Earlier this week we launched a fun competition to discover the World’s Worst Travel Photographer. We must admit, we knew there’d be some bad entries, but you are exceeding yourselves. We’ve been in stitches over Ben Fahey’s attempt at holding up the Washington Monument and Sarah Mahey’s smugly skiing dog.
Our star-studded judging panel (including Simon Reeve, Kirsten Alana, Anthony Cullen, Chris Coe and Max Wooldridge) will be deciding who’ll take home the title of World’s Worst Travel Photographer 2012. The lucky winner will also receive a Fuji X-S1 camera courtesy of Dixons Travel and a photography course from Chris Coe or Anthony Cullen. (Our ‘Highly commended’ entrant will win the other.)
If you’ve been tuning into our blog you’ll have seen the tips and tricks our judges have been offering to help you avoid crap snaps. But being keen travellers, we figure there are some destinations where it’s pretty hard to take a bad shot. Here are our picks for three of the most photogenic locations around the world.
Istanbul – best for city life
We say: Between the mosques of Sultanahmet to the trendy streets of Taxim, Istanbul is a feast for the eyes. Head to the Grand Bazaar for a kaleidoscope of colour: stained glass lanterns, bright scarves and dazzling jewellery – it’s a great place to capture detail.
Chris Coe’s tip for capturing city life: Take time to observe. Good photographers are very observant. They don’t just see the big scene but also see details within it. If you like photographing people, try people watching. Sit in a cafe and just watch for a while. Soon you’ll spot interesting details, how people move through a busy place, where they stop and how they interact with their surroundings.
Dixons Travel’s camera tip: The Fuji X-S1 (which you could win!) is a different kind of bridge camera (‘bridge’ referring to the middle-ground between SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras), with better low-light sensitivity and much reduced image noise, making it perfect for city breaks.
Take me there: Check out our Istanbul Inspirations deal (from £299) for details on how you can wander the streets of Istanbul and put your photography skills to the test.
Vietnam – best for the beach
We say: Crystalline waters, vivid blue sea and powdery white sand… it must be Vietnam. Whether you’re capturing the silhouette of a coconut tree at sunset or a rustic shot of a junk boat washed up on shore, it’s virtually impossible to take a bad shot in paradise.
Chris Coe’s tip for shooting at the beach: Beaches can be bright! Most photographs are lit by sunlight so you should know where the sun is, even if it’s behind clouds, and where the shadows are. If you’re photographing a person don’t face them towards a bright light as it’ll make them squint. Whatever you’re photographing, don’t put the sun behind it, unless you want a silhouette. If the light’s in the wrong place move your subject or yourself so that it isn’t.
Dixons Travel’s camera tip: The Fuji XP51 can be taken to a depth of 5 metres underwater, so it’s great for snorkelling. It’s also drop-proof and bright enough to spot if it gets dropped in the sand. (No need to worry about sand getting into this camera either, as it’s completely dust proof!)
Take me there: Our Vietnam City and Beach offer can have you enjoying Vietnam’s sandy treasures for eight nights from £899.
Malaysia – best for wildlife spotting
We say: Sarawak (in Malaysia) is the best place to find semi-wild orang-utans that have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding reserve. And with the Semonggok Wildlife Centre’s breeding programme you may have the opportunity to witness one of nature’s most heart-warming sights: an orang-utang mother with her baby.
Anthony Cullen’s tip for capturing wildlife on camera: Leave your camera turned on when you’re shooting, you never know when the decisive moment may happen. And don’t keep putting the lens cap on; if you have a UV or skylight filter and a lens hood (probably more for DSLRs) this should be enough to protect the front element.
Dixons Travel’s camera tip: The Sony Cybershot HX20 can pretty much do it all – big zoom, sweep panorama and even GPS mode. Its many features are crammed into this compact super zoom camera. With its 20x optical zoom you can bring yourself right into the action… without getting too close.
Take me there: Take a look at our Kuching Hills and Wildlife holiday (7 nights from £895) which includes entry into Semonggok Wildlife Centre.
Tomorrow, we’ll be announcing the worst travel snap of the week – as voted by YOU. So head over to the #crapsnaps album on Flickr and vote for the worst of a bad bunch by ‘Favouriting’ the image you want to win. The lucky winner each week will receive a £50 travel voucher and a photography book from Travel Photographer of the Year (that’s the competition for talented photographers, by the way).
Got a dodgy shot you want to enter? Send it to us here.
This competition is now closed for entries. Thanks to everyone who sent their crapsnaps our way.