At some point, every hiker wants to really capture the true experience of their adventure. Whether you are a newbie or a novice, this guide will help you to make that dream a reality.
Improving your technique will take time, but with a little bit of practice and patience, you will be creating professional level hiking photography in no time!
Here are some simple tips for taking a good hiking photograph:
Do a bit of research
This is why you’re here, right? But doing some of your own research on different compositions and techniques will ultimately help you to become the better photographer that you desire to be.
If you are going to be hiking a popular trail, find some photographs from other photographers and study their angles, compositions, and the achieved effects. See if you can recreate some of these on your own. Flickr is one really useful website for finding images to study.
Remember, the point isn’t to copy–it’s to learn! It’s the same reason we study the greats like Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz. You can learn so much just from studying the photography of others, especially if you know their subject.
Stop talking and move slowly
Wildlife is notoriously skittish and if you’re after wildlife photography, you’re going to have to take a very careful approach. Try to stay quiet while on the trail if you want to get that perfect shot of the incredible wildlife.
Position the people
Try to coach your hiking partners on how you want them to be positioned in the photograph. This is another huge part of the overall composition of the image. Candid shots don’t necessarily always turn out that great, so don’t be afraid to be bossy! Action shots are about framing and positioning, and if it doesn’t look right through the viewfinder then it won’t look right in your image.
Try using a low angle to catch the natural movement of the hiker through the shot. The goal is to make your audience to feel like they’re really there.
Consider your surroundings
In landscape hiking photography, the landscape obviously steals the show. But you want something that sets your photography apart from the rest, don’t you? Consider those flowers, or tree, or herd of deer as interesting subjects to set in the foreground of your image.
Don’t overthinking lighting
You are on a hike, your lighting isn’t going to be perfect at every moment. Even if the lighting isn’t perfect–take the photograph. You may never get a chance to get that shot again, and you can always go back in later with photograph to play around with the exposure.
Always have your camera ready
If you ask me, this is the golden rule! Always bring your best camera for hiking, and always have it available at a moments notice! You don’t want to miss the perfect wildlife shot because your camera was hiding in your bag and you had to fumble to get it out. I always carry my camera around my shoulder, and I suggest you do the same.
Notice the details
When taking photos of beautiful, sweeping, landscapes, it is sometimes easy to forget the minor details that will make your photographs stand out from the rest. Consider small things (even insects) and other hikers to be integral parts of your hiking photography, and use them to your advantage.
I know, nobody likes to wake up at 5 in the morning. But if you want the best shots, odds are that your best chance at them is going to be early in the morning. Who doesn’t love a sunrise shot?
Grab a tripod, and do some research on how to take some captivating night photos. This is when the forrest really shines, you just need to know how to capture it.