At the beginning of May, I traveled to a little known area of Czech Republic – Moravia. I made the decision to travel here after seeing photos of the beautiful rolling hills – apparently Moravia is known as Tuscany of eastern Europe.
Just like any other photography trip, I like to do a bit of research on locations to get an idea where to go. However on this case, locations weren’t very obvious from the images online. Most of the images were captured with long telephoto lenses (400mm+) making it hard to locate images.
I ended up using couple of different photography guide apps. One of them was Snappguides. It’s a relatively new app but quickly growing with new locations being added very often. What I like about Snappguides is the quality of the images – you don’t get the cheesy 500px style images – instead authors are chosen carefully based on the quality of their portfolios.
Moravia Snappguide was really helpful with my trip. Not only it shows locations of photos, it also gives information on suitable parking places, what focal length would be useful and other interesting spots nearby.
And the following image is my take of the spot described above from a slightly different vantage point. This spot is a perfect example of the benefit of Snapp Guides. This was taken at 500mm, and driving along the main road it was pretty much impossible to notice. So without the guide the prompt us to stop at the location to take a look I would have never seen it.
Another beauty of this app is the map feature. You can see all the spots in a guide on google maps. You can click on a marker to see an example image of the spot. This is really helpful when you are driving to a location and trying to figure out where it is. In addition, because the app has gps and detects your location as well, you can use it while walking around somewhere like Plitvice to figure out where all the waterfalls are. In fact, when I visited plitvice back in january, I used this app as a guide for the national park to figure out all the walking paths and location of the waterfalls.
Compared to some other photography guide apps, I like that Snappguides don’t try to over do it – the guides range from 7-8 spots to 20-30 spots depending on the location – and of course the prices reflect this. There is no minimum number of spots required in a guide, so the authors don’t have to fill it up with mediocre locations just to reach to a certain number.
In addition, I like that images are grouped for each spot. Whereas in some other apps images were listed individually causing the same spot being listed numerous times. This not only makes the guide look bigger than it is, but also makes it more confusing when you keep finding the same spot over and over again.
These days, Snappguides is a definite part of my prep work before a photography trip. It helps me find obscure locations, tie up the other information i find online, and provides me with a map that I can use while abroad – I believe the guides will be available offline in the near future as well allowing you to refer to them when you have no phone reception or internet access.
Quick Disclaimer: I don’t like copying other people’s images. I purely use other’s images for information on suitable locations. And this usually works fine when you look up a place like Vestrahorn in Iceland – you have numerous composition opportunities within an area. Whereas in this case, due to the long lens nature of the images, compositions are much more strict – not giving much opportunity for creativity – but I did still manage to capture few new perspectives.