Photography Tips: Creating Adventure Memories
We all love adventure and getting out and about, discovering new things, places and activities. But what about capturing those moments of conquering new obstacles, achieving new heights and overcoming new challenges? We capture those moments through our cameras, to share with friends and family or as evidence of cherished memories. However, have you ever found yourself in a situation where, back at home, you look at your photos and you realize they aren’t quite what you expected them to be?
We no longer need to rely on lugging large professional SLR cameras along down those fast paced water rapids, alternative smaller and lighter camera such as phone cameras and small compact waterproof cameras can easily be popped in a waterproof bag to snap those key shots along our adventure. However, do you sometimes still find you didn’t quite capture that ‘ultimate’ shot that sums up your trip? I’d love to share some of my tips and tricks with you on taking stellar photos of your best day out:
Often we just stand straight and take photos of activity participants. Why not to change the position or an angle? When you shoot with mobile phone, point and shoot camera or SLR, get down low, get on your knees, or even lay down on the grass. You'll see the world, photographically speaking, from a different angle.
I'd try to zoom in and out. Take a full scene photo and then zoom in just on a part of the scene. If it is a climber or abseiler, take a photo with a wide angle to include the environment adventurer is in, and then zoom onto the face to convey the emotion, or another point of interest such as hand grip on the equipment for rock climber.
When taking a photo, it is good to have a clear understanding of what it is that made you want to take a photo of that specific scene. Then accentuate on that. Do not include unnecessary details. Is it a powerful flow of a waterfall and a small figure of canyoner in the midst of nature's power? Is it a tent under the night sky full of stars that made you feel so small and realize we are just a tiny part of the Universe? Is it expression of joy on the face of the fisherman once the big catch was taken on board? Is it color contrast of bright blue sky and lush greenery?
If you shoot with mobile phone, check for Manual or Pro (for Samsung phone) settings and try them out. For example, on Samsung S7 in Pro Mode you can select your ISO, Shutter speed and While Balance. Sounds almost like SLR, doesn’t it? Of course, one needs to be familiar with basics of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed first especially if you have SLR.
Candid shots vs posing and clever angles.
Whilst an encaptivating photo opportunity might be whilst one’s hanging off of a side of a cliff face, or standing on a summit peak, don’t miss the opportunity for collecting more candid shots of people and places; whilst people are in action. Don’t be put off by thinking you need a professional SLR camera to capture the perfect shot, a point and shoot camera can capture great moments. If you’re camera has a ‘quick to shoot’ option - try taking a handful of pictures, which leaves you choice to select your favorite.
If you do take SLR camera on your adventures, switching to manual focus can open additional creative options. It will help to focus precisely on the object you’d like to be central to your photo. It is very handy in low light scenarios (such as canyon or a cave). It is also useful when taking action /movement shots. In anticipation of specific action or movement, one can pre focus manually on a specific spot within the frame and then capture a crisp image of adventure once the subject is in that spot in camera viewfinder (for example, pre-focusing on specific part of the scene in anticipation of fast moving car appearing, or bicycle, hang glider, or runner, etc.)
My biggest piece of advice would be to take plenty of pictures as opportunities present themselves. Get trigger happy. Digital cameras provide us with the luxury of deleting the images we do not like whilst giving us the freedom to ensure we can capture and store that extra shot of your epic adventure!
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