8 Tips for Capturing Epic Adventure Photos – Fstoppers | Ad On Picture

If you’re like me, photography isn’t just about weddings and portraits. I love getting outside with my camera and exploring the mountains and forests around my hometown of Seattle, Washington. Anything from a day hike to a multi-day backpacking trip is always an opportunity to photograph my adventures and share these beautiful landscapes with others.

I recently went on a camping trip with photographer Scott Kranz and he gave me some tips that he would recommend to anyone interested in capturing images that are as epic as the adventures they experience. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a new hiker, or a top athlete, consider these tips to take your outdoor adventure photography to the next level.

1. Adventure better.

The first step, says Scott, is obvious. The adventure takes the photos. If you choose a bad adventure, chances are your photos won’t be as spectacular. Ask questions about where you want to go and what adventure you want to take. Will you visit a popular place or will you venture into an “undeveloped” place that few have reached? Will you keep it local or will you travel to a bucket list destination?

2. Do your research!

There isn’t too much research. Scott suggests getting to know the lay of the land before you even step out the door. Check Google Earth for a bird’s eye view of your trip. Search hashtags on Instagram to see what other photographers have captured along the way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to locals in the area you’re traveling to.

It is important for a photographer to track the sunrise, sunset and phases of the moon. Plan your departure and travel duration to be in the right spots during the golden hours, when the light is just right. The moon is also important if you’re a night photographer trying to capture the Milky Way.

3. Bring the right gear.

Packing the right gear and the tools you need for your adventure are essential not only for capturing great photos but also for survival. The adventure you take affects the choice of equipment. Scott mentions that if you’re climbing many thousands of feet to a mountain top, you might not want to carry a heavy DSLR and multiple lenses with you. In addition, you need to think about bringing other camera gear like tripods, batteries, and memory cards. Too much is just extra weight on your pack and too little can mean missing out on a great trip.

Camera gear isn’t the only thing you need to pack. Remember that you need to make sure you have enough water, clothing for warmth, and food to keep your energy up and your body protected. Always carry a first aid kit and tell people where you are going and when you plan to come back.

4. Scouting.

You can do all the pre-trip research in the world and it still won’t prepare you for what it’s like when you’re there. During the trip, take time to explore the area for the best campgrounds and places to set your camera. It’s okay to go back on your hike to assess multiple destinations.

5. Be ready!

Have your camera ready. Scott says it sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget. The best photos can come and go unexpectedly. Having your camera stowed in your backpack until you reach your destination is not a way of hiking. Keep your camera settings and your camera ready throughout your adventure.

6. Use a theme.

Scott says what often differentiates adventure photography from landscape photography is the use of one or more “foreign” subjects. A person, tent, or other external object can add perspective and scale to a scene. Adding objects from your trip also gives your photos a sense of what it took to get there and get the shot.

7. Find a unique perspective.

You know the photos. The same bridge or lane on Instagram that everyone does when they visit a certain place. Make your photos unique if you want them to stand out. Scott suggests photographing your subjects from higher or lower angles, or up close or far away. Bring different people into your scene or stay back and watch as they venture into the wild. If you simply try to recreate photos that others have already taken, you might end up with a great photo, but it’s not unique to you and your adventure.

8. Post Production

Getting home safely is only half the adventure when it comes to photography. Now comes the “post-adventure” editing process. Scott says to make sure your horizon is level, touch up highlights and shadows, and bring out the details in your subjects. Shooting in RAW gives you the most latitude in post-production and is particularly useful in outdoor adventure photography when your highlights and lowlights can be extreme. Spending a little time with your photos before sharing them with the world can go from great to unforgettable.

So if you’re a photographer who likes to get outdoors with your camera, or if you’re an adventurer who wants to capture your travels, these tips will help you walk away from an epic adventure with some epic photos. Now get off your laptop and start searching!

All images used with permission.

[Via The Outbound]

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