Wednesday, January 17, 2007
From national parks to foreign lands, travel means new places and new sights for your camera. Here are tips on bringing home your best travel shots ever.
by Rob Sheppard
From Hawaii to the Caribbean to the Fiji Islands, these small bits of land surrounded by ocean offer sun, water, interesting people and unique landscapes for your camera. Islands can be big or small, full of roads or without roads. Each has its own challenges for the photographer.
Island Lenses: For most islands, you can leave the big telephotos at home (unless you have a location with specific wildlife lens requirements). Moderate wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths will do you well. A lens of 18-55mm will get you wide-angle shots of the scenery and towns, while also giving you a slight telephoto for people. If you do a lot of people photography, consider a 50-150mm zoom. And for those tropical islands filled with flowers, don't forget the close-up gear.
The Compact Camera Alternative: Once again, the compact digital camera can be a great benefit. A pocket camera with a 4x zoom can be perfect for walking through an interesting town or visiting the local market. You need enough wide-angle to handle the streets, but telephoto ability for people photography. The latest cameras have brought lag time down to nearly zero.
Underwater Shooting: Most islands, especially those in the tropics, have superb underwater photography opportunities. Most of us aren't going to be major underwater shooters, so we don't need massive gear. You can get flexible, easily packed plastic cases from Ewa-Marine. In addition, most small digital cameras have special, reasonably priced underwater cases made for them. And you can even get fully waterproof compact digital cameras from Olympus and Pentax (they have limited depth capabilities, but are perfect for snorkeling).
Shooting And Saving: Like safaris, many island visits are trips of a lifetime. Get a large-capacity memory card, and carry a solution for downloading, viewing and backing up. Large memory cards also make underwater photography a dream-you don't have to stop to change film (as in the past) when all that life is swirling by.
Power On The Islands: Major tourist destinations have all the power you need, plus you can always buy batteries if you run into problems. But the small, out-of-the-way island retreats may be more challenging. Use the tips in the Safari section to ensure you don't run out of power.
• 18-55mm zoom
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