Capturing photos of an adventure is an exhilarating form of photography. But adventure photography isn’t easy or straightforward.
You are often at the mercy of the elements in extreme locations.
To help you achieve the shots you want, here are 7 tips to boost your adventure photography skills.
Where to Go for Adventure Photography
Adventure brings up visions of mountains, wild seas, endless deserts, and epic forests. A local park doesn’t shout adventure, does it?
To capture amazing adventure photos, you have to partake in, well, amazing adventures. This might sound obvious but try to take part and do things you love. But also things that you are knowledgeable about.
Adventure photographers often risk their lives so you need to know what you are doing. This is one genre of photography that you usually won’t be able to do in your backyard. Unless your backyard is the great outdoors.
Your first step should be to research, plan and go on great adventures. Whether this means traveling to different countries like New Zealand or Iceland or photographing volcanoes.
Adventure photographers have to know every detail of their trip. Not only will this keep you safe but also ensure that you capture the best photos that you can. You need to know where you need to be and when, so you can capture the best light.
You should have an idea of the terrain and which potential spots will give you a good view. The good news is that there are so many options these days to help you plan your shoot.
Like any other genre of photography, the more you research the shoot the better.
The thing about adventure photography is that you face such a variety of conditions. So it’s almost impossible to rely on one set of equipment for every scenario.
For surfing photos, you are going to need different equipment than for hiking photos.
Your adventure will also dictate what you can take due to space and weight restrictions.
For example, you don’t want to be carrying a heavy DSLR and lots of lenses if you are climbing a cliff face. Whereas if you are photographing in the water you’ll need a waterproof casing for your camera.
There isn’t one best camera for adventure photography. Or even a set of equipment. Instead, you need to adapt what you are packing to your adventure.
A great adventure photo should tell a story to the viewer. This is the main difference between adventure photography and landscape photography.
Before you even set up to take the photo, ask yourself what is the story that you are trying to tell. You can even try to imagine your photo in a magazine article. What would the headline be?
This is one of the most important adventure photography tips. Sometimes you have to place points of interest in your images to convey that story.
For example a tent in the foreground. Or a hiker admiring the view. At other times they will appear by chance.
Either way, this is what often can give your photos context. And can add things like a sense of scale.
For any type of outdoor photography, you will be reliant on the elements such as weather and light. A bright sunny day will need different settings to a dark and stormy one. The subject you are photographing will also factor in the choice of your settings.
Look for Unique Perspectives When Photography Famous Locations
This is the toughest part of photography these days. In this era of smartphones and social media, it is very difficult to capture something unique.
With good research, perseverance and a bit of luck, you can still capture unique shots. A good way to attempt to do this is by trying to find a different spot to take the photo from.
If you take the photo from the usual viewing platform your photos will look like everyone else’s. So try to look for different angles or even photograph something from further away or nearer.
You can also try to introduce a point of interest like people into your shot.