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Iceland has become a very popular country thanks to its gorgeous and diverse landscapes. It’s also a challenging place because of its popularity.
This can make your Iceland photos look unoriginal and its harsh conditions can slow down your journey.
Here are the best Iceland photography spots and tips to make your photos stand out without turning yourself into a frozen statue.
Wear Warm and Stretchy Clothes to Feel Comfortable at All Times
In addition to bringing the right equipment, you need to know how to dress properly.
Iceland tends to be pretty cold all year round. Its weather isn’t extreme unless you’re visiting in the middle of winter.
If you plan on visiting in the warmer months, you should wear a jacket on top of a long-sleeved t-shirt.
Make sure your clothing is warm and comfortable so that you can freely move around with your camera.
Travel Far to Find Secret Places
Iceland is popular for travel photographers all the time. It can be difficult to take original photos of the same locations.
You can solve this problem by looking for unique places on your own. Feel free to take a few photos of popular Iceland destinations, but don’t stop there.
The gems you discover on your own will look stunning in your pictures.
You can also ask locals for location tips. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and discover hidden gems at the same time.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is located on the South Coast of Iceland. It’s one of the most famous waterfalls in the country.
It’s completely surrounded by a pathway, so you can photograph the waterfall from any angle you want. You might even come across a few caverns.
You can also take sharp photos of it at night thanks to the floodlights placed in the location.
While you won’t find actual diamonds on Diamond Beach, you’ll definitely find pieces of ice that resemble them.
The beach itself is black. You’ll be able to take detailed photos of the ice against a dark background.
Diamond beach also features wildlife, such as orcas and seals. These are perfect subjects for animal photos.
Another famous waterfall, Gullfoss means Golden Falls. In the summer, all the water creates a golden light effect. This is perfect for dreamy photography enthusiasts.
From where you stand, you’ll be able to see Gullfoss from above. This will create the illusion of water falling into the depths of the earth.
Reynisfjara is a black sand beach. Combined with gloom, it will allow you to take atmospheric and moody landscape pictures.
You can also photograph the Reynisdrangar (large sea stacks) from here.Read more
Keen to create your best New Zealand landscape photo? Every time I take my camera out to photograph landscapes, I realize how lucky I am to live in New Zealand.
In this article, I’ll share places to visit with your camera, and tips to make beautiful pictures of New Zealand.
Access and Gear For New Zealand Landscape Photography
The Māori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa. This means ‘Land Of The Long White Cloud’. When you’re shooting landscapes, those clouds aren’t always white.
New Zealand is known for experiencing four seasons in one day. This happens because of the mountains and surrounding sea.
This means there’s a new landscape around every corner. Become familiar with your camera’s manual settings.
Make a plan for the photograph you want to create, but have some tricks up your sleeve in case it all changes fast.
Check you have everything before you venture into the wilderness.
You’ll find camera supply shops in most major New Zealand towns and cities. Head there for storage cards, extra lens caps, and batteries.
In more remote areas, you’ll be out of luck if you’ve forgotten equipment.
Don’t leave your hostel, motel, or tent without adding these things to your kit:
- Tripod and shutter release for low light, long exposures, and super-sharp landscapes
- Small waterproof bags for spare batteries and storage cards
- A decent wide-angle and zoom lens, with lens hoods, if possible to prevent unwanted glare
- Warm, waterproof clothes and shoes
- Sunscreen – we have less ozone and pollution here to block out UV rays
Accessibility For Landscape Photographers in New Zealand
New Zealand has hundreds of well-maintained tracks that suit every photographer.
If you have limited mobility, or are photographing from a wheelchair or with a child in a stroller, look for tracks with paths that are on ‘the flat’ with impressive views.
Use a zoom lens to capture the detail. This is a great way to show the drama of New Zealand’s scenery. And you won’t compromise on safety or accessibility. Landscape photography is something that should be for everyone.
The Best Places to Photograph New Zealand Mountains
No matter where you are in New Zealand, there are always mountains within half a day of easy travel.
Top Cities for New Zealand Landscapes
New Zealand cities and towns each have individual characters and quirks to capture in your landscape photographs.
They also have quality coffee, which is ideal if you’ve been in the mountains all day.
Test out your tripod and shutter release and capture some cityscapes at night with lights reflected in the harbors of Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.Read more
Then smartphone flower photography is the perfect combination for your camera roll.
Here are top tips to help you take stunning pictures of flowers on your smartphone.
Try Shooting in Portrait Mode
Portrait mode is now available on most smartphones. It can give you more high-end, professional-looking results in some shooting situations.
This feature is great for taking pictures of people. But it can also give you refined, professional results with still life subjects because it works so well for close-ups.
Portrait mode will help you get shallow or soft depth-of-field. You can blur out any distractions in the background. Just as you would if you were shooting with a low f-stop number on a DSLR camera.
The aperture on most phones is fixed. But portrait mode is a form of computational photography. It artificially applies blur to the background to mimic the background blur of a DSLR.
Eliminate Distracting Backgrounds
Flowers are usually very colorful and intricately detailed. This is why it’s important to eliminate any distractions in the background. You don’t want anything to take the viewer’s attention from your subject–the flower itself.
Distractions can range from a fence to undesirable foliage. Use your judgment when deciding how your background should look.
To solve the issue of distractions issue, get very low to the ground. You can even try pointing your camera up and see how this approach works with your subject.
If your surroundings are too busy, you can place a piece of black or white foam core behind your flower for a neutral background. You can find these at most craft stores.
Shoot From a Low or Unexpected Angle
When flower images don’t work, it’s often because they were taken from high above. This is an angle that we typically view them at. This angle doesn’t flatter the flower well or highlight its best features.
It’s more unique and striking to see flower photography in a way we are not used to viewing botanicals. Also, shooting from the lower ground makes your subject look bigger than it is. It will fill more of the frame.
Shoot in Diffused Light
Direct light is all the rage right now when it comes to photography trends. When it comes to taking pictures of flowers, diffused light is your friend. Florals look best when the light is soft.
Bright, direct sunlight will create harsh shadows on your flowers. And it’ll cause parts of it to be overexposed.
Head out in nature or your local botanical garden on an overcast day. The clouds act like a big softbox, scattering the light evenly, with soft contrast.
Take Your Flower Photos Close Up
When photographers take pictures of flowers with their DSLR, they use a macro lens. When you use your smartphone, take images close-up for a similar effect.
When you get close, you can see the intricacies of the flower. Focusing on only part of the flower can actually have a big impact. Your image can look a little abstract and artistic, but your subject will still be recognizable.Read more
Capturing photos of an adventure is an exhilarating form of photography. But adventure photography isn’t easy or straightforward.
You are often at the mercy of the elements in extreme locations.
To help you achieve the shots you want, here are tips to boost your adventure photography skills.
Where to Go for Adventure Photography
Adventure brings up visions of mountains, wild seas, endless deserts, and epic forests. A local park doesn’t shout adventure, does it?
To capture amazing adventure photos, you have to partake in, well, amazing adventures. This might sound obvious but try to take part and do things you love. But also things that you are knowledgeable about.
Adventure photographers often risk their lives so you need to know what you are doing. This is one genre of photography that you usually won’t be able to do in your backyard. Unless your backyard is great outdoors.
Your first step should be to research, plan and go on great adventures. Whether this means traveling to different countries like New Zealand or Iceland or photographing.
What Do You Need to Research Before Embarking on a Photography Adventure
Adventure photographers have to know every detail of their trip. Not only will this keep you safe but also ensure that you capture the best photos that you can. You need to know where you need to be and when, so you can capture the best light.
You should have an idea and which potential spots will give you a good view. The good news is that there are so many options these days to help you plan your shoot.
Pack Your Bag According to the Type of Adventure You’re On
The thing about adventure photography is that you face such a variety of conditions. So it’s almost impossible to rely on one set of equipment for every scenario.
For surfing photos, you are going to need different equipment than hiking photos.
Your adventure will also dictate what you can take due to space and weight restrictions.
For example, you don’t want to be carrying a heavy DSLR and lots of lenses if you are climbing a cliff face. Whereas if you are photographing in the water you’ll need a waterproof casing for your camera.
Tell a Story Through Your Photos to Keep the Viewer’s Interest
A great adventure photo should tell a story to the viewer. This is the main difference between adventure photography and landscape photography.
Before you even set up to take the photo, ask yourself what is the story that you are trying to tell. You can even try to imagine your photo in a magazine article.
This is one of the most important adventures photography tips. Sometimes you have to place points of interest in your images to convey that story.
Many photographers see the likes of Steve McCurry and Sebastião Salgado and want the same lifestyle as a travel photographer. It is an attractive position. It means you get to travel and capture art at the same time.
This is one photography genre that looks easy, yet you can find many obstacles.
What Is Travel Photography?
Travel photography is an all-encompassing field. It incorporates all sorts of photography fields within it. So what does professional travel photography look like? Amazing shots of rolling landscapes, captivating portraits, and interesting food.
You can look at Geographic and see glaciers. Likewise, tourism brochures show foreign markets and environmental portraits. Travel photography is something you’ll find, no matter where you look.
They adorn large billboards and advertisements. Anything from flights, to Airbnb apartments or the ambiance in restaurants. They sit in magazines and newspapers to attract people from all over the world.
Is all the photography you capture while traveling travel photography? Well, no. Street photography looks at street, architecture, urban, portrait, nature, wildlife, landscape, and adventure photography. Yet, destination weddings, sports, or events don’t fit well here.
They can be of a documentary concept, to report on areas and situations as they are and happen. These are the most realistic settings.
There is also a commercial aspect. Here, photographers capture restaurants and hotels used for promotion.
There is no end to the subject matter, making it an open market for all kinds of photographers to try their hands.
How Do I Become a Professional Travel Photographer?
Like almost every field of photography, you start by starting! This might not make sense, but you need to get out there and start taking images.
The most important thing is the portfolio. This is an online or print version of a series of images that you captured. It lets clients see what and how you capture. It is a visual guide on what quality they can expect from you.
Without a portfolio, clients might find it challenging to give you work based on your word. You can start on a local level if you don’t have the capital to go traipsing far and wide.
Research what clients are looking for, aim to capture them and then show them. The images you don’t sell could work well on stock photography websites or as sellable prints.
Work as You Go
As you’re traveling to foreign places, you can offer your services. They are in great need of images from the destination you are in.
These could be travel agents, magazines, and newspapers. Anyone in the travel or tourism industry needs strong images. I have stayed in hostels for free by exchanging professional interior images for free accommodation.
If you’re going somewhere abroad, search for opportunities each area might present. Even having the images for sale on a stock photography website is beneficial. As the number of images grows, so does your chance to make money.
Many businesses prefer working with the same person if they provide high-quality images. They might even commission you to capture the images they need.Read more