SOURCE: Panasonic

June 19, 2008 11:31 ET

Digital Photo Academy Experts Recommend 'Hidden Gem' Photo Opps in Top Summer Vacation Hot Spots

Digital Photo Academy by Panasonic LUMIX Provides Easy Photography Tips for Capturing Unique Summer Vacation Images and Memories

SECAUCUS, NJ--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - In anticipation of summer vacation planning, Digital Photo Academy by Panasonic LUMIX is helping travelers find "hidden gem" photo opportunities in some of this year's most popular U.S. hot spot destinations. The expert instructors of the Digital Photo Academy, a nationwide series of digital photography courses, also are sharing their professional photo tips, which are easy enough for beginners, and can assist travelers at any skill level to capture their summer vacation memories with beautiful images worthy of being shared year-round.

According to the American Society of Travel Agents' "2008 Summer Hot Spots" survey, the top 10 domestic travel destinations, in order of popularity are: Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, New York City, Honolulu, San Diego and Washington, DC.

Digital Photo Academy instructors, all accomplished professional photographers, are offering their best-kept secret photo opportunity in each city along with a basic tip to help travelers shoot like the pros. Tourists will be crowding the Empire State Building in New York and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to snap photos, but with these hidden-gem suggestions from the Digital Photo Academy, the wise summer traveler can take unique photos that stand apart from typical vacation photos.

Here are the top three summer destinations and digital photography tips. To view all the Digital Photo Academy's summer travel tips and photos and more, please visit

Orlando, FL: Harry P. Leu Gardens

--  Relax and Snap: It may sound basic, but let the environment inspire
    your photos.  Your meditation and mood when taking photos can be seen in
    the final outcome, so in a beautiful garden full of life, relax and
    photograph what inspires you.

Las Vegas, NV: Valley of Fire

--  Keep it Simple: Landscape photographs turn out best when taken at
    sunrise and sunset because the light is warm in color and allows the
    textures and shapes of the subjects to be revealed. Fill your frame with
    the primary subjects, keep the background clean and simple, and look in the
    corners to make sure there are no distracting elements.

San Francisco, CA: Fisherman's Wharf

--  Be Mindful of the Time of Day: The morning sun provides the best light
    for photographing spots along the waterfront, such as the archway near Pier
    39 on Fisherman's Wharf.  The waterfront faces North and East -- get out
    early to take advantage of the great light and snap some fantastic shots of
    the city as it comes to life.

The Digital Photo Academy (DPA) is a series of classes for digital camera owners at any level who want to maximize their cameras' features and create more rewarding and enjoyable photo experiences. The DPA courses, which began in June 2007, in 20 cities across the country, are taught by local professional photographers, giving students ongoing access to photo experts and tips in their own community.

The courses, which are taught in photogenic and inspirational locations, such as professional studios and museums, accommodate digital camera owners at any skill level, with classes offered for the beginner, intermediate and advanced photographer. DPA is currently in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.

Each level course is offered monthly in each city and students are encouraged to bring whatever brand of digital camera they use. To encourage more student and instructor interaction, classes are kept small, limited to 15 people. For more information and to view schedules and locations, please visit:

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic develops advanced imaging technologies and its entire 2008 LUMIX digital still camera line includes optical imaging stabilization and Intelligent ISO features. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE - The World's Heritage, a project that will create the world's largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at