Weekend adventures and photography go hand in hand these days. For a lot of people, taking great photos to remember the experience is an integral part of any trip, and sharing those photos on social media is a great way of connecting with other adventurers and inspiring people to head out on their own weekend wanders. Whether you want to take better photos for Instagram or just have some great images for your own memories, you can improve your adventure photography with these five tips…
Use People to Highlight the Experience
When you are out there adventuring in epic landscapes, be it hiking, mountain biking, trail running or climbing, the temptation is always to try and capture that incredible scenery. And while that’s a great thing to do for a landscape photographer, you need people to highlight the experience if you want to show the adventure in the photo.
Having a person set within a huge landscape, such as a mountain region, gives a sense of scale and drama. Without the person in the photo you might have a beautiful shot of a mountain, but add that person in and the viewer starts to get a sense of what that adventurer is up against as they deal with the enormity of the mountain.
Contrasting colours work really well in this kind of shot too. A bright red or blue or yellow jacket will really stand out in a mountain scene made up of earthy, natural colours like grey, green and brown. Using those bright colours in the clothing will help to drag the viewer’s eye to where the adventure is.
The people in the shot help to tell the story of the adventure. A set of photos from a big adventure should capture the highs and the lows of the trip, as well as the emotions such as the pain to complete the adventure and the joy when the adventurer has achieved what they set out to do. It’s those moments in between that you can’t plan for that really tell the story.
Use a Tripod to Capture Some Great Selfies
If you’re a solo adventurer then you might be wondering how you can take great photos of yourself in those epic landscapes. A Gorilla pod is a small tripod that is lightweight and easy to carry. It can be kept at the bottom of your backpack for months and you’ll hardly notice you have it, but when you need to capture an incredible adventure you can screw it into the bottom of your camera, set your self-timer and start to experiment with getting the perfect adventure selfie.
There are also a lot of cameras out there that can be controlled via an app on your phone, allowing you to get a little bit further away from the camera than a 10-second self-timer allows, should you want to capture yourself in a particular scene from a distance.
Get Up Earlier or Stay Out Later
The hours just after sunrise and just before sunset are known as the golden hours in the world of photographers. When the weather is right, these times of day can be bathed in soft golden light and can make everything just look a little bit better through the lens of your camera.
If getting great photos is an important part of your adventure then you need to plan accordingly by making sure that you are getting out early or staying out late to make the most of these hours.
Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to weather and sunshine, so it’s difficult to predict exactly when you’ll get this much sought after light. And even when you do get it, there are no guarantees as to how long it will stick around. On some occasions, you might get a full half an hour of perfect light for shooting in, but on other times you might only get a tiny five-minute window in which to get your perfect shot. This is why many photographers will make multiple trips or recces to a particular location until they are absolutely certain about when they want to shoot from and what the composition will be, then when the light is right they are ready to go quickly.
Find a Unique Perspective
You only have to scroll through Instagram for half an hour to see that people love taking the same kind of photos over and over again. If you want your adventure photos to really stand out then you are going to have to find some unique perspectives and think outside the box.
What different angle could you shoot from, up high or down low? Is there something in the foreground you could shoot to make the whole shot more interesting?
Make it your mission to take a photo of a popular spot but with your own unique spin on it, telling the story of your adventure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
The best thing about phones and digital cameras is that you can take hundreds and hundreds of photos and it won’t matter at all. Use this to your advantage and start experimenting with all of the different settings on your camera. The very worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t turn out right and you simply delete it.
Experiment with different angles and different techniques and see what works well, and most importantly, find out what you enjoy doing. And finally, put all of those tips into practice and use a tripod to capture a great selfie during the golden hour from a unique perspective – then you should have a pretty good adventure shot.