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Postcards from...

Setting off for a holiday this summer? Gulf News photographers share their favourite travel pictures with Features Writer Gareth Kurt Warren

    Friends at a watering hole in BotswanaImage Credit: Sankha Kar/GULF NEWS
    Galata Tower in IstanbulImage Credit: Javed Nawab/GULF NEWS
    Pangong lake, KashmirImage Credit: Pankaj Sharma/GULF NEWS
    Children frolicking on the beach in the PhilippinesImage Credit: Abdel Krim-Kallouche/GULF NEWS
    A lizard strikes a pose on a leaf in Sri LankaImage Credit: Oliver Clarke/GULF NEWS
    A monk travelling the beaten track in Sri LankaImage Credit: Francois Nel/GULF NEWS

What inspired you to take this photo?
I think the true beauty of Sri Lanka has to be the number one reason. This was my first visit to the country and I immediately felt at ease exploring and taking pictures.
What was the main focus? Why?
That’s the monk in striking colours, walking down the railway track into the jungle. I was on a tuk-tuk when I saw the track and asked the driver to stop. The track and the monk lead the viewer’s eye to the same place, creating a sense of space.
Give us a tip on capturing similar images?
I think you should always be aware of your surroundings,
just take time, step back and observe. I like to stay clear of typical tourist areas, so set off down a side-street and see where it takes you.

Tech specs: Canon EOS-ID Mark III, 200mm, 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

What inspired you to take this photo?
It was taken on the spur of the moment. I was up early one morning and the opportunity presented itself. I saw the lizard run across the garden and into a tree; I always have my camera close at hand to capture such moments.
What do you like about this picture?
I loved the bright green of the lizard and the detail of the scales around its eye.
Give us a tip on taking wildlife pictures in this country.
Sri Lanka is a very picturesque country, there’s wildlife everywhere. Always keep your camera ready with you.

Tech specs: Canon EOS-5D Mark II, 70mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

What inspired you to take this photo?
The breathtaking view around the lake inspired me. It was a pleasure to walk on the banks and watch the waves on the crystal clear water.
What was the main focus? 
The main points of focus are the blue sky and beautiful puffy white clouds.
What tips do you have for capturing similar images in this region?
Have at least a 24mm wide angle lens. Expose one step under to get deep colours. At high altitudes, the sunlight is not evenly distributed. There are areas that have light and shadow. Use a neutral density (ND) or a graduated neutral density (Grad ND) filter which helps in high-contrast situations. Shoot in the mornings and evenings, when the sunlight is slanting. This won’t produce harsh shadows on the subject. During mid-day the sun can get really bright and landscape photographs taken at this hour tend to look flat.

Tech specs: Nikon D70, 22mm, f/13

What was the main focus in the frame? Why?
The children, the flashy colours of the water tube and the wooden boat were the main focus in the frame. The feeling of relaxation and calmness that the scene offered inspired me to take this picture.
Can you give us a tip on capturing similar images on holiday? 
For a moving subject you have to anticipate and shoot at least three shots while your subject is in motion. Then, select the picture that matches your original idea. Don’t hesitate to use the flash during the day. When the sun is behind your subject, it will balance the brightness on your picture between the high and low light. The Philippines is a magical place in terms of lighting and is very colourful with smiles everywhere. My advice is ‘shoot with a smile’.

Tech specs: Panasonic DMC-LX3, 5.1mm, f/8, ISO 80

What inspired you to take this picture?
The architecture and the unique design of the building inspired me to shoot this photograph.
What was the main focus in the frame?
I wanted a strong image of the Galata Tower in Istanbul.
Give us a tip on taking pictures in this country.
If you are in Istanbul you must visit the tower and view the city from the top level. The best aerial shots of the city can be taken from the tower.

Tech specs: Canon EOS-ID Mark III, 17mm, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000

What inspired you to take this photo?
My quest for wildlife took me to Botswana this year. The landscape, the colour of the water and the entire composition is perfect. What made the picture better were the two different animals in the frame — one big and one small. The image shows us that regardless of their sizes the water brings them together.
What was the main focus in
the frame? 
The main focus in the frame is the reflection of the sky in the water.
Give us a tip on clicking similar images in this country.
For images like this, the photographer needs to have a lot of patience. Since it’s wildlife, you can’t arrange anything or compose anything. The entire picture depends on the animals. For this specific picture, the elephant was facing another direction, so I waited until he turned, and that completed the picture. When capturing images in Botswana, you have to take the atmosphere and the colours of the country into consideration. The landscape is beautiful and there are images waiting to be captured everywhere. If it is wildlife photography you are interested in, a telephoto lens is perfect. If it is the landscape you want, use a wide-angle lens.

Tech specs: iPhone 4, 3.9mm, 1/1700 sec, f/2.8, ISO 80