Previous Llama Traveller and professional photographer Glenn Gordon (of Gray Gordon photography) has kindly shared with us the absolutely stunning photographs he took whilst on his Llama Travel holiday in the Galapagos Islands. And even better, he has also shared his top tips on how to take the best holiday snaps. So would-be photographers, and those who want to make sure they can look back on their holiday of a lifetime for ever, take note!
“Respect Your Environment
Most importantly of all, look after your surroundings. Do not destroy delicate plant life, endanger or frighten an animal just to get a good shot. If you truly value the beauty of your subject, please take the time and care to protect it.
The Earl Bird Catches The Worm
And the early photographer catches the early bird, catching the worm. Be prepared to put yourself out a little if you want to get that stunning shot. Really attention-grabbing or thought-provoking shots rarely fall onto your lap; you have to go and look for them.
Dusk ‘Till Dawn
Getting up early leads me nicely onto my next tip. There is a reason why photographers get up before sunrise and stay out after sunset; the light is soft and beautiful here. Unfortunately, there is nothing pretty about the bleached-out skies of the midday sun.
Failing To Plan, Is Planning To Fail
Think about what equipment you will need to get a good shot that day. Simple things such as a fully charged battery, a waterproof cover or a tripod can be essential. I once forgot my underwater camera on an excursion to swim with Galapagos Penguins and will always regret it.
The Eyes Have It
If you are taking photographs of wildlife, particularly head-shots, it is vital to get the eyes of the animal in focus. The eyes convey so much of the life and soul of an animal so when composing your shot, be sure to keep this in mind.
Patience Is The Watchword
Photography can often be boring. There, I said it! Hours sitting alone, waiting for the perfect shot are not much fun, especially when nothing is happening. However, don’t give up – you will get many more hours of pleasure from a framed photo on your wall, than you lost waiting to take it.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether it’s a DSLR, a ‘point and shoot’ or even the latest smart phone, it’s important you get to grips with your camera’s settings before heading abroad. Don’t miss that once in a lifetime opportunity simply because you couldn’t turn the flash on in time.
Taking shots of the locals is often one of the most pleasurable aspects of photography abroad. Ask permission beforehand or gesture with your camera if you don’t speak the language. Don’t be afraid; I usually that find people are more than happy to do this and the worst they can say is no.
Constructing The Perfect Photo
Architecture abroad can be fascinating, with no two countries exactly the same. Try getting up high or shooting from low down for more interesting vantage points and compositions. Look out for striking lines and angles or get in really close for that often missed detail.
Don’t live your life through a lens the entire time you are on holiday. The scenes you see through a viewfinder do not compare to taking in the real thing with your own eyes. Use your photographs to remind you of the magic and beauty you witnessed but make sure you do witness it!”
You can see the result of all the above by checking out Glenn’s stunning Galapagos island photographs here. To see more of his work, you can visit the Gray Gordon photography website at www.graygordon.com, and to hear more stories on all things photography, travel and wildlife, you can check out Glenn’s blog at http://glennasher-gordon.blogspot.co.uk/. If you have been inspired to visit, and capture on film, one of the most magical places on earth, you can see a list of all our holidays to the Galapagos Islands here. You can also see a full list of all our amazing Latin America holidays by visiting www.llamatravel.com or by ordering our brand new brochure.