Growing on Instagram?


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If you are a landscape photograpers trying to get his work out there, you have surely heard about that one big imaging platform called Instagram. 

So you made yourself a profile and started dropping all your gorgeous work that you worked hard for and suddenly you wonder: Why is nobody liking my images and why do I have 50 followers while others have thousands and just keep growing?

There reason for it isn´t one- it´s actually many and I´ll try to cover some of them here in this article, giving some tips along the way that have worked for me in the past. 

I´ll also cover why this isn´t exactly working super effectively for myself anymore at the end of the article.

The idea for this article came to my mind after receiving many direct messages about the topic on my Instagram account, so I thought my answers might be interesting for others as well.


If you aren´t doing what i´ll talk about now, that is surely part of why Instagram isn´t working for you (so far)

Using Instagram with the expectation to have a growing following isn´t an easygoing thing. For most people at least, unless you are already a superstar in the worldwide photography business. 

BUT we are not one of those right (at least not me). So for us it will be a decision that more than anything else will involve time spent on the platform and some changes to our imagery done especially to post them effectively on Instagram. 

A post shared by Felix Inden (@felixinden) on

Spend the needed time

You might have read this often, but because it´s true you´ll read it again here: You need to spend time on Instagram in order to grow- „post and run“ does not work! 

So prepare to have at least an hour, better two or more per day to spend „working“ on Instagram. 

Engage with people that have similar interests and well running accounts. While it might be effective to simply like and comment whatever stuff you see, don´t do it and choose images and photographers whos work you really cherish and like. 

After all you are trying to build a name for yourself and it´s important to stay true to quality. Once you have some kind of „name“ you want people to appreciate a like given by you, because they know it´s honestly telling them that they did something right. 

Who you should follow

Same applies for following people, so watch out that you don´t fall in the follow/unfollow trap and instead curate the list of people you follow. I also follow friends that aren´t photographers at all and some people i also follow because they are just fun people. In those cases i don´t care about the imagery they post, but for those photographers that i have been following: I follow you because i appreciate your work. 

Optimize your images for Instagram

Different to other imaging platforms, on Instagram you know 100% that people will be seeing your work only on a very small screen. And your image will compete with bazillions of others beeing posted at the same time. You only have a fraction of a second to capture the viewers interest to get him to double tap and maybe even drop a comment. 

So your images need to stand out in some way. 

Ignoring this might be the biggest mistake causing people to not grow on Instagram. They process the images like they always do and then upload. Most likely it will be looking quite dull on the phone, because the size factor that other platforms offer get´s lost. The image won´t just stand out because of a neat composition and when very subtle colors can totally work seen on a big screen, on a little phone screen they might look less interesting.

Crop your images to vertical format or 1:1

 Square 1x1 Crop 

Square 1x1 Crop 

 4x5 Vertical (Portrait orientation) Crop 

4x5 Vertical (Portrait orientation) Crop 

Now comes the hardest part for us landscapers that often tend to shoot landscape formats or even panoramic work. 

Landscape format does not work well on Instagram. Why? Because only a small part of the screen is used to display the image. Your phone screen is the canvas that you have to display your image, so make sure to use it to the fullest. 

So you´ll have to shoot vertical format (I use this format very often because I love portrait format landscapes, i was lucky there) or if you shoot wide, crop the images to square or portrait format in order to fill the screen with them. 

At this point i got some reactions from people that didn´t want to follow the tip of keeping the aspect ratio of posts in mind. They made a principle about not adjusting/applying changes to their work just because of a social network. But in my opinion one can totally do that without loosing the realness factor- if you spend time on platform then do it effectively. At least that´s my view on it.

Instagram is not your real portfolio- that one should be on your homepage or somewhere else where people can really appreciate your shots in full size with all the important details that you worked out carefully in the field and afterwards on your postprocessing system. 

Instagram is a valuable tool for self promotion of your work and it doesn´t make you less of a landscaper if you adapt to it a little bit. It will instead only improve your Insta experience.

How I actually shot this image


Pimp the images with the inbuilt processing tools

It´s a good idea to post the images with a little higher saturation and contrast than you would normally do. Also enhance sharpness and structures slightly in the app. 

Don´t go too far, but something like dialing in something in between of +5 and maximum +15 will do your images a favor as they will look more crisp. 

Optimizing an image for upload in the app 

Use Hashtags

While it might seem obvious to most of you reading this, there are still some that post on Instagram expecting people to see their work, but have never really spent thoughts about why people keep tagging their images. 

A post shared by Felix Inden (@felixinden) on

In this huge ocean of posted images, hashtags are a way of getting your image seen by people with certain interests. But to use them to their full potential you need to understand how they work. 

There are very popular tags that are used very often and others that don´t get used much. Using #landscape (87 million tagged images), #sunset (176 million) or #nature (328 million) is not effective unless you are already getting thousands of likes on your shots in rather short amount of time. Your tagged image will dissappear from the tag list in seconds as so many images get posted with these tags. 

Drop them in every now and then, but don´t make it a strategy to use them. Better look out for tags that have between 30k and a million tagged images- there you have the biggest chance of getting your image seen because of the used tag. 

Also it´s not the smartest thing to use tags with very low tagged images, because it´s most likely that noone is interested in them (unless a promising new hub or company has just invented the tag- then try it). 

While you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, lately it seems to be better to use between 10 to 20 max- don´t ask me why this is the case. I just noticed it in the last year. Same applies to where you drop the tags. I personally prefer to put them in the comments as my captions look more clean this way, but i don´t think that it has an effect on how the mighty algorythm ranks the image.


If you really want to use Instagram as a landscaper, tripod warrior or whatever you wanna call us, realize that it´s not the best idea to ignore the key factors that can make your work function on the app. Traditional landscape photography is not the ideal kind of imagery for this app- you see it when you look at other photographers that chose the way of a rather documentary style of landscape photography that many call adventure/lifestyle photography. Here they often place humans doing something or interacting with the scene in the frame.

I really love this kind of work by many artists out there when they achieve to create that strong feeling of wanting to get out into nature and gaze at the elements. Often I also find it rather boring when I notice that it was just done to have a potentially popular image.

While this style of imagery is definitly more likely to quickly gain traction I have never considered changing my style just for this fact and i think you shouldn´t do this neither unless that is what inspires you the most. 

We only live once- follow your own passion!

Now we come to the point where maybe some of you may think: OK, Felix, thanks for the tips, but if we look closely you haven’t really been killing it yourself on Instagram anymore. And yeah… that’s true.

The days when I spent the needed time for this app are long gone. There are many different reasons for this fact, the biggest and most important of all being my wife and my two sons. They deserve my attention more than my phone, and this alone is already a disadvantage if I still wanted to keep my account growing as it once did.

I also don’t feel as inspired by the app as I once was anymore. I don’t want to start circle jerking just exchanging likes and comments with others just for the sake of it.


Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Leave a comment down below!


Filters on drones?

Filters on drones?



I often see a lot of people asking “what filters did you use?” and also spending money to buy them. Therefore to help clear up any confusion, set the right expectations and hopefully save some peeps a few bucks here’s a quick little brain dump on filters. It might be of some help to those who may be new to photography. 


I tend to think of filters in two groups. Optically altering and non-optically altering. Filters such as UV and polarising filters literally change or modify the light. ND and Grad ND Filters do not modify the light. 

 A standard screw in UV lens filter

A standard screw in UV lens filter

 Just part of my personal Lee Filters landscape  kit.

Just part of my personal Lee Filters landscape  kit.


Whilst there’s literally hundreds of filter variants not all of them are applicable to aerial photography so I’ll explain the four different types of filters I often see people ask about or buy for drones. 

1. UV: A UV filter was traditionally used to block UV rays from the film. Digital camera sensors have an IR or UV filter built in making UV filters completely redundant for this purpose. Many still like using a UV filter to protect the lens of their camera from scratches. Personally, I’ve never used a UV / clear filter for protection.

I’ve never scratched a lens and the lens of a drone camera would be even harder to scratch (given they’re used in the air). I’ve seen a lot of people buy UV / Clear filters for their drones and IMO this is of no benefit and in-fact will degrade image quality. 

2. Polarising filters: Of all the filters available for drones, a polarising filter is the single filter I agree has the most value for photography. The type of polariser filter used is a circular polariser (circ.pol) 

These could be seen to benefit aerial photography in a number of ways. They remove reflected light waves, reducing glare and helping improve clarity in things such as water and clouds. They can also help improve the natural saturation of colours. 

There are a lot of people who swear by polarises but IMO they’re not worth it for aerial photography. Here’s why:
-They work when they are perpendicular to the direction of the sun. This is controlled by manually rotating the filter which obviously one cannot do when their lens is in the air. 
-The guessing game of ‘putting her on and sending her up’ can impair the image with uneven areas of polar reduction. 
-Photographers compose their shots to ensure uniformed saturation with polarises. Again, this isn’t possible when the lens is in the sky. 
-Polarises reduce approx. 2 exposure stops of light which has subsequent impacts when your camera is airborne (I’ll get to this below). 

So – I agree, circ.pol filters can absolutely have an impact on the photo. IMO, the results aren’t worth it and with the above limitations in mind, are probably better achieved in post-production. This is a personal preference though 🙂

3. Neutral Density (ND) filters. I think ND filters are one of the more misunderstood filters in the drone community. ND filters are optically neutral, meaning, they don’t change the light like polarises or UV filters do. ND filters are literally just darkened glass (perspex, plastic etc). Landscape photographers will have many times when they need to reduce the amount of light entering their lens. This comes down to the basic principles of exposure. Ie. Exposure is a product of three variables. Shutter speed, aperture and ISO (film sensitivity). 

If a photographer wishes to reduce their shutter speed they are then allowing more light into their lens, this is compensated by closing the aperture. For example. 1/1000th of a second and f2 is the same exposure as 1/500th second and f2.8 and the same exposure as 1/250th second and f4 and so on. All variables work in sync. So if a photographer needs their shutter speed to be slow (ie 1/8th second) they need to compensate this with their aperture. In the above example 1/8th sec would be an aperture of f22). 

This isn’t always achievable or ideal, so, enter ND filters. 



IMO, this isn’t valuable in drone photography because the only value of slowing the shutter speed would be for long exposures (to blur water for example) which requires a tripod. Some might say their gimbals are magic and can allow for this, and whilst it’s a fun novelty, the image won’t be sharp or useable for anything other than phone size screens.

So why do ND filters serve no other purpose? Some drone camera’s such as the P4P and Inspire camera’s allow for aperture control. Even on drones without aperture control and fixed at f2.8, if you need to reduce the exposure you can simply dial up the shutter speed. 

(I'll pause here to make it clear I'm talking to photography and not videography. I absolutely agree some videographers will want ND filters for many other reasons). 

4. Grad ND: Grad ND’s are filters which gradually change from clear to a darker number of exposure stops. These are invaluable for landscape photographers when they want to balance their foreground light with the higher exposure of the sky. 

Could you do that on a drone when airborne? I guess maybe. Would I spend money on a filter for it for my drone. Nope. I’d take two exposures and blend them. It’d be easier than trying to balance the horizon along the grad line in the air.

The 7 Wonders Of The World (according to Instagram).

We all know about the 7 wonders of the world. We also know that there are many different versions. The 7 ancient wonders of the world, the 7 natural wonders of the world, the 7 modern wonders of the world.. The list goes on.

With Instagram being a huge source of travel inspiration for millions of people around the world, I think it is about time someone took note of the most shared and most desirable locations around the world based on what we see on Instagram as a platform.

So here are The 7 Wonders of the World: according to Instagram.

Coming in at Number 7

We have the The Faroe Islands

This beautiful and remote archipelago is the home to many iconic viewpoints filled with geographical drama and humble living situations. Whilst the weather may toughen you up, if you can push through you will certainly get some shots to amaze and inspire.

Photos from @giuligartner

Number 6 Lake Bled - Slovenia

Often referred to as Fairytale Lake, when you see shots like these it is easy to see why. The church on the island makes for a intriguing shots in almost any condition and the forests and mountains provide a perfect frame for these serene location.

Photos from @Jordhammond

For Number 5 Horseshoe Bend - USA

A must see road-side stop for anyone in northern Arizona, just a short walk over a sandy hill and you could be in another planet, the sound of the highway disappears and in-front of you it this visually stunning canyon formation. No photo will ever do justice to the sheer scale of it.

Horseshoe Bend Web.jpg

Photos from @oliver_wheeldon

Going back to the cold for Number 4... Iceland

The true land of ice and fire has been growing increasingly popular over the past few years, as an island packed with waterfalls, volcanic beaches and great opportunities for the Northern lights it makes sense that so many photographers are flocking here.

Photos from @henry.nathan

Into the final three we’re staying up north for Number 3 with The Lofoten Islands - Norway

Again as a location combining dramatic mountainous coastline with small abodes, Lofoten has been a photographer favourite for a long time, competition tightly with Iceland as a northern lights hotspot it just inches ahead because so many shots are seen from a smaller specific region.

Photos from @henry.nathan

This spot had to be on the list and so high because the same shot is so common, for Number 2 its St Johann Church/ The Dolomites - Italy

Bringing back the fairytale vibes of Slovenia, this spot combines a beautiful church in a pristine rolling field with a dense forest and one of the most exciting mountain ridges in the world. A spot that works in every season and time of day, it was a no-brainer for it to feature so highly. 

Photos from @guerelsahin

Finally, the big one. The US takes it with Yosemite National Park - California.

Yosemite has been iconic for decades, with several viewpoints that provide their own unique photography opportunities there are so many unique spots with their own natural wonders, from the incredibly high waterfalls that to half-dome and mirror lake. Yosemite is also home to the John Muir trail which takes you up the valley even more waterfalls. Yosemite had to be number one because of its endless possibilities, its timeless presence on everyones feeds as one of the greatest natural environments that people visit year round giving people such different experiences. 

Photos from @oliver_wheeldon

Runners Up

Ubud Light Rays - Bali

These shots always crop up in our feeds as they are featured time and time again, whilst it might not be one of the most popular destinations, when instagrammers go, they get so many killer shots it had to get a special mention.

Photos from @Jordhammond

Moraine Lake - Canada

This was originally an old favourite for number one, but the reality is it just isn’t as popular as it used to be, whilst still an iconic destination, it clearly isn’t attracting the instagram crowd like it used to.

Moraine Canoe - Web.jpg

Painted Mountain - Peru

Similar to the Ubud light rays, as a more remote destination it isn’t as popular, but when people do go the photography opportunities are incredible. 


Dubai - UAE

I wanted to give this city credit not only as a hub for photographers so often passing through from Europe and the USA to asia, it has become a favourite destination in itself for not only its truly unique cityscapes, but the wilderness adventures that can be had just an hour outside the insane metropolis.

Photos from @henry.nathan

That Wanaka Tree - NZ

Again originally a clear favourite for the list as such an iconic and recurring view but again it just isn’t being seen as much as it used to be. 

Photos from @ianharper

Have any questions? Do you agree with our list? Want to add something? Leave a comment below ↓

Interview With a Photographer | Steffen Eisenacher

Where’s home?

For me home is Germany, but with having lived in Australia during my teenage years, I would call Australia my second home. 

image1 (3).jpeg

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Definitely the arctic. I know, Arctic isn’t very specific, but I couldn’t quite decided between Iceland, Lofoten and Lappland. These place are so diverse and always look different during the different seasons. You can shoot the same place 4 times a year and it would always look different! 

How did you get started as a photographer?

That’s an interesting question. For me it all start with a passion for meteorology. I have always been interested in severe weather, such as thunderstorms since I have been a kid. At the age of 8 years I got my first very cheap digital camera and from there on my goal was to capture lightning. I remember when I finally scored my first bolt, I was smiling for days. To compensate the lack of severe weather in winter, my focus slowly shifted towards classic landscape photography! 

Want to know more about lightning photography? Check out our blog here

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a Canon 6D with the Canon 24-70mm f4, the Samyang 24mm 1.4 and the Samyang 14mm 2.8. 

For editing I use Lightroom, Photoshop and Starry Landscape Stacker. 

I don’t think there are any must haves. Up until 2 years ago I was shooting with a Canon 500D (you can get that used for less than $200) and a lot of the images you see on my feed and website are still shot with that camera. First improve on your photography, take the gear to the absolute limit and if there is absolutely no way around upgrading, then it’s time to do so! 

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Thinking about this now, I have always tried to keep my style, so I wouldn’t quite say I was influenced, but more inspired by the work of others. If I was to name some of them, it would be Micheal Shainblum (@shainblumphotography) , Jonas Piontek (@jonaspiontek) and Marc Adamus (@marcadamus).

Any top tips for Instagram?

2 things: 

  1. Stick to your style. I have seen many good photographers that started to adopt too much to the style that other instagrams are doing. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be inspired, but some people try to follow, what they think will make them most successful on this platform. Nothing wrong with being successful, but I can guarantee you that you won’t be happy, if you’re only doing what you do for the gram. 
  2. Interact, talk and collaborate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to big features pages, such as @canon_photos, if you have quality content on your feed! I, for example got my first ever feature on @canon_photos by sending them a DM. 

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I am always trying to tell a story with my images. The most important part in doing so, is to find a composition. If you want to know more on how you can achieve that, check out my tutorial on composition! (Here

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

Uffff.. that’s a good one. Sometimes I do get phases where my motivation is down and I don’t feel like doing much. That’s when it is more important than ever to get inspired. Usually I search through Google, Instagram etc. to find images that I would have loved to capture myself. My competitive self will then want to take a better shot than I had just seen. That’s kind of what keeps me going explained easy 

Are you a bathroom singer?

Haha not really, but I do have my moments where I just start singing. Also, I’m really bad with lyrics, so I often just make them up. 

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

As already stated above, it is most important to stick to what you most love. If you have always taken colourful images, don’t start to edit your images with whiteout sky, just because a lot of people are doing well with it. You’re giving up your individuality just in oder to get more likes. In the long run, people will always look up to people that are different, people that are individual, people that differ from the mainstream content everyone creates. 

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I don’t really have any specific goals, I’m a person that believes that everything happens for a reason. I’m open for everything, and I’ll let my self surprise as to what my future holds. 

Any Questions for Steffen? Ask away ↓

Landscape Photography Tips: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the "Top Tips for shooting landscapes", I you haven't read Part 1 of the series, make sure to follow this link. 



Nowadays landscape photography is often confused with adventure photography. In my opinion these are fundamentally different, even though adventure photography heavily features landscapes. Adventure photography is basically showcasing the great time you had including things like the hike you did or the boat you paddled in. One thing all adventure photographs have in common is that it will feature people or anthropogenically created features such as campfires in the image, often making the person the point of interest and only putting the landscape as a second. Here comes the difference. Landscape photography is about telling stories with the landscape itself. It is about creating interest using topographic features such as rivers, mountains, trees etc. and telling a story with it. That is where the first challenge comes in. Finding a composition and giving the photograph a meaning. Learning this will help you to stand out from the million of snapshots being uploaded to Instagram featuring different landscapes.

For tips 1-5, read HERE


Lighting is definitely something you need to consider. Most landscape photographers rarely shoot during midday, because the light is boring and very harsch. It often lacks saturation and colours. I will usually be out shooting during dawn and the early hours of the morning and then again during the late afternoon, sunset and into blue hour. But all that being said, a good photographer tries to adapt to the situation he is in. Especially with the use of filters you can also take great shots during a stormy midday. 

 Epic lighting during daytime. 

Epic lighting during daytime. 

 Sweet lighting during the early hours of the day

Sweet lighting during the early hours of the day


Packing with care is actually really important. Reading this you are probably thinking why I included this, but packing your stuff carefully can really prevent major frustration. I for example didn't always pack with care and so it came that I went on a 20km biking trip to a mountain to photograph a sunset to only realise on location that I forgot all my SD-cards. The only reason I rode there was to take photos. Coming back with just a crappy phone shot is incredibly dissatisfying. So keep this in mind. 



 Shallow depth of field

Shallow depth of field

Depth of field is essential in your landscape photography. When you look at landscape photographs and compare them with portraits, you'll quickly notice one key difference. In landscape photography we usually want to maximise sharpness by creating a deeper depth of field. You rarely see images with a shallow depth of field these days, but if done right it can create a really cool and powerful effect, as well. To the right you can see a capture by me using a shallow depth of field (looks weird, right). Using this technique you can really stand out, as in most photographers eyes you are breaking the rules by taking that action. The shallow depth of field only works in some cases though and usually your aperture should be set to around f/8 to f/16  when shooting landscapes. 

 Deep depth of field. Shot at f/11

Deep depth of field. Shot at f/11


Be individual. I know its easier said than done. By saying be more individual I mean not to copy other photographers work. Search for new composition and stand out with these. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing extremely talented landscape photographers moving from sight to sight and taking exactly the same photograph as everyone else has before. And like I said I am being caught up in the misery myself where ever I go, especially when you are on a trip visiting something, that you are only photographing because you were inspired by seeing a certain picture in the first place. I aways try to shoot a composition that is slightly different to the one we have been seeing all along. 

 Not very individual, if you know what I mean ;) 

Not very individual, if you know what I mean ;) 


The last tip is to change it up. I see a lot of landscape photographers strictly shooting in landscape orientation. My tip is to get creative and use portrait orientation in your landscape photography as well. Using portrait orientation you will have to get a whole lot more thoughtful about your composition, as you will more than likely feature a lot more of your foreground. Back in the days I only used to shoot my images horizontally, but I personally believe that changing it up from time to time has helped me greatly to improve my photography. 



Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Leave me a comment down below!

The Ultimate Travel Guide To Bali


You may not like Bali at first. Especially if you’re coming off a plane after having spent the last 24 hours travelling, arriving just after midnight with a massive, almost impossible to be moved 30kg suitcase, wearing a completely unsuitable outfit for the boiling heat outside, and the taxi driver who’s giving you a ride from the airport to the hotel hasn’t got a single clue where your hotel is (and not using a GPS either.) You won’t like Bali too, if you don’t fancy street dogs, cats, rats and bats, and massive traffic all day, every day.

Even if you decide to do a quick meditation in the taxi to release the stress and focus on some positive affirmations, it may still come as a bit of a shock to you when the taxi driver pulls the car over, explaining in broken English that the traffic is too much (at 1am on Sunday!) and he is not able to drive you to the hotel (which, he is still unsure exactly where it is situated). Welcome to Bali!

Yeah, as I said, Bali is not a love at first sight. But it’s this kind of love that lasts forever.

Do I need a visa for Bali?

Depends on where you are from. If your country is in this list, then you’re allowed to stay in Indonesia for 30 days visa-free. You also don’t need to pay any tax when you arrive or depart the country, as the airline companies include the fee in your flight purchase.

Where can I exchange money?

My advice here is always to exchange money in the country you’re visiting. It was quite a struggle for us to find Indonesian Rupiah in the U.K, so my boyfriend and I exchanged a little amount at the airport that would do us for the first couple of days. Don’t do it! (Obviously, unless you really don’t have any other option!) The commission is over the top, the exchange rate is awful, and it’s simply not worth it. When we arrived in Bali, we found out that there are Money Exchange desks at pretty much every corner and the currency rate they were offering was even better than the official one stated on Internet! Here’s a pro tip - don’t exchange all of your holiday budget at once. At least not in Bali! Do it in parts, otherwise you might end up coming back home with a lot of Indonesian rupiah left. Everything in Bali is amazingly cheap! 

Where to stay in Bali?

When it comes to accommodation in Bali, the choice is great. You can stay the night in a hostel or motel for as little as £6 per night. Or go to an average to nice 3 or 4-star hotel for £13 per night. There are also incredibly fancy villas and spa resorts with private beaches for the people with the finest taste (and fattest wallets). There is a trick here though! Most of the cheap places (including the “average to nice” hotels I mentioned above) are not always as great as shown in the photos and described on the Internet! So here is my tip - when you’re booking your holiday online, book only one-night stay regardless how long you’re visiting for and when you arrive, if you’re happy with the place, you can always extend your stay. If you’re not happy though, as I said, there is plenty of choice around. We personally used but I probably won’t use them for our next trip.

What to do in Bali

Everything! You can literally do everything! From exploring the culture by visiting temples, museums, coffee and rice plantations, and indulge yourself with spa treatments, such as massages, manicure and pedicures, ear candles, and anything you wish really. To surfing, bodyboarding, skydiving, jet skiing, scuba diving, river rafting, safari and breakfast with elephants, sacred monkey forest, and turtle conservations. The list is never-ending, guys! My personal advice is: rent a scooter for a week (it costs about £25) and explore the island for yourself! There is so much to be seen! Little villages with local people doing their daily activities, women carrying massive baskets with fruits on their heads (so impressed by the body balance they’ve got!), hidden waterfalls, stunning private white sand beaches, magical sunsets and sunrises, and so much more.

What are the best beaches in Bali?

It really depends on your personal taste. For example, if you’re all about surfing, you’ll love the Kuta beach. If you’ve never done in before, but always wanted to try, here is some good news! The price for a surfing lesson with instructor and board is just under £9 per hour!

On the other hand, if you’re like me and looking for something rather Instagrammable, like blue waters and white sands, but don’t have a big budget to spend, then I’d recommend visiting the Nusa Dua Beach. There is no entrance fee for the public side of it and I was surprised to find out that there were barely any visitors, despite the fact the beach was so nice and fully accessible.

If you don’t mind spending £20 and want something super chic, go to the Dreamland Beach! Come back to thank me later! ;)

What to eat in Bali?

Similar to the activities, I was amazed by the choice of food in Bali! The island offers cuisines from all over the world. Italian, Spanish, Mexican, American, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, traditional Indonesian, British, French, Greek, Russian… the choice is unlimited. We personally had a really lovely dinner at this Greek restaurant called Warung Souvlaki in Legian, Kuta. Something very important to mention here is - don’t drink any tap water in Bali and be careful with the fresh fruits and salads in the restaurants in general. Unless you don’t mind spending your holiday on the toilet, I’d advise using mineral water, even when you’re brushing your teeth!

What are the secret spots in Bali?

Here is my list. The description and address of the places are under each photo!

1)      Jl.Pantai Gumicik, Ketewel, Indonesia - stunning black sand beach!


2)   The Dream Museum (DMZ), Kuta, Indonesia

3) The Stones Hotel, Legian Bali (Psst, the rooftop pool is free entry not only for hotel guests!)

4) Jalan Raya Tegalalang, Gianyar, Coffee Plantation (It's entry free and you get to try a complimentary set of different coffee and tea flavour shots, whilst enjoying a magnificient view!)

5) Gianyar Bali, Indonesia - Rice Plantation

What’s the best thing about Bali?

To me personally, that would have been the energy in the air, the vibe of the local people. There was something so calming and magical about this place that had nothing to do with the environment or the weather… Let me tell you a little story. 

On our second day, we met this Indonesian guy called Roberto. He was working on the street as a promoter. He told us that his biggest dream was to work in a hotel. I have never met such a passionate, honest and warm person as Roberto. The simplicity of his dream was so inspirational! He didn’t want to conquer the world, have a 7-figure income or be well-socially known, approved and admired by everybody. All he wanted was to earn just enough so he can be able to support his family (as he shared with us, he was the oldest brother) and to find a girl that he can make a family with. As simple as that. He seemed so happy! He also seemed more passionate about his dreams than most of the people I am surrounded by, and surely happier than all the successful (and wealthy) people I know. That made me seriously rethink a lot of my values, but that’s a subject for another post.

To summarize, the best thing about Bali for me was indeed the whole experience with a completely different culture and a different code of behavior, and way of living. This energy coming from the people was so pure and relaxing in a way, that it was making you forget about everything you already know and believe, and completely change your mindset about life. That, together with the breathtaking views and places we visited, will surely leave Bali in my heart forever.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below! 

Interview With A Photographer | Randy Haron

Where’s home?

Home is in the beautiful Central Valley of California- Fresno, CA.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

My favorite place thus far has to be London, England. The people, sights, and food are amazing!

How did you get started as a photographer?

I actually got started as a photographer in London! I was on a business trip and went for a photo walk with some local photographers. The walk opened my eyes to all of the amazing scenery I was overlooking before, and opened my mind to the creativity I was missing out on. I used to travel to various place and hardly notice the beauty that was right in front of me. From then on, I was hooked. I went home, bought a camera, and haven’t stopped taking photos since!

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

Right now, I am using a Canon 5D Mark IV. I edit with Lightroom.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I am influenced daily by the creativity, passion, and uniqueness of my fellow photographers on Instagram. I am often scrolling through my feed looking for "inspiration". I love learning from my peers in the Instagram community.

Any top tips for Instagram?

My biggest tip has to be to communicate and collaborate. You miss every opportunity you don't take. Never feel afraid to reach-out to Instagrammers when you're in their neck of the woods- some of the best shots I've gotten have been with locals who were kind enough to take me out and show me their favorite places in their cities. Also, when people show you appreciation be grateful- I try to always comment back and reply back to anyone who takes the time to comment on my photos. If I inspired you enough to take time out of your day to like/comment on my page, I can definitely take the time to show some appreciation back.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Throughout my photographic journey, I am trying to challenge my audience to look for those little moments of beauty that often go overlooked in our day-to-day lives.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I am motivated by those beautiful moments that I am lucky to be able to capture for my audience. I am also motivated by the joy and wonder that I bring to people’s lives through my photography.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I am NOT a bathroom singer— but I am a car singer, and a bathroom dancer ;)

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My biggest piece of advice is this. Time is the most valuable thing you will ever have because you can never get it back. If you are lucky enough to have the time and passion for photography, do it! 

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My near-future goals for photography are to complete my website, and continue to inspire my audience to look for those amazing moments in their own lives that would be perfectly captured in a photo.

Landscape Photography Tips: Part 1

I am back with another article. This time we will discuss the top tips for shooting landscapes. I for myself haven't always been a landscape photographer. For me it all started with storm-photography (technically also a form of landscape photography), but over the years I have more and more found landscape photography one of the most rewarding types of photography and if you look at my website or my Instagram it will heavily feature landscapes.  On this occasion, if you haven't read the tutorial about how to capture lightning yet, make sure to follow this LINK. 


Nowadays landscape photography is often confused with adventure photography. In my opinion these are fundamentally different, even though adventure photography heavily features landscapes. Adventure photography is basically showcasing the great time you had including things like the hike you did or the boat you paddled in. One thing all adventure photographs have in common is that it will feature people or anthropogenically created features such as campfires in the image, often making the person the point of interest and only putting the landscape as a second. Here comes the difference. Landscape photography is about telling stories with the landscape itself. It is about creating interest using topographic features such as rivers, mountains, trees etc. and telling a story with it. That is where the first challenge comes in. Finding a composition and giving the photograph a meaning. Learning this will help you to stand out from the million of snapshots being uploaded to Instagram featuring different landscapes.

This article is not about finding the right composition though, it is about the top tips for shooting landscapes. A tutorial purely discussing "How to find your composition" will be released next month.

IMG_2120 (2).jpg

A road swirling towards on of many fjords in Iceland.


Filters can make a huge difference in advanced landscape photography. The filters I personally use the most are Polarising and Neutral Density Filters. Polarising filters essentially do 3 different things. 

1. They help you to cut out flare. This is especially of use when shooting seascapes or waterfalls. It can also remove the annoying glare from plants or leaves. 

2. It can help you get more saturation in your photographs. This is particular useful if your are shooting in a very bright environment, where saturation is literally washed out. The polariser can help you to get a little more contrast back into the image.

3. The Polariser can help you with the sky in your landscape photography. Polarisers darken the blue sky and brighten up clouds. For most photographers this is the reason why they are using this type of filter, as it can create dramatic skies. 

 Shot taken without a Polarising Filter.

Shot taken without a Polarising Filter.

 Shot with same settings, but with polarising filter on. 

Shot with same settings, but with polarising filter on. 

Neutral Density filters on the other hand have a different task. Essentially they are "sunglasses" for you camera. If you put these on, everything gets darker and your shutter speed can be set much longer (Of course this depends of the ND filters itself, there is soft ones and really strong ones to suit your need). Neutral Density filters can help you create dramatic landscapes even on a rainy day or help you to shoot cool long-exposures by the beach even in bright sunlight.

 Shot on a rainy and boring day. With ND1000 attached to lens. 8 minutes exposure for clouds to move.

Shot on a rainy and boring day. With ND1000 attached to lens. 8 minutes exposure for clouds to move.

 Photo taken during midday and bright sunlight. 4 minute exposure with ND1000

Photo taken during midday and bright sunlight. 4 minute exposure with ND1000


Shooting Raw will give you much more opportunities in post-processing. When you shoot JPEG you will most likely not be able to recover shadows or highlights as you would have been able to if you shot RAW. 

 Straight out of Camera shot. RAW!!!

Straight out of Camera shot. RAW!!!

 30 second quick edit in Lightroom. RAW Power. With Jpeg you wouldn't have been able to recover the shadows this well.

30 second quick edit in Lightroom. RAW Power. With Jpeg you wouldn't have been able to recover the shadows this well.


The histogram is an exceptionally important piece of equipment. Baldly said, the Histogram is a plain graph, which shows your tonal distributions from dark to bright. Especially when shooting a sunset or in bright sunlight, your photo might look really good on the LCD screen, but it is actually over or underexposed. 

Down below you can see what an overexposed and an underexposed shot could look like on the histogram. Basically if you find most of your graph shifted towards the right side, it can be a indication that your photo is overexposed. This also applies the other way around, if the majority of the graph is towards the left, your image could be underexposed.  In some images tonal distributions like these might be working just fine, but for example if your a shooting a sunset and you want to capture that nice colour in the sky and you can see that parts of your sky are very bright to compensate for the lack of lighting in the foreground, check your histogram. If you can see your graph peaking at the right side, the sky will most likely be too bright to recover the highlights in post-processing later on. That's when you should really think about adjusting the exposure, even if your foreground will get darker in the process of doing so. 

 When your Histogram looks like this, your shot is more than likely underexposed

When your Histogram looks like this, your shot is more than likely underexposed

 If it looks like this, it is probably overexposed.

If it looks like this, it is probably overexposed.

If most of your graph is centred, your image is perfectly exposed. 


A  good foreground can make your image much more interesting and appealing. Foregrounds can tell a story and complete your composition. As already stated above, a good composition is really important. I see so many photographers who have the newest camera, the best lens and the most expensive filters, but they just haven't put any thought into their image and what story they would like to tell. Foregrounds can also create scale an/or a sense of depth in your image.


Carrying a tripod can make a huge difference between just taking a snapshot or taking a visual appealing and interesting photograph. Tripods enable you to shoot long-exposures at night or at daytime, so that you can capture the movement of water or clouds. If you're on a tripod during sunset you don't have to bump up the ISO all the way to get sharp photos, you can just set up on your tripod and avoid all that ugly noise. If you want to take an image of the highest possible quality, then a tripod is absolutely essential. 



Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Got ideas for Part 2? Leave me a comment down below!

Interview With a Photographer | Connor MacNeil

Where’s home?

I’m currently based between London, England and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

This is always a very difficult question to answer. I like so many places for lots of different reasons. Recently I’ve been returning to Japan and always loving it. I’ve travelled from the south of Honshu up to the wintery north of Hokkaido, but still a lot more to see. I love the landscapes, the cityscapes, the culture, the people, almost everything about it!

I was also in Bhutan recently and it was spectacular. The people are the friendliest I’ve encountered, and the temples and fortresses are incredibly majestic.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I didn’t travel much in my younger life, so at the start of my 30s, I decided I wanted to see the world. Instead of trying to coordinate groups of friends, I thought it would be easier to travel solo. Feeling that I might have times where I’d be bored on my own, I bought a cheap DSLR and gave photography a go to document my travels, just for my own amusement. I ended up enjoying the picture-taking and photography changing from being a side-project to the main purpose of my travels. After a few years of doing it as a hobby, I managed to turn travel photography into a job.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use? Any must haves?

I started off by shooting Canon. My first camera was a 500D, just to get me started. I then upgraded to a 5DII to reap the benefits of full frame. When I started to get more into landscapes and astrophotography, I changed to Nikon. I’m currently shooting with a couple of D810s. These are reasonably heavy, but most gear comes from decent glass and even if I went mirrorless, I’d want to use the same lenses, so I’m happy with my equipment choices now. It’s taken a few years to finally settle down with kit that I like and can stand the beatings I give it.

Here is my gear list:

  • Cameras: D810, another D810, backup D7000
  • Lenses: Nikkor 14-24mm, Nikkor 28-300, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 85mm 1.8, Irix 15mm Blackstone (for astro), Sigma 150-500mm.
  • Tripod: Currently a “Brian” from 3 Legged Thing, but it’s gotten quite broken over the years, so I’m shopping around to find a tripod sponsor.
  • Filters: Fotodiox Wonderpana circular 10-stop ND and polariser, Formatt Hitech / Lucroit 10-Stop ND.
  • Bag: F-Stop Tilopa. I’ve had this for many, many years, so It’s very battered, but still holding up. I’m hoping that F-Stop Gear will read this interview and offer me a new one ;)
  • Memory Cards: SanDisk. I’ve used these since I started photography 7 years ago and had great reliability.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I’ve never really been into super famous photographers, perhaps because I’ve never really studied photography as a art subject or gone to many photography galleries. When I started, my two biggest influences were Dave Morrow and Greg Annandale. They are two good friends of mine and really got me into photography. I’ve admired the landscape photographer David Thompson for a while now. Again, we’re friends and he’s a fantastic guy, but he also has a real passion for the art and a beautiful editing style.

When I started to branch out and do a bit more editorial style for clients, my friend Dan Rubin really helped in guiding me about how to shoot for these, as it’s such a different mindset compared to landscape. For nature, I’ll stay on one spot for 3 hours and take 20 photos of the same scene. For editorial, I end up trying to capture all the angles and aspects and think about what a client wants, not just what I think looks good.

Any top tips for Instagram?

I think social media can be a slippery slope for a lot of bona fide photographers. They end up spending more time worrying about likes and how to ‘game the system’ instead of improving their composition or editing styles. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get likes online, but as long as you get them for posting work that you are happy with and have given your best to.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

As the photography started as a off-shoot of travelling, all I really want to do is how people the world and inspire them to travel. If they’re unable to travel for whatever reasons. then I like to show them some amazing places they might not otherwise get to see. If my images make even just one person realise how beautiful the planet can be, then I’ve done my job.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

It started as a hobby and developed into a passion. Maybe one day this passion will move onto something else, but right now, it’s still with photography. I have a plethora of countries and regions still to discover for myself, and even if I do all those, I have a back-catalogue of thousands of images to edit and release.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I’m more of a car singer. And by singer, I mean I shout a rough approximation of the lyrics as loud as I can.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Don’t try and force yourself. Don’t try and fit into a particular style that’s trending on social media at the moment. Shoot what you enjoy and edit in a way that excites you. All this will change over time as you hone your artistic arsenal, but you’ll end up with results that you love, and people can see that in your work.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

At the minute, getting some work is my only goal, as it’s been a slow start to the year. Thankfully it’s coincided with the same time as I have a broken finger, so it could have been worse! Location-wise, Africa and South America are high on my list.

Top Insta Spots In The Philippines

These are our Top tips for Instagram snaps from our trip around The Philippines!


Our first stop was the capital city, Manila.  We were not there a very long time, just over 24 hours, but it was just enough time to get a little bit of a flavour from the city.  We enjoyed exploring the city during the day, in particular the Intramuros part of the city and the old buildings there.  However, our top Instagram spot from the city was heading to a rooftop in the Makati district for sunset.  The views over the city are stunning and offer lots of different options for sunset photos.  Happy sunset snapping chaps.

The Carmoan Peninsular

Next up on our trip was the beautiful Carmon peninsular.  It is not the most accessible place we have ever been to - but that merely adds to the experience.  We flew from Manila to Naga, then had a bus transfer and then a boat transfer and then another bus!  But it was worth getting there.  Unfortunately we did not get the best weather when we were at Gotta Village (where the TV show survivor is filmed) but our top recommendation would be kayaking around the white sand beaches or island hoping and getting the drone up.  There is so much potential here for stunning imagery, we hope to return some day and get luckier with the weather.

Cebu & Oslob

Easily accessible, Cebu is a bit of a hub in central Philippines for flights connecting people to other smaller islands in The Philippines.  Our main highlights were the waterfalls, particularly Tumalog Falls and Kawasan Falls.  Tumalog is impressively tall but can get quite busy, so for photography we would suggest getting there as early as possible.  A suggestion for Kawasan falls would be to try the canyoneering that is on offer there too.  We went with a guide and he was happy to carry our 1Dx Mark ii up with us in a waterproof bag, which meant we could take snaps along the way too.  The scenery at canyoneering is almost as stunning as the final waterfall and is not too busy considering.


Head to The Chocolate Hills!  For photos and drone shots try be there for sunset or sunrise, obviously, as the light is softer and it is not as busy.  But during the day it is equally fun hiring a couple of ATVs and exploring from a different, faster perspective.


The surf hotspot in The Philippines was well worth a visit and we found it one of the best places for drone photography from our trip.  The surf at Cloud 9 is very consistent and is perfectly lit at sunrise.  Moreover the fields of palm trees by the coast also offer some interesting compositions with the drone.  If you have time, we would also suggest heading to the south of the island for some stunning blue waters, lagoons and islands off the coastline.


The White Island on Camiguin is a relatively undiscovered slice of paradise that is easily accessible for the day and surrounded by some of the bluest and warmest water we have ever experienced.  This would be our top snapping spot, enjoy.

Have any questions? Or want to leave some feedback? Drop a comment below ↓

How To Set Your ISO

Especially when new to photography the ISO is the one thing that is really confusing everyone. I remember when I started with photography a few years back, I always struggled to set the ISO correctly and often ended up with pictures that were grainy and not very pleasant to look at. 

In this blog I will give you a short inside on how to set your ISO and what questions you should ask yourself in the process of doing so, 


Theoretically the ISO is the best parameter of the so called exposure triangle. which also includes Aperture and Shutter Speed.

Back in the days ISO, which states 'Organisation for Standardisation', was used in film and was an indicator on how light sensitive a film was. Nowadays the ISO is used as a way to determine the light sensitivity of the camera's digital sensor. In most cameras the ISO starts with 100, in some cases also at 50, and extends up to 250.000, depending on the camera. It can be said, that the lower the number, than the less sensitive is your camera to light. This also applies conversely, the higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive the sensor. 


ISO can be extremely useful in all kinds of different situation, especially when there is a lack of  light or in cases where you can't use your flash for the shot, you can just increase the ISO and you'll get the shot you wanted. 

As stated above, theoretically the ISO is the best parameter of the three, as you could always get the exposure you wanted without having to worry about blurred images while i.e. taking a shot handheld, but there is one huge downside. Using high ISO creates noise. Just check out the picture below. 

Comparison .jpg

Looking at the picture, you will quickly find, that the right side doesn't look any good. Generally we can say, that you should always aim to set your ISO as low as possible, unless you want your images to look moody and grainy of course. 


(Content Inspired by Darren Rowse)

There is many question you can ask yourself before setting the ISO of your camera. Down below are some of these, which I am always asking myself before taking a shot. 


The fact that an object or a person is is still or moving can make a huge impact on how you set up your ISO. Especially if it is still and you are shooting on a tripod, you can lower your ISO down all the way and rather decrease your shutter speed instead. 


Do you want to have the whole image in focus and sharp or do you want out of focus areas/seperate foreground and background. Especially if you don't need a sharp and in focus image through out, you could really consider lowering your f-stop instead. 


You should always ask yourself, if you can use a light source to light your scene in order to reduce the ISO. When indoors, you could for example just turn on the light or when shooting outside you could take flashlight (I always carry around 3 flashlights for my night-photography)


If you wish to print your images large, then a noisy image is no good. If your only shooting for instagram or facebook, your images will only be displayed very small and you will most likely even get away with a very noise image. 


Last but not least, the most important question you will have to ask yourself! If you are shooing handheld in a bad light situation, there is almost no way around using a high ISO. On the other side, when shooting on a tripod you can happily drop the ISO down all the way. 


These days, there is a lot of great software around and almost every photo editing program has the ability to identify and remove noise. 

To showcase this, I have used the same picture as above and just imported it into Lightroom and pushed the Noise Reduction to 100%. Check it out below. Click to enlargefor better detail!!

As you can see, Lightroom did a great job at making the picture a little more pleasant to look at. Even though image quality decreased a little, I personally think this image looks way better now and I wouldn't hesitate a second to post this on my instagram. 


Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Leave me a comment down below!

Interview with a Photographer | James Suter

Where’s home? 

Cape Town, South Africa

 What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to? 

Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique is close to my heart. It is like nowhere I have been before but with that said - there are many places that are high on my list - like Kruger National Park where I lived for 5 years.

How did you get started as a photographer? 

I was a game ranger / field guide working on a private concession for Singita in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I wanted to document the incredibly wildlife I was seeing on a daily basis. The encounters, the interactions, all the moments that I was sharing with my guests. So I got a camera and did a short online course and just began documenting my journey as a guide.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

Mainly use Canon products, I also make use of a sony A7S 11.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot? 

I am a fan of many of the National Geographic photographers like Ami Vitale. I also am inspired by the work of Brent Stirton and David Chancellor. Steve McCurry and Paul Nicklen are incredible photographers whose work has had an impact on me. 

Any top tips for Instagram? 

If I am completely honest although I am a Photographer - I have never seen myself as this first and foremost. I am first a Guide and someone that has a passion for wildlife and conservation - this is what drives me and the photography comes in as a way to share this, to document what I experience and to educate people around the world about the plight of wildlife in Africa and to get people excited about our incredible natural world. I feel like this passion of mine has come through on my social platforms and I have been fortunate to travel to some amazing destinations which helps in terms of creating content. So my ‘top tips’ would be to share and post photographs that mirror your passion and that have meaning to you because this will come through and people will be drawn to it. Also engage - I feel this is important too - to engage with others and connect with the Instagram community especially in your field - so for me this would be wildlife, conservation, nature related accounts. Another tip would be of course sharing only your best photographs - don’t post for the sake of posting if that makes sense.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs? 

I am trying to share my passion for wildlife and conservation, hoping that through these photographs I will inspire others to get involved in the conversation, to help where they can. I also want to educate people around the world on important issues that relate to endangered species and conservation. I run a company, @blackbeanproductions that through film - documents conservation stories around the continent.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing? 

My love for Africa, the people, the wildlife and wilderness areas. The people I meet on the ground also motivate me - those that are working with communities in Africa, are part of communities and those that are doing amazing work protecting wild places and wild animals.

Are you a bathroom singer? 

Not so much a singer and these days limit the length of my showers due to the water crisis in Cape Town - so not really time to get creative.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers? 

Take photographs of those things in life that are important to you - your passion will shine through your photographs. Whether its something small or something big - photograph what you love rather than what you think people expect or want to see

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work? 

To continue  sharing untold stories from Africa and photographing the journey as I go… I would also like to do a long roadtrip with my family and new son Tom - and really immerse myself in this for a few months maybe a year - who knows!:)

How To Capture Sunbursts!

I am back with a quick tutorial on how to capture stunning sunbursts, as seen in the picture below. 


0.3 seconds f/22 ISO100

Having a sunburst feature in an image is a really cool thing to add. In my opinion it can really make a picture stand out and make it far more interesting than it actually is. And really, it is very simple and doesn't require much skill. 



1/50th second f/16 ISO1250

- A DSRL or mirrorless camera, where you have the ability to set manual settings

- A sunny day, the less clouds the better the results will be 

- (optional) A tripod that keeps your camera steady during longer exposures.  

Not much, right, all you need is a camera where you can set aperture, shutter speed and ISO manually and some sun. 


1/50th second f/16 ISO1250. Same settings as the image above. In this case there is clouds though and the sun is not as blocked off, resulting in a brighter and less sharp sunburst



1/125th second f/22 ISO100

The first thing you need to set up is the Aperture, as this is the component which will regulate how apparent the sunburst is going to be. For a solid sunburst you will need to set your aperture as small as possible. I would consider starting at something like f/16 and even work your way up to f/22 at times. Everything below f/16 will result in a less visible sunstar.  ISO and Shutter speed will be set accordingly to the scene you are shooting at, but bear in mind that you can't change your aperture. 


Straight into the sun, but a very noisy Foreground. 1/2000th second f/22 ISO100

The easiest way to shoot a sunburst is to partially block the sun with an object. This could be a tree, a rock or even a mountain. Shooting straight into the sun is possible, but usually you would have to reduce your shutter speed that much, that the foreground will be pitch black and almost non recoverable in post-processing. To the right (computer)/ above (mobile) you can see an example of a straight into the sun shot!


Looking straight into the sun can be very harmful to your eyes. People often think that the sun would be less hard on your eyes when looking through the viewfinder of the camera, but that is terribly wrong. Just keep that in mind!


1/160th f/16 ISO200

Apart from that, capturing sunbursts is really easy. So go out and have some fun adding this cool feature to your images!


Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Leave me a comment down below!

Interview With a Photographer | Noah Ragone

Where’s home?

Home for me is Honolulu, Hawaii. I made the move from the mainland 3 years ago and haven’t regretted a day since.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

My favorite place I’ve ever traveled is the American southwest. This is why I’ve made I’ve made 3 trips already and about to make a fourth to Havasupai Falls this summer. There’s nothing beats the wide open road, the clear desert night Skys, and all the countless parks and places to explore. 

How did you get started as a photographer?

Photography for me started with hiking. Once I moved and got into hiking I loved taking photos on my iPhone and I really wanted better memories. I taught myself everything I know about photography and it’s been a hobby ever since.  


What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a Sony a7rii so I don’t know if this question is applicable.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

My biggest influence has been Quin Schrock @everchanginghorizion. It’s his simplistic style to capture a moment how you would see it with the naked eye that really sets him apart to me and has inspired me to do the same.

Any top tips for Instagram?

The best advice I have for instagram is find your own style and don’t run with the trends. I would also say find the right balance from being able to post. Whether stories or photos, but never forget to enjoy the moment your in and don’t get too lost in your phone. There’s much more to see if we all just looked up more.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I would say the biggest thing I am trying to say with my photos and Instagram is there is a beautiful world out there and it doesn’t take much to get out and see it. I truly believe it’s important to not live vicariously through someone else’s adventures but go take your own adventure and make your own memories. 

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

My motivation to continue to adventure and travel is built on the belief that our generation does things differently. We no longer believe the 9-5 job is the only way to go because thats what our parents taught us. Or that we need to get settled down in a regular routine everyday for the rest of our lives. We now sleep out of vans, meet complete strangers through Instagram because we have similar interests, and most importantly were getting out there in our youth rather than waiting until retirement age because that's when were supposed to have all our free time says our parents. In short my motivation has ultimately come because I want to enjoy life now not later. 

Are you a bathroom singer?

No, I am not a bathroom singer never have been.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My advice for a new photographer looking to make it a hobby or a living is to believe in yourself. I currently am not doing it full time but I do believe that one day I will if I keep on the path that I am going. Just find your niche and run with it. Lastly DON’T over edit! That was my biggest mistake when I was learning, but simplistic styles are the best.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My goals for the future are to launch my own website  and to turn a hobby into an income. I really do enjoy the islands in which I live and I’d love to share that with visitors from around the world. 


@canon_photos 2018 Q&A!

In this latest blog, we include as many of the questions you asked us as we could! See if your question was featured ↓

Other than photography skills, I would love to know where and how did you guys get inspirations on adjusting the colour, compositions of photos, e.g the feelings and thoughts you can bring to a picture through colour adjustments?

We get inspiration from the network of photographers we follow from around the world; seeing their work all the time, and experimenting with hues, it is possible to learn one’s unique style and what is popular on Instagram.  We have put some popular adjustments into presets, which you can buy - or download for free - on our site.

What are your thoughts about shooting in RAW?

Shooting RAW is a must so that each image file has more data in it.  This means there is more potential for editing and adjustments later on.  This being said, sometimes shooting jpeg for time lapses is okay!

Hello, my name is Nimisha. Photography is my passion and whenever I touch the camera it gives me a different emotional touch of love with it. I want to learn to be a photographer. If you could give me some ideas on how I can be a better photographer?

Hey Nimisha, thanks for the great question!  We get asked this a lot, and our main answer is always the same - believe in your ability and practice.  There is no substitute for spending hours out and about shooting with your camera and then spending the time to edit your images.

What inspired you to take such amazing & breathtaking shots and which thing or person has influenced you the most to do better? And one more thing what is the one thing you wish you would knew when you started taking photos?

I suppose at the beginning I wish I knew that every image I took was good for the level I was at and that taking breath taking images takes time; so patience.  I think we get inspired by the beautiful world around us, that is particularly what inspired Ian - travelling around beautiful South America wanting to capture the places as best he could.

What are the Northern Lights like?

The Northern Lights are pretty amazing, and if you have the opportunity to see them - take it and see them for yourself!

What were your favourite places from 2017?

You can see lots of places we visited on our XPO Creatives Instagram.  Estonia was such a great trip from 2017 - as well as our South Australia trip.

What was your favourite photos from @canon_photos from 2017?

Jordan Robin’s over-under shot and the Santa picture we shared on Christmas day!

You’ve probably already been asked this a lot but, how do you pick which photos to feature? How do people stand out when there is so much content? And, how do you chose who to sponsor?

There are a few ways to get featured.  Tag us and use our hashtags is the main way.  But also make yourself heard, contact our team directly with an interesting shot and story.

How do you choose what brands to work with?

We are very selective with who we work with and we know what our audience like and why they follow us.  Our community is about photography and travel and so the brands we work with must align with these interests.  Typically we partner with tourist boards or hotels, aiming to share stunning locations to photograph around the world.

Who is part of the @canon_photos team?

Henry Nathan founded the page.  In 2016 Ian Harper joined to create XPO Creatives.  In 2017 Piers Nathan came on board and now runs CP Collectives.  There is also a small team of people behind the scenes, a business director and a team of content creators.

Hello. My question is regarding aperture levels. When I shoot a landscape, I don’t seem to find a real difference by using different aperture levels, other than the amount of light. When I shoot at f/22 or f/4, the focus of the image doesn’t seem to show a huge difference. What do you think about different aperture levels?

Aperture levels can make a big difference to an image as the depth of field is changed.  Shooting on a lower f stop will likely blur the background, whereas shooting at a really high f stop will enable more of the image to be in focus.  Check out blogs or youtube videos on the topic to learn more!

When did brands start paying you to travel?

Back in 2015 Henry was presented with paid opportunities to create content and travel.  But the focus is now not so much on the pay but more on the where and the why!

Is investing in expensive equipment worth it?

At the start, and you are new to photography, we would suggest getting an entry level DSLR and really understanding how to shoot manual, compose images and edit.  If you have done that and wanting to take your photography to the next step then perhaps it is worth spending some more money, but we strongly believe great images come from great photographers, not great equipment.

What mode would you prefer to shoot in? like manual, program AE, etc.

We normally shoot in either Manual or AV (Aperture priority) depending on the conditions.

What is the best way for an up and coming photographer to get his or her content/work into the hands of the right people in order to become a professional photographer?

Practice and refine the skill set or field of photography you want to be known for.  Get work experience and network, learn from people who are doing what you think you may want to do.

How can you always maintain inspiration to be creative no matter how you’re feeling?

We shoot as a team so there and so there is always someone to get the rest of us going if someone is feeling uninspired.  Also, keeping it fresh!  Mix up locations or editing styles to stay engaged in photography.

How did you build up 2 Million Followers?

It took time and work, here is a full video on how we did it!

What made you start @canon_photos? and what gives you the inspiration to continue?

I started canon photos at school whilst I was shooting on a Canon camera.  I wanted to see the photos other people were getting on Canon from around the world.  Back then Instagram was very different and the account was created our of general curiosity.  As the platform grew it became about sharing this platform with great photographers and giving them the stage to share their work to the canon photos community.

What can we expect from 2018? And beyond…

In 2018 our creative team will undertake new and exciting projects around the world and hope to get more and more people involved, both behind the scenes and out with us on projects.  There is lots to look forward to with trips planed on every continent already.  It will also be a big year for CP Collectives, Horizon Clothing and the other exciting new business developments we have going on.

Have any other questions? Leave a comment below ↓

Interview With a Photographer | Uli Cremerius

1.     Where’s home?

Born and raised in Bonn, Germany.

2. What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Lofoten Islands.

3. How did you get started as a photographer?

Started with my best friend Marcel (@evolumina) when we were 16 years old. Tried some long exposure shots of New Year rockets, before I focused on Landscape photography.

4. What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I’m working with a Canon 5D Mark III and mostly with the 16-35mm, 24-70 and the 100-400mm. I like to shoot with zoom lenses, because the fixed focal length isn´t very flexible for shooting landscapes.

5. What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Chris Burkard and especially Andreas Kieling, an outdoor videographer from Germany who travels the world and gets in touch with the nature.

6. What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

That it’s worth to travel and explore different places on earth. It’s a greater value than partying every weekend and spending money for useless things. Every land has its own magic and you meet so many different people by traveling. 

7. What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

My dreams. My family. My friends.

8. Are you a bathroom singer?

Sometimes, when I forget to start Spotify before showering.

9. Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Just do what you want to do. Don’t listen to people dismissing what you do.

10. What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

Visiting Patagonia and Scotland, finishing my university degree.

Interview With A Photographer | Brinkley Davies

1.      Where’s home?

Port Lincoln, South Australia, a wonderful place surrounded by sea, wildlife and good waves J

2.      What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Ooh, that’s a difficult one, I have a few favourites, Big Island, Hawaii, is a favourite of mine, along with New Caledonia.

3.      How did you get started as a photographer?

I just started capturing my life, whether it was surfing, freediving, taking photos of my dog, and then also all the beautiful wildlife and landscapes I am surrounded with, it became a very fun past time, and now it is a part of my day to day life.

4.      What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a wide variety of equipment, and it always depends on what I am doing as to what I will use. In all my action sports, and freediving, I use GoPro Hero6, I also use GoPro Karma drone for aerials, as the 6 easily plugs into the gimble on the drone. For wildlife photography, I have used in the past a variety of Canon DSLR cameras, and also Nikon, and for all round travelling, vlogging, and ease of use, I love the Olympus OMD 10 M2 Mirrorless.

I love Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and am starting to learn the ropes on Premiere Pro, so that I can edit higher quality vidoes for my channels.

5.      What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I have learnt a lot from being around photographers, seeing how different people use certain light and settings to capture a moment. The thing I love about taking photos is that everyone has a different vision with the image they want as the outcome. Some of my favourite photographers are Paul Nicklen from national geographic, and Shannon Wild.

6.      Any top tips for Instagram?

Be authentic! Tell stories, inspire, and educate others. Instagram has always been a platform I have used to share my world, my passions, what I am working on, creating, and what I am thinking about. In an online world that is saturated, being authentic is so important, sharing real world issues, and moments, results in creating a positive, inspirational platform for people to look at.

7.      What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Capturing times that sometimes words cannot describe, I love spontaneous experiences, which is why I always take my camera with me, you never know what you going to see. I aim to share a message through all my work, photography, videos, and social media, that is living a more environmentally conscious existence. By that I mean appreciating the amazing planet we live on, sharing educational material that influences people to protect wildlife and the planet, by making them fall in love with it, if they aren’t already.

8.      What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

The way that I feel when I know I am working towards things I am passionate about, working alongside people who are inspirational to me, people who I learn from, and are living their passions. I have been getting so much positive feedback in the past few years, from people young and old, who have praised me for my efforts so far, and it means a lot, some days, being passionate is hard, and when you have a support base, it always brings you up and makes you realise how far you have come.

9.      Are you a bathroom singer?

Absolutely! Bathrooms have a good eco, and sometimes it makes me sounds like I actually have an okay voice. Haha. I often belt out some of my favourite songs while I am in the shower, luckily our neighbours aren’t close.

10.   Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Start now, get yourself a camera, and go exploring. Once you start capturing things, you develop an eye for certain times, moments, expressions, lighting and I am still learning every day, and most likely will be forever.  Aside from all of that, its so much fun, and if you are having fun, that is all that matters.

11.   What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I have a lot of goals, that’s is a very difficult question. I guess my goals at this stage are growing Balu Blue Foundation, and creating projects that are a voice for conservation, of wildlife, and the ocean. We currently are working on funding more fencing for Two Songs Sanctuary, where our little girl Bunji, is now. We are excited to expand this, and to gain more support for this project which we are so passionate about.

We have a lot going on behind the scenes and I am so excited to share these down the track.

Continuing to use my platform as an educational and positive way of portraying a sustainable message, to people of all ages, to love wildlife, keep our oceans clean, and get out and explore. Speak up for the things you are passionate about, there so much beauty in this world, and to not see it would be a tragedy.

In 2018, I look forward to a lot of free-diving, surfing, and spending days and months with wildlife, underwater and on land. Its looking like a good year ahead.

How to Shoot "Over Under" Images

How to Shoot “Over Under” Images

A lot of people regularly ask if my “over under” images are photoshopped. My answer to them is no they are not. Although you can make over under images in Photoshop by blending images, all of my work is completely captured in camera with no image manipulation. A true natural representation of what I capture when I am in the ocean photographing.

An over under, also called a “split shot” or “split image” is a style of underwater photography where you capture an image where you can see above and below the water captured in a single exposure. In the top half of the image you can see above the water and in the bottom half of the image you can see below the water.

For me the over under is my favourite kind of underwater photography. It is a very unique style of photography which gives you an image that helps to connect the familiar terrestrial world with the unfamiliar marine world. My favourite time to shoot over unders is on sunrise or sunset to capture atmospheric skies paired with the marine life that lurks below the water’s surface. The over under is a difficult image to capture, but like anything practice makes perfect. There is a bit of gear required and specific settings which help making capture over under images easier. I am going to be showing you the technique, gear and settings I personally use to capture my over under images.

What You Will Need For Photographing Over Under Images.

·      A DSLR, mirrorless camera or a compact underwater camera such a GoPro.

·      An underwater camera housing to allow you to use your camera in the water. I shoot with AquaTech underwater housings and highly recommend them.

·      An ultra-wide lens. For full-frame I recommend using 16-35mm, 14mm or 15mm fisheye.

All of these lenses will give you a super wide field of view which is essential for shooting over under images. For APS-C sensor 10-18mm or 8-15mm fisheye would be ideal. A dome port on the front of the camera is essential for shooting over unders, I shoot with an 8” dome port. You can use a flat port but it is much harder and you will never very calm water.

An underwater flash or strobes. These are essential if you are planning on shooting over unders on sunrise or sunset to balance the exposure of the foreground with the sky. Shooting over unders during the day time do not require the use of strobes or flashes. When I am shooting over unders I will often be in the water for a long period of time so I wear a wetsuit to prevent heat loss. A mask, snorkel and fins are also required.

List of Equipment I Shoot Over Unders With

- Canon 5d MK 3
- Canon 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye
- Canon 16-35mm f/4
- AquaTech 5D3 Elite Underwater Housing
- AquaTech 8” Dome Port
- AquaTech PX-30 Port Extension
- Canon Speedlite 580EX II
- AquaTech Speedlite 580EX II Flash Housing
- 2x Inon Z240 Strobes


There is a bit of planning involved with shooting over unders. Firstly, you need clear water, if the water is murky or dirty I won’t bother shooting. A local knowledge of the area you are shooting in is also essential. A knowledge of how swell, wind, tides and currents will affect the visibility of the water is required. Weather conditions when the wind is light and the swell is small make the perfect conditions.

Calm bodies of water make shooting over under images much easier. Sheltered beaches, lagoons, rivers and protected bays are ideal places to shoot over unders. It is always good idea to check a location first to see if it is a suitable place to shoot. Entering the ocean is always a risk so ensure you are a capable swimmer and never go out shooting in dangerous conditions beyond your capability. The conditions on the ocean can change rapidly so make sure you always check the weather and surf forecasts before you go out shooting.


When shooting over unders I will only ever shoot in manual, especially when shooting on sunrise and sunset when the light is ever changing, you want to be able to easily make adjustments on your camera accordingly. For sunrise and sunset as a rule of thumb I will have my camera set to f/14, ISO 640, 1/200sec.

For day time, I will have my camera set to f/14, ISO 200, 1/400sec. I will then take a test shot and adjust the ISO and shutter speed accordingly to get the correct exposure. When shooting with strobes or flashes I also have them set on manual and adjust accordingly to get the correct exposure, either increasing or reducing the output of light. I never shoot with auto settings on my flash as it will often overexpose and blow out highlights. When shooting with flashes and strobes it is easy to overexpose your foreground so make sure you check your histogram to make sure you’re not blowing out any highlights.


When shooting over unders I shoot anywhere between f/11 all the way down to f/22, this will give you a good depth of field throughout the photo. I find that f/14 is the sweet spot for my 16-35mm f/4 and 8-15mm f/4 fisheye. Each lens will have a different sweet spot so experiment using different apertures till you find out what works best for you.

Shutter Speed

When shooting with strobes your sync speed will all depend on the camera you’re shooting with. I shoot with a canon 5d Mk 3 which has a sync speed of 1/250sec. I will shoot between 1/250sec down to 1/60sec. I don’t shoot any slower than 1/60sec otherwise you will have too much camera shake and get blurry images. Shooting on sunrise or sunset 1/200sec and 1/250 sec are the shutter speeds I shoot with the majority of the time. If you are shooting during the day and shooting a static scene where there isn’t much movement use a shutter speed of 1/125sec or faster. For shooting moving subjects such as a turtle or a stingray use a shutter speed of 1/400sec or faster to freeze the movement.


Shooting on sunrise or sunset I will use an ISO of 640 up to 1000. You can also shoot at higher ISO depending on how your camera handles the noise. During the day time, I shoot with an ISO of 200-400. If I am shooting a slower shutter speed I will lower the ISO and for shooting a faster shutter speed I will increase the ISO accordingly. 


I have my focus set up with one focus point right in the middle. I will always look though the view finder to make sure I am getting an accurate focus. When shooting in low light such as on sunrise or sunset I will focus using the live view on my camera or use a torch and aim the torch to where I want to focus. When shooting with a fish eye you can have the focus set to infinity.



When you are shooting over unders I can guarantee that you will always get water droplets form all over the dome. To reduce water droplets forming I will cover the dome in a layer of saliva and leave it to dry over-night. Then when you are out shooting remove the saliva so the dome is nice and clear, this will help minimize the water droplets on the dome. Before you take a photo give the housing a quick dunk under the water then take the shot so you don’t have water droplets on the dome.

After every use (especially in saltwater) make sure you wash your housing in fresh water and let it soak for about 30mins submerged in fresh water to remove any salt build up. Always make sure any rings on your camera housing are lubricated with silicone grease and are free of debris such as sand or hairs.

Each time before you shoot submerge your camera housing below the water and hold for 10 seconds to make sure you’ve got a water tight seal and no water is leaking into your housing. If you treat your housing well, it will treat you well for many years to come. So, get on out there in the water and get shooting!

The next step now that you’ve got your camera settings all set, you want to submerge your camera and housing half below the water so there is an even balance above and below the water. I look through the view finder at all times to ensure I have an even balance above and below the water. Next step is to fire the shutter and there you go you’ve captured an over under image! Well done!

You might be a little disappointed at first but like anything practice makes perfect and overtime you will find out what works best for you. If you have any questions, please comment below and I will be happy to answer them.

My New Zealand Experience | Giulia Gartner

My name is Giulia, I am a travel and lifestyle photographer based in the Dolomites in northern Italy. For the last six months I have been living on the road of New Zealand and now I want to share my experience and some photos of the trip. 


Not everyone feels comfortable traveling alone and I knew that it would take a lot of courage, but after 19 years of living in the same village, I was ready to leave and go on an adventure, all by myself.

The decision of going to New Zealand is linked to my passion for photography. When I started out with posting my photos on Instagram, I connected with people from all over the world and learned about places I didn’t even know existed! I met a few people talking about that after their graduation, they went on a “work and travel” holiday to New Zealand. Travelling after graduating sounded like a good plan and going to explore and see incredible beautiful landscapes sounded even better.

My idea was to buy a van and live in it while capturing every beautiful corner of New Zealand. I booked a one-way ticket and the next thing I know was buying a 20-year-old van in Auckland. 


The first week in the van was hard, I was scared and felt very insecure. What if I find no friends or what if, for whatever reason, my dreams fail? 

With the weeks passing, my anxiety started to settle. Photography and Instagram helped me to connected with many kiwi photographers, a lot of awesome people supported me and let me stay at their house, offered me food and a shower.

The best thing about the van life was that I was free, I could travel at my own pace and play by my own rules. Living in such a tiny space leaves only room for the necessary and it really made me realise that you don’t need a lot to be happy.

When you are traveling alone you have to be comfortable with change and you have to face  challenges. 

Your companion is yourself, so it's to you who has to shut those negative voices in your head and take decisions for yourself.

Many people think that traveling alone is super scary and unsafe, but with the right mindset and intuition you’ll be far away from any potential danger. New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel. It’s not riddled with disease and doesn’t have any animals that can kill you. 

If I had to pick a favourite photo, it has to be the one I took the first morning when I walked into the Hooker Valley and New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook, appeared right in front of me.


The things that I was most worried about first, ended up being one of the greatest benefits and lessons of this adventure: when you have a dream or a vision, you just have to go for it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, no matter how silly or ridiculous your dream might appear to others, following your passion is the only thing that will bring you happiness.

For everyone who wants to travel and follow their dreams, there is never going to be a right time to leave your responsibilities at home and go on an adventure. I think all you can do is to find the courage and to just go. The memories of the adventures and experiences will last a lifetime. 

Thank you, New Zealand for being so good to me!

A big Thank You to my friends at @Canon_Photos for letting me share my story!

Find my work on Instagram @giuligartner or on my website