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9 Adventure Photography Tips

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If you had an epic adventure and didn’t share it on Instagram, did you even have an adventure at all? Whether you’re peak bagging, bikepacking or wild camping, chances are you are going to get your phone or camera out and take a few photos of your adventures at some point. If you want those photos to stand out then here are a few basic adventure photography tips to follow.

Adventure Photography Tips

Use the Golden Hours

The golden hours are when landscape photographers do a lot of their best work. Shortly after sunrise, or just before sunset, the natural light will leave incredible golden tones on the landscape and this makes for beautiful photos. Although they are often referred to as golden hours, it’s rare that this perfect lighting will last for a full hour so it pays to be ready with your camera at the right moment to make the most of the opportunity to take some great photos. Many of the best photographers will have already planned exactly what their shot is going to look like before the golden hour arrives, so if you find yourself in a location too early you can start working on your composition and make sure you get the perfect shot when the lighting is just right.

Start Using a Tripod

Carrying a tripod isn’t always top of the list of priorities when you’re loading up your backpack for an adventure, but using some sort of tripod can make a huge difference to your photography so it’s definitely something to consider.

If you’re adventuring solo, a small tripod will give you the option of setting up your camera with a self-timer and capturing yourself in an epic landscape. Let’s be honest, that’s going to be a much better photo than a selfie-stick could achieve.

Having a tripod will also allow you to start playing around with shutter speed and really up your photography game. Think misty waterfalls, night skies or epic sunsets, all of those shots can benefit from a tripod.

If carrying a full-size tripod isn’t an option for you, there are smaller, Gorilla Pod, options available for both smaller cameras and smartphones.

Make the Most of the Weather

What one photographer would call perfect weather another would not so try experimenting in all conditions until you find what you like and what you enjoy shooting. Although we all dream of clear blue skies and warm days for our adventures, the harsh light of a sunny day isn’t always a photographer’s friend. However, the reverse of that is that sometimes the foggy and overcast days can look incredible in a photo.

Think About Subject Placement

Good subject placement is vital to getting a great adventure shot. Whether you’re capturing an action shot or framing someone in an epic landscape, where the subject is positioned is going to make a huge difference to the end result. Make people stand out by positioning them against a solid colour, or within the negative space of the photo. This small tweak makes a big difference.

Use Foreground Interest

Making sure that you have some foreground interest in your composition can make a big difference. Photographers often talk about layers and depth in their images, and by this, they mean the ability to make a 2D photo best represent the 3D landscape it was taken in. Thinking of your photo as having a foreground, a mid-ground and a background will help you to create an image that draws the viewer into the photo.

Find Leading Lines

The eye is naturally drawn along lines, so using lines within photos can help you lead the viewer’s attention to where you want it to be, specifically, your subject. Roads, paths, rivers and bridges are all great examples of the kinds of lines that you could work with to create a composition with leading lines. Just make sure that you’re using them to focus the attention to the area of the photograph that you want to highlight.

Use the Rule of Thirds

Imagine that your photo is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically leaving you with a grid of nine spaces. The basic principle of the rule of thirds is that where these grid lines cross marks the important areas of the photo, placing your subject or interesting part of the image around these lines should give you a well-balanced photo. Of course, this isn’t true for every photo, but it’s definitely something to consider when planning your shot.

Find a Unique Perspective

Instagram is a great source of inspiration when it comes to incredible places to find adventures, but there are no so many photos on that platform that it’s becoming increasingly repetitive. Finding a unique perspective for a location or activity that has been photographed a million times before is now the challenge that all photographers face. Get creative and try and find your own unique perspective. Don’t just replicate the great shots that you have already seen.

Use Editing Software

Think photo editing and you probably think of Lightroom or Photoshop which are both incredibly powerful tools for perfecting your photos. But, both come at a cost. If you’re happy to pay for the software then your imagination is the limit to what you can do with your photos, but if you just want something simple and free to make small adjustments to your photos then there are lots of options for that too. Even free phone apps such as Snapseed can do a great job of enhancing your photos.

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