Photographing a spectacular New Zealand World Heritage site11th March 2011     By: Panasonic Media

Guest Article Written by Geoff Steven

Recently I was invited to join a group of international journalists and editors in picturesque Queenstown. Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu the town is just a relatively short distance to the Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand World Heritage site.

We were in this spectacular outdoor region to launch two new Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras - the High Zoom TZ20, and all weather, toughened FT3. Both cameras also shoot AVCHD - a growing necessity for the keen travel photographer.

The great contrasts of river and alpine environments were ideal locations to test the cameras on a real World Heritage site.

The small and compact FT3 was put to the test when we travelled by jet boat 30 kilometres up the dramatic Dart River and reached an area of stunningly clear water where the cameras could be dunked underwater and interesting angles of the surrounding mountains captured.

Photo taken with Lumix FT3

Photo taken with Lumix FT3

I particularly like these two shots above - one which focuses on the distant hills and records thecrystal clear water in the foreground and the other which shows a glimpse of the underwater river bottom while still showing the distant hilly landscape. The great thing about having an FT3 as part of your general travel kit is that no matter what the weather or the situation you can bring back a photographic record of your experiences.

After the wet and wild river jet boat trip we travelled by helicopter up into a completely different environment - the high altitude Lake Erskine - sitting at over 1400 metres up in the World Heritage site.

This was an ideal location to trial the TZ20 with its impressive 16x optical zoom.

The light weight of the camera and its 24mm (35mm equivalent) wide-angle lens is also useful for grabbing on the run self-portraits!

Lake Erskine must be one of the most spectacular and photographic natural locations on the World Heritage list and having the privilege of spending some time there with a camera was a highlight of the trip. The light was very bright and with no haze of pollution in the air, the photographs captured on the TZ20 give true justice to the location. The high contrast ratio of the scene was also easily held by the camera's sensor and I was pleased that the colour was so accurately recorded.

Travel photographs become our main mementoes of the special places that we visit, and we want an accurate record to take back with us to share with others.

Taking photos in remote and difficult locations also requires taking light [and of course reliable] equipment with you and this assignment was a good test for the two LUMIX travel cameras.

With one or the other of the two cameras in your travel kit, [or ideally BOTH!] a keen photographer should be able to handle any challenges nature can put before you - from river valleys to mountain tops.

Geoff Steven - CEO /Editorial Director;
Our Place World Heritage

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