Photography enthusiast and Ch 8 actor Romeo Tan gives us some tips on how to capture that perfect snap while on vacation.
8 DAYS: How did you get into photography in the first place?
ROMEO TAN: I took a few photography modules when I was studying arts and design in polytechnic. I liked how I could use different perspectives and angles to capture a picture. I got more serious when I joined showbiz and earned more money, so I could afford a better camera. I started with Canon 500D and then upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Recently, I also bought a Sony a7, which is much smaller and easier to carry around, but takes really nice photos and videos.
There are many pictures from your travels on your Instagram account. Which are your favourite countries to shoot?
I like to take pictures in European countries where there’s nice architecture. I also like the beach, so Bali is great especially if I want to capture the sunset. Whenever I travel, I look out for the characteristics of the country and try to portray the vibe of the country as accurately as possible in my pic. For example, if I’m in Bangkok, I wouldn’t set up a tripod to take a pic as it’s really fast-paced there. I’d simply snap and go.
What’s your favourite thing to snap?
I like sunset photography. During sunset, the sky has many different layers of colours and it can change from purple to pink to orange in an instance. All these colours give my photos more depth. If the sun is shining into my lens, it creates a lens flare where the light is scattered, and it produces a really nice effect.
Do you have any tips for taking a good sunset pic then?
If that place is popular for sunset pics, make sure to get there at least 30 minutes earlier to get a good spot. When you are there, set up your tripod. Sunset pics usually require a longer exposure so a tripod helps stabilise the camera and your pic will not turn out blur. If you don’t have a tripod, find a ledge to place your camera on. Try to frame your pictures before the sun starts to set so that you know which angle is the best and can start snapping away when the sun sets!
How do you handle limited luggage space when you have to lug your huge professional camera overseas?
That’s the most inconvenient part! (Laughs) I usually pick a semi-pro camera that’s slightly lighter than a DSLR camera. I’d take one prime lens, one zoom lens, one tripod, a GoPro and a drone. Together, they weigh about 9kg. One tip is to pack some into my hand carry instead of my check-in luggage so that my luggage doesn’t exceed the weight limit.
What other inconveniences do you face while trying to take good pictures during your travels?
My friends find it quite annoying when I carry all my equipment out with me even if we are just heading to breakfast nearby. It’s quite physically tiring too as the camera is very heavy. Always make sure that you take extra batteries and memory cards. It’s a bummer if you are lugging all that equipment around and you run out of battery or memory space by mid-day. Ultimately, I just want to take nice pictures of the countries I am in for memories’ sake, and to share with my friends, family and followers online.
Any other things we should take note of when it comes to travel photography?
Don’t be afraid to take more pictures. Some people can be stingy when it comes to snapping pics as they want to save memory space. I’d suggest investing in more memory cards so that you can take as many pictures as you want without worrying. It’s always better to have more pics to choose from. Another tip is to be patient. I’d usually take one shot, and wait for a while to see if anything changes within the next few minutes. A person could walk into the frame and it could give your picture an entirely different vibe!