Sony Mobile and Lonely Planet have paired up to publish a photo series of what it says are the top 10 unfrequented destinations in the UK to explore once lockdown restrictions start to ease across the country.

According to an associated survey carried out by the companies, only three in 10 Brits said they try to find places that are off the beaten track rather than opting for the bigger tourist spots, such as London and the Lake District. “Perhaps more shockingly, of those polled, 10% admit to never travelling within the UK,” said a spokesperson.

Here is Sony Mobile and Lonely Planet’s top 10 ‘off the beaten track destinations’ from around the UK (some of the images were taken by AP contributor, Callum McInerney-Riley)

1. Craigievar Castle, Alford, Scotland

2. Portmeirion, Wales

3. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly

4. Oundle, Northamptonshire, England

5. Benmore Botanic Garden, Strath Eachaig, Scotland

6. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) from the quieter Rhyd Ddu Path, Wales

7. Howtown & Martindale, Cumbria, England

8. Lincolnshire Wolds

9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk, England

10. Marshwood Vale, Dorset

Scottish photographer Chris Houston has the following top tips for travel photographers with a Sony Xperia 5 II phone (though the advice is also generally relevant other smartphones).

1. Use the Photo Pro app to open up a whole range of additional settings to control the camera in a very similar format to the Sony Alpha and RX cameras.

2. Shoot in Raw format to produce the highest quality landscape photos. While the JPEG images produced by the camera are of a high standard, the RAW files offer a much higher quality output to really capture the detail when you’re travelling. For even higher quality, try the 4:3 aspect ratio.

3. Use the different camera lenses and adjust your positioning to get unique shots. The phone has 16mm, 24mm and 70mm lenses. For example, the 24mm camera has the largest sensor and is most sensitive to light with a f/1.7 aperture. When using this camera, move closer or further away from your subject in order to frame your shot in a unique way. Meanwhile, the 16mm camera is a super wide focal length, making it great to confined spaces when you simply can’t get everything in the frame.

4. Use Program Mode in the Photo Pro app for further control. This allows you to control picture format, light sensitivity (ISO), metering mode, white balance and focusing mode – so you can make the most of whatever weather mother nature gives you.

5. Think outside of the box when it comes to composing your shots. One of the great things about using a phone for photos is its size and handling. Get down low to the ground, hold your phone high above your head or position it in a place you otherwise may not have been able to with a standard DSLR to get a different perspective.

“The pandemic caused us all to pause and re-evaluate how we travel, and I think now is the perfect time to update that bucket list with some of these under-the-radar places you might have overlooked in the past,” said Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall.

Further reading
Travel photographers of the year revealed
Britain’s best landscape photography locations (part one and two)

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