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March 11, 2014

Pro tips: How to shoot breathtaking Lumia travel photos

“Iceland offers amazing landscapes and nature that photographers all around the world worship. I’d recently got myself a Nokia Lumia 925 and was thrilled to see that in action. Iceland was truly as incredible as I’d expected…”

These are the words with which Kalle-Petter Wilkman, a photographer and filmmaker from Turku, Finland, accompanied a series of photos he’d taken on a Nokia Lumia 925 in Iceland. His jaw-droppingly beautiful pictures were crying to be shared here at Nokia Conversations, but on top of those, Kalle-Petter gave us some essential advice for taking travel pics on a Nokia Lumia. Look and learn!


Pack a car charger

If you’re visiting a country where you spend most of the time in the middle of nowhere, GPS is a must have. And if you somehow missed out on getting the device while renting a car, you’ll end up relying on your phone – which is fine as the HERE applications work so well. But a long day of GPS-assisted driving, checking a few facts and opening hours online along with shooting photos will be sure to drain your battery. A car charger (or one of those power packs) is the first accessory you’ll want for a trip like this. It will save your day. Trust me…



Get closer

Taking those extra steps will pay off. That’s one of the things I know extremely well, but way too seldom remember. The Lumia lenses are 26mm equivalent, which is a bit wider than standard DSLR zooms at the short end, so it’s usually better to get close to the subject for more powerful images. If the subject is really far away or you don’t have time to approach, remember not to zoom. Cropping the picture afterwards will most likely give you much better results than the digital zoom, unless of course you have the Nokia Lumia 1020 in your pocket.




Use the camera button

Despite having a powerful image stabilization system, keeping good grip on the camera is essential. Using the dedicated camera button will keep your hand even steadier as you don’t have to perform any finger acrobatics to tap the screen. A feature many people don’t seem to know is that holding the camera button will launch the camera from any screen!


Shoot it again, Sam

Think twice and shoot twice. While the screens of mobile phones are getting larger and the cameras are more and more reliable, it’s still quite hard to see from the screen if you got everything right in your shot. Far too often I’ve just snapped and moved on, only to later see that the shot was out of focus or could have been much better with a bit more light. Taking at least two snaps is a good start and lets you start experimenting. Tilt your phone, overexpose, underexpose, etc. If you have a good camera application – like Nokia Camera – which gives you the opportunity to try different stuff, go for it.


Stop in time

Wikipedia describes The Stendhal syndrome or Florence syndrome as ”a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.”

Well, Iceland is one of those places. And as much as we love photography, we have to stop at some point. My travel companion asked me one evening if I’d actually paid any attention to how amazing places we’d visited or had I just concentrated on taking the photos. She was obviously right. When you desperately want to capture that magic moment, it’s almost impossible to truly enjoy it at the same time.


Did you book your trip to Iceland yet? We might see you there… we already have one foot on the plane. While planning the holiday, please tell us which photo most inspires you to follow in Kalle-Petter’s footsteps. Any other tips that come to mind? If so, there’s plenty of room for more in the comments below.