Published on August 27th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team


10 simple tips to get the travel photos of your dreams

Read time: a bit over 4 minutes

Sponsored content provided by Panasonic*

The beauty of the world is often overlooked during our increasingly manic everyday lives – but travelling provides us with the perfect chance to stop and appreciate it for a moment. To ensure you don’t miss any of it, Panasonic photography expert, Mark Baber, has provided some handy hints on capturing the best possible nature shots. Whether surveying vast landscapes or tracking elusive wildlife , these pointers will help provide you with the skills needed to take professional-looking snaps of the world. Good.

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, just make sure you don’t overdo it.

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.

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.

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.

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, including the Lumix TZ60 range, have a Hybrid O.I.S+ feature, which delivers great results, even when you’re on the move.

6. Why not try a tripod?


For those heart stopping moments, 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…


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.

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.

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.

Inspired? Check out Panasonic’s wide range of cameras, including the Lumix TZ60 over on their website. 

*Sponsored content is Geckos way of connecting you, our travellers, to other expert brands and companies that relate to travel. When reading sponsored content, expect the occasional subtle sales pitch in exchange for some genuinely useful content.

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About the Author

We run awesome trips around the world. But when we’re not on the road, we’re sitting here and writing loads of travel-related insights, tips, information and advice. Geckos Tales is your go-to source for whenever you need to find something out about pretty much anything.

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