Travel is a privilege and not one to be taken for granted but certainly we’ve all been guilty of packing too much into a holiday only to forget what the sights are an instant or worse, been so caught up in finding the right angles for our snaps we forgot to just be in the moment.
No matter which scenario you might be guilty of, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a great image to remember your trip, the point is to feel adept at snapping what you need so you feel less stressed.
Here, luxury travel accessories brand Rimowa’s New Horizon Project collaborator and photographer Rory Gardiner shares his expert tips for pointing that lens with confidence and the locations to add to your itinerary when travel is back on the agenda.
Get your timing right
“Try to shoot at the beginning or end of the day,” advises Gardiner, who adds that “generally, the light will be more interesting at these times, offering playful shadows and a vast range of colour.”
As for travel, Gardiner recommends Japan for those keen for the adventure of a buzzy city mixed with the quiet calm of island life, albeit in ski season.
“An obvious one, but I’m obsessed with photographing huge, pulsating metropolises and Tokyo is the pinnacle of this,” says Gardiner. “Coupled this with endless sky decks and easily accessible vantage points, you could spend weeks photographing the city from above.” The photographer recommends scoping out which hotels have public access rooftop bars for those keen to take in the city’s sprawling views.
“With up to sixteen meters of snowfall a year, Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido is blanketed in pristine white snow throughout winter, allowing for clean, minimal landscape photography everywhere you go,” Gardiner says.
Don’t get hung up on equipment
“The best camera is the one you have with you,” Gardiner declares, adding, “having the right equipment isn’t very helpful unless you have it with you at the right time—don’t be afraid of using your phone or a compact camera, they can offer incredible results these days!”
When it comes to travel closer to home, Gardiner recommends Sydney’s Central Coast, a perfect destination for those keen to flex their landscape photography skills.
“Until recently I’d never paid much attention to Australia’s ‘Cenny’ coast,” Gardiner admits. “It takes some exploration as there are so many inlets and bays to navigate, but this is what makes it fantastically diverse for landscape photography, allowing for shooting in any direction as the sun dances around the water, bushland and hillside.”
Your camera doesn’t always see what you do
“If you’re shooting a building or cityscape, try to make sure it’s straight! Buildings appear straight to our eye, so it’s worth making sure the camera is too!” Gardiner warns. A pro tip if you’re keen to sweep the cities of the globe with a camera in tow, especially when it comes to some of the older locales like Amsterdam or London where buildings often have a significant lean.
Gardiner recommends adding Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka to your must-do list, especially if you’re keen to explore where the built environment meets the natural.
“Designed by architect Geoffrey Bawa, it’s a lengthy structure built into the side of a mountain and totally covered in dense vegetation, allowing for images where the line between architecture and nature become blurred,” recommends Gardiner.
Another favourite for cityscapes? “Shanghai’s fast developing West Bund has an incredible mix of old decrepit industrial structure with some of China’s most interesting contemporary architecture,” says the photographer, who adds, “the one good side of smog is that it can create super atmospheric light, great for moody architecture photography.”
From Vogue Australia