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Sony’s Ultimate Guide to Travel Photography

Press Release   •   Jun 10, 2013 10:21 BST

To celebrate the launch of Sony’s new camera, the Cyber-Shot™ HX50, the world’s smallest, lightest camera with 30x zoom, Sony has teamed up with the travel photography finalists in the world’s largest and most prestigious photography competition, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. The photographers have revealed their expert advice and shared their top tips on what it takes to capture great photos while you’re on holiday.

Whether you’re off on a City break to Europe this summer, further afield to Asia or even plan to stay at home and explore your own backyard, these tips let you in on the secrets that stop you looking like a tourist and help you take pictures that capture the essence and emotion of your chosen destination. Following the advice of some of the world’s best photographers, you can guarantee you will be taking photos that are truly unique and inspiring, capturing moments and memories that will last a lifetime.

Photographers from across the globe reached the final stages of the awards, with images that capture the heat of Cuba, the cityscapes of Dubai, famous landmarks in Paris and New York and the serenity of monks in Burma, to name a few. The photographers have offered their top tips for creating these exquisite shots, revealing their favourite places to travel and offering insights into what you shouldn’t leave home without.

Sony asked the photography finalists, if they could share just one tip what would it be - a third of respondents replied that it’s imperative to get off the beaten track when travelling. The photographers insisted that getting away from the tourist traps will ensure photographs depict real life in far flung places and represent the beauty and energy of the village, town or even city you have holidayed to.

Matteo Butturini from Italy, shortlisted in the professional travel category says: “I prefer to lose myself in the smaller alleys and to enter the everyday life of locals that are the main subject of my pictures. I love to think of my travel images as a sort of documentary collection of today's life of normal people, as 20 years from now things will be really different in these areas.”

In addition to exploring the road less travelled, the photographers suggest that making a good solid plan will lead to well thought out shots. By studying guide books and learning local customs finalist in the open travel category, Maciej Makowski from Poland, aims to learn everything he needs to know about his location – he can spend up to 12 months planning a photo assignment:

“Before I set off on my trip, I study maps, guide books and do a lot of internet research, searching for transport and accommodation. What is the most important to me is to have knowledge about local people; their habits, everyday life, behaviours, what is sacred to them and what is welcomed and not tolerated. All this before I even take a photo!”

Johannes Heuckeroth from Germany a finalist in the professional travel category also insists on the rewards of planning:

“Good preparation is essential to get the best shots. A good prepared plan, with everything you need to know to get to the best photo spots, highlighting every chance for a great photo on your journey.”

Finally, the third tip that the photographers advised on was to pack light. Both Scott Stulberg from the United States and Agurtxane Concellon based in Norway stressed the importance of travelling light in order to be nimble enough to move around and ensure great photos.

Scott Stulberg commented “Travel as light as possible with all of your gear and clothes. Most people take way too much stuff and you can actually do great with less than you might ever think possible.”

The Best Places to Photograph

In addition to the top tips, the photographers revealed their favourite places to photograph across the globe. Almost half of respondents named locations in Asia Pacific as the place to photograph landscapes and local people, with just under 40% responding that European countries and cities provided sensational backdrops and life.

Don’t Leave Home Without

In addition to their top tips and favourite places to photograph, we asked the world’s best travel photographers, what are the items they don’t leave home without? The majority of photographers advised that a tripod and a good pair of shoes are the two must have items. Top photographer Maciej Makowski says that “Nothing prepares you better than your open mind and a very good pair of shoes”. While Nathan Willis from Australia shortlisted in the travel category confirms, “The one essential item other than my camera when shooting is my tripod, it is a MUST! If you’re interested in landscape shots and longer exposures a tripod is the essential”

In addition to a tripod and good pair of shoes memory cards and storage devices were identified as being vital.

Finally Matteo Buttuirini adds, “if you are planning to travel to Asia insect repellent is probably the most important thing to pack!”

In addition to these items, having a good camera that can capture every detail of your holiday is of up most importance. The new Cyber-shot™ HX50 camera from Sony gives every scene the colour, detail and clarity it deserves – even at high zoom. Boasting a 20.4MP sensor and built-in image stabilisation, the HX50 delivers beautifully vibrant photos and Full HD videos, even when you’re far from your subject. What’s more it’s the world’s smallest, lightest digital still camera that packs a powerful 30x optical zoom range.