Prior to the launch of Panasonic’s latest compact travel camera the LUMIX DMC-TZ100, travel and landscape photographer Marco Crupi was sent on an assignment to test the camera’s abilities on the island of Santorini and Greece.
Santorini & Greece
How was your time in Santorini and Greece and what did you get up to?
As my passion for photography has developed around landscapes and fine art, Santorini was the perfect location for me to shoot in. It’s actually quite interesting that this assignment took me there as a few weeks ago I was having dinner in a Greek restaurant and a picture of the island hung on the wall. I imagined what it would be like to walk through and capture its rugged landscape and picturesque villages with a camera. The island definitely didn’t disappoint. It not only provided me with a great number of opportunities for stunning cityscapes but also the chance to try and catch the essence of the locals’ daily lives.
How does Santorini and Greece differ to Sicily in terms of shooting conditions, and what challenges did you face?
For me Santorini and Greece felt just like home. The light and landscape are both very similar to that found in Sicily and the people also have a similar look. This was definitely a huge advantage as light plays the most important role in photography and getting it right can be one of the biggest challenges a photographer faces. You can spend a long time fine tuning the settings of a camera to get the balance just right but I was able to use my previous shooting experience to adapt to the environment pretty quickly, giving me the chance to concentrate on other aspects such as the focal length and framing. My biggest challenge was the challenge I set myself of making sure that the architecture of the buildings’ curves which are harmoniously in tune with the landscape and the blue domes which mirror the colours of the sea and sky, are really portrayed it their true beauty through my images.
What were your three favourite shots during your time in Santorini and Greece and why?
Camera: LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Exposure: 15 sec. Aperture: F8 ISO: 125
Camera: LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Exposure: 5 sec. Aperture: F7.1 ISO: 125
The photo I like the most is Athens at night, with the Acropolis overlooking the city; it reminds me of the importance of the past.
The Parthenon really stands out on the top of the hill overseeing the huge bright metropolis below.
As you can see, the picture is very sharp in all areas thanks to the large depth of field given by the camera’s 1-inch sensor.
When I chose to go beyond the wide-angle view, I could take advantage of the powerful zoom to get a close up of the Acropolis and - despite the wide distance - I didn’t need to use the whole zoom range either!
Camera: LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Exposure: 1.3sec Aperture: F5 ISO: 125
Camera: LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Exposure: 1/640 Aperture: F3.5 ISO: 200
My second favorite shot is Santorini at sunset. The sunset view from Oía is an unforgettable experience and the light that stood out against the white architecture looked warmer than ever.
I wanted to capture everything and really do justice to a fantastic scene.
By combining two different photos from two different points and using different photographic techniques, I was really pleased with the results. It’s not often you can achieve results like this in post-production without using a DSLR camera.
Camera: LUMIX DMC-TZ100 Exposure: 1/250 Aperture: F8 ISO: 400
And last but not least, the Fisherman throwing the net, really stirs my emotions and the deep connection I have with the sea.
The scene reminds me of my childhood. My grandfather was a fisherman and several of my greatest photos are based around fisherman.
This time I was able to capture the exact moment of the net being thrown with the 4K PHOTO function which works like shooting a video but allows you to extract a single frame.
Hints & Tips
What are your top tips for taking professional standard photos with a compact camera?
One of key points of a good picture is composition. Before shooting, I suggest to study how the scene might look best by trying different and unusual points of view. The final result often changes quite dramatically.
How can an amateur photographer identify a great photo opportunity?
Quoting Eugene Smith: “What uses(sic.) having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?”
I firmly believe that the photographer creates the opportunity and it all depends on their character as to how the image is captured.
For a budding photographer used to staying on Auto mode, what are the first steps for experimenting with manual settings?
I recommend the use of shooting modes in which you set an only one parameter and the camera looks after the rest. For example, in good light conditions I use "S" program, to set exposure time priority. When I want to take pictures of landscapes with a tripod, I use "A" camera mode to manage aperture priority. In conditions such as low light or fast moving subjects, I turn the camera to “M” so that I can manage all parameters by myself according to the specific need of the shot.
I believe that using a dedicated guide is quite quick and easy to learn how to use the camera settings effectively but the only real way is to get out there and shoot. Practice as often as you can.