusive animal you have been tracking for hours or even days, it would be worth gaining some extra stillness from a tripod (if you have enough time that is).

This will help ensure that your picture looks professional, due to the longer shutter speed that you might have to use to compensate for a small aperture. Of course, your hand may have to do if you’re trying to shoot a fast-moving insect or animal.

 

7.     Come rain or shine nature still looks beautiful

Everybody hopes that their summer holiday will be blessed with lots of sunshine but sometimes that’s not always the case, with the weather taking a turn for the worse at any given moment.

The best thing to do in this instance is to go with it, as shooting in the bright sunshine isn’t always the best time to get your perfect pictures of the natural environment. Capturing storms, mist or the sun shining through gaps in menacing clouds can also present an interesting alternative.

 

8.     Don’t forget dawn and dusk

Shooting in the ‘golden hours’ are an incredible way to utilise the light and make nature shots come alive with a beautiful golden glow.

If the sun is angled in certain ways, it can also create the most interesting patterns, textures and dimensions, adding a whole new layer to your landscape pictures.

If you’re trekking through a heavily wooded area, it’s best to shoot in the middle of the day when the light filters through the tree canopy.

 

Desert sunset Fish River Canyon Namibia

Desert sunset, Fish River Canyon, Namibia

 

9.       Don’t let the stunning natural environment and wildlife inhabiting it pass you by

For all those unexpected views of passing nature and wildlife, when you are in motion on fast trains or boat rides, make sure you use a longer shutter mode. This means that more light will hit the sensor, so you will need to reduce your aperture or use a filter.

To make this even easier, some compact travel cameras have a Light Speed Auto Focus, which means you can photograph even the most fleeting opportunities in stunning clarity.

 

Tren Crucero Cotopaxi Ecuador

Tren Crucero, Cotopaxi, Ecuador

 

10.    Practice makes perfect

Like with any hobby, the more you practice the better you will become, but don’t worry if you make a mistake and your image doesn’t come out exactly how you want.

Sometimes when you are in the moment, you won’t always have enough time to check that your composition is perfect, so some of your shots might end up slightly out of focus or with a wonky horizon.

Don’t panic though, as a number of cameras, including the Lumiz TZ60, now come with a wide range of post-production features to help straighten images and produce some truly unique shots.

View a wide range of travel cameras from Panasonic on their website, including the new Lumix TZ60.

Contact us for more.

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