5 Outdoor Photography Tips

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Here are my Top 5 Outdoor Photography Tips. 1. Moisture is your camera’s worst enemy. When not taking photos, keep your camera in a case, and keep a silica gel pack or two in the case also. They come packed in with many things you buy, especially electronics stuff…the little packets of granules that say “Do Not Eat”. You can also buy them at most camera shops. If you don’t have a camera case, a ziplock bag will work just fine. The silica gel absorbs moisture and keeps it away from your camera.

2. When we’re vacationing, we all take lots of photos of the usual scenic landscapes. Try some shots of the little things. Even if you don’t have a telephoto lens to get closeups of chipmunks and birds, there are lots of other photo-worthy subjects. Wildflowers, the campfire, a feather on the ground…the list is endless. Get creative! Be sure to stay within your camera’s limits (some have a minimum shooting distance), but look for the unusual. It may just turn out to be your favorite shot!

Outdoor Photography Tips

Outdoor Photography Tips

3. Photography is all about light. The best time to take photos is before about 10:00am, and after about 4:00pm in the summer. These are called the “golden hours”. The light is softer then, and you get more saturated colors in your photos. While you can get some perfectly lovely shots at high noon, or any other hour between 10 & 4, your photos are more apt to be very contrasty (extra bright highlights, and dark, dark shadows), or washed out from the harsh light at those times. If you must photograph during these hours, an overcast day is best, because again, the light is softer. If you can’t wait for an overcast day, look and see if the sun will be going under a cloud anytime soon!

4. One of the hardest things for me to learn, as a photographer, was to see as the camera sees. My brain, and everyones, tends to filter out the stuff I’m not actually looking at when I take a photo, like wires, and branches, and assorted other things that I just don’t want in my photo. The camera records everything that’s there however. So try to see like the camera does. Look away from your subject for a minute, and see what else is lurking in your picture. Is there a branch that seems to grow out of someones head? Are there wires that spoil the view? Is there litter that just ruins the scenic value of your photo? Learn to spot these things before you click the shutter, and your photos will improve immensely. How to solve these problems once you’ve spotted them will be the subject of the next photo tip. Stayed tuned, and happy shooting!

5. Last time I talked about spotting extraneous things that can spoil your photos. “Is there a branch that seems to grow out of someones head? Are there wires that spoil the view? Is there litter that just ruins the scenic value of your photo?” So what do you do about these things now that you’ve spotted them? Wirecutters? A chain saw for the branches? No! There’s a better way!

If you can pick up the litter, then please increase your good Karma and do so, but what if you can’t? Many of the above mentioned problems can be solved by simply changing your camera angle. Move a bit to the left or right, get down lower, move closer to your subject, or perhaps you need a bit more height…find something to stand on. A change of a few inches on your part can make a vast difference in what is, and isn’t, included in your photo. Sometimes by moving a few feet you can hide a wire behind a tree, or by moving closer it disappears out of your frame.

Granted, this won’t always work, and sometimes you just have to take what you can get, but it’s always worth a try to see what you can do. And maybe while you’re moving around, peering through your viewfinder, you’ll spot a whole new subject that you hadn’t seen before!

Photo by mikebaird.

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