Monday, April 22, 2019

How to take a good photo on your next South-West holiday

When you’re holidaying in one of the most beautiful regions in the world — Australia’s South-West — it’s only natural you’ll want to document the experience.

So, you’ve brought your camera, the scenery is spectacular, but where do you begin? How do you capture amazing photos that are sure to become a lasting memento of your holiday?

Take photos at the right time of day

According to Dunsborough-based professional photographer Tim Campbell, the trick is to shoot at sunrise or sunset, known as the “golden hour”, or in the hour before and after, known as the “blue hour”.

He said for photographs of the region’s magnificent forests, shoot when the sun is below the horizon or when it’s overcast, while early morning is best to capture the ocean — just remember to shoot at, but not directly into, the sun when photographing waves.

Yallingup Mainbreak by Tim Campbell

Tim said people don’t need a top-of-the-line camera, but if you’re starting out and want to get past using your iPhone, he recommends:

  • A 16-35mm zoom lens and tripod to shoot landscapes
  • A 50mm prime lens for photographing people, culture and street scenes
  • A drone for anyone wanting to spend a bit extra on “toys” and capture the beauty of the region from the air.

Tim said the following vantage points are all but guaranteed to produce great pictures for amateurs and professionals alike. Be sure to include people, too, they give scale to the environment.

  • Castle Rock, Dunsborough, especially using a drone
  • Hamelin Bay at sunset
  • Wills Domain, Yallingup, for an iconic vineyard set amongst rolling hills
  • Boranup Road for the best spot to capture the Boranup Forest
  • Cape Naturaliste for a 360-degree view of the cape from the newly built deck
  • Sugarloaf Rock, 2km south of Cape Naturaliste, for an iconic photo.

“Every photographer that comes to the region needs the Sugarloaf sunset shot,” Tim said.

Sugarloaf Rock by Tim Campbell

Be creative with family photos

While it’s temping to take endless photos of the South-West landscape, portrait photographer Caroline Moylan encourages people to also get creative with family photos.

“Have a small and compact camera that you can easily access to capture all the moments as they unfold — often the best images aren’t the ones you set up,” she said.

“Think of walking through the bush, rock-hopping at sunset, kids jumping in the waves, the wonder of collecting shells or catching that fish.”

Photograph by Caroline Moylan

Caroline said to get the best photos of people, use the “rule of thirds” grid on your camera to give you four main intersection points where you place your main subjects and/or points of interest.

“Arranging your composition within the grid will create more balanced images — and will help to keep your horizons straight,” she said.

Caroline’s other tips include:

  • Avoid harsh light shining straight into faces
  • Look beyond your subjects to make sure they are not standing in front of signs or unsightly rubbish bins
  • Avoid everyone looking straight at the camera — the most genuine, natural smiles come out when subjects look at each other.

Hamelin Bay by Caroline Moylan

Using your iPhone for holiday snaps

But what if you’re one of many who only take holiday photos using your smartphone?

Fellow Dunsborough professional photographer Matthew Moyes said while a good camera will always produce better-quality photos, it’s possible to make your phone work for you.

A videographer as well as photographer, he recommends using the video function on your phone to record 2- to 3-second “snippet videos” of your holiday that can later be edited together with music and be shared with family and friends.

“If you have a YouTube channel — which is very easy to do — people can play them on their big screens at home,” he said.

Contos Beach by Matthew Moyes

Matt said drones are also a great way to record South-West scenery, having recently captured some great images of Contos in the Margaret River region while on holiday himself.

His best advice? Take your camera with you everywhere!

“If you’ve got a new camera, the best thing is to pick it up, switch it on, point it, press the button,” he said.

Photograph by Matthew Moyes

Looking for further inspiration? Be sure to head to acclaimed photographer Christian Fletcher’s gallery in Dunsborough, where you can browse his stunning collection of award-winning landscape photography.

Ready to start photographing the South-West? Ensure your holiday is one to remember with a luxury Private Properties home. View our portfolio to discover the inspirational properties on offer.

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