Every Picture Tells A Story…
As amateur photographers, we are always looking to capture that National Geographic worthy shot. Well, we keep trying…
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange
Photography has become an integral part of our lives. During our travelling, we are always looking for photograph opportunities and like to capture every aspect of a place that we visit – whether it be flora and fauna, landscapes, buildings, reflections, sunsets, local life or food – yes, definitely food!
Yosemite National Park, California, USA. One of our favourite places to photograph!
We like our photographs to really tell the story of a place and make the person looking at them feel part of the whole experience. That’s why photography is an important aspect of our blog. We try hard with writing posts that we think people will be interested in, but we hope that we can capture people’s attention more through our images.
Our favourite sunset shot that we captured in El Nido, The Philippines.
It is not unusual for us to take over 100 photographs a day when on the road, to the annoyance of friends and family when we upload them all to Facebook! Through the blog however, we are learning to take a step back, reflect, and be selective. It’s a cliche, but that one single photograph can say more than a thousand words. So we are taking our time to present only the best of our collection on TrekSnappy and let the images speak for themselves…
A double rainbow we spotted whilst camping in England, our home country.
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams
Capturing the Moment
Wayne, being the far more technical of the two of us, loves nothing more than taking his camera out into the garden on a weekend to practise his macro skills on insects and flowers. If his head is not in a photography book, he’s looking up new techniques on the internet and watching countless clips on YouTube of how to get that perfect shot. His latest mission is to create a time lapse piece, now he’s taught himself how to do it.
Wayne’s Macro Photography – A ladybird found in our parents’ garden.
Wayne’s Macro Photography – A spider from that same garden.
I, on the other hand am more of a ‘capture the moment’ type, and always have a camera in my handbag wherever we go – you never know when than perfect picture shot will present itself! Our friends always rely on us having a camera at events and night’s out and I am usually the ‘designated photographer’.
This is sort of how we came up with our namesake TrekSnappy – without a doubt we love trekking and photography – but it’s also a pun on us being a bit too ‘snap happy’ with the camera at times!
Getting up close with a 10 stop filter.
We had one camera at the start of our RTW trip in 2010, a Panasonic Lumix TZ7, a great point and shoot with easy to use features. We then bought an additional Panasonic Lumix in Bangkok – the FT2 Underwater Camera purely for snorkelling shots. But we also found it was of great use when it was raining! There was no tripod in our kit, but for a small ‘gorilla pod’ that other people found fascinating when Wayne would grip it around branches or fences to stabilise the camera for those long exposure shots. (I’m surprising myself with all this technical lingo!)
As time went on however, we found that we were limited with the types of shots we wanted to get. I kept lusting after other people’s shots that had a main focus in the foreground, but had a blurry background. They looked so effective. This blurriness, I learnt from Wayne, is called ‘depth of field’. With the limited capabilities of our TZ7 point and shoot, we just couldn’t get shots like that at all.
Was it now time to upgrade to a digital SLR camera?
Wayne’s flower head up close demonstrating depth of field.
Yes – after much internet research, Wayne increased our number of cameras to 3 when we arrived in New York in September 2011. The new purchase was a Panasonic Lumix GF2 – a bridging camera with interchangeable lenses. This was his toy and I haven’t got a clue about apertures and shutter speeds, so it is wasted on me. On the rare occasions I’ve used it I simply go to ‘auto mode’ and point and shoot! He also purchased a full size tripod, which we have found really useful for those ‘selfie’ shots on top of a mountain somewhere.
Stood at the top of Observation Point, Zion Canyon, USA.
By then, the TZ7 was looking a bit worse for wear with a few scratches and worn corners. Unfortunately, its life ended when I stumbled on a trail in a National Park and accidentally bashed it against some rocks. The next major city we headed to was Las Vegas, and it was difficult to find a Panasonic camera for sale anywhere, despite visiting a large mall on the edge of town. The majority of cameras available were either Canon or Nikon. So after having a play with a Nikon Coolpix S9100 and being converted by a few novelty features such as a selective colour mode, I bought it.
I simply couldn’t be without my own camera.
Upgrading our Kit
Since then, we have upgraded our photography kit again in readiness for our next trip. Accompanying us to South America is my brand new spangly Panasonic Lumix TZ40 with a whole host of new features including touch screen. I’ve not really used it much yet, but it must be a vast improvement on a TZ7 if they are already at version 40!
Wayne has had a Lumix G5 for almost a year, with some additional lenses, listed below:
- Panasonic 14mm f2.5 prime (landscape)
- Sigma 30mm f2.8 prime (street)
- Olympus 45mm f1.8 prime (portrait)
- Panasonic 14-42mm kit lens (general)
- Panasonic 45-200mm tele-zoom
- Raynox DCR-250 macro adapter
- CPL, B&W 10-stop ND, and Hoya Variable ND
- Intervalometer (for timelapse and multi-exposure)
He has also purchased some filters which he loves for getting those silky smooth water shots.
Skelwith Force, Lake District, England (ND Filter to increase exposure time).
We stick with Panasonic cameras as we have found they are easy to navigate, and between the different cameras the modes are very similar. According to Wayne, who is our prime researcher, they also get great reviews. For me, I guess it’s just a case of what you’re familiar with and what you get used to as I really couldn’t get to grips with the Nikon after buying it, and never really liked it!
We also have a new gorilla pod with swivel head and spirit level. Each year they keep making slight modifications and improvements to everything! Wayne also has a light weight tripod which is essential for his landscape and time lapse photography.
HDR Image of Iron Spring Creek, Yellowstone National Park.
A Photographer’s Dream
We are looking forward to the great photographic opportunities that visiting South America will present us with – capturing the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia, the vibrant colours and carnival atmosphere in Brazil, the macro shots of creatures in the Amazon Rainforest, and those scenic shots of the national parks in Patagonia, especially the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.
Each looks truly stunning in its own right from other people’s photographs we have seen, either in books or on the internet.
These places have been photographed many times of course, but we are always looking for a unique perspective, a change of angle, a different time of day, a different season, a lesser-known trail, from which to take the photograph from.
To experience them for ourselves will be truly magical – a photographer’s dream.
Flying out of Coolangatta Airport overlooking the Gold Coast, Australia.
Capturing motion – A jeepney passing by in Palawan, The Philippines.
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty
We believe in non-intrusive photography and asking someone’s permission before they are captured on camera. But we’re not good at approaching people, so often what would have been a great shot is an opportunity lost as we put the camera away.
Colourful incense sticks as a market outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
We hope you enjoy looking at our photographs and if you have any hints or tips for us on photography or travelling, we would love to hear them!