Top Tips for Outdoor Photography

November 18, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment | |
Top Tips for Outdoor Photography Image

Whether you're heading out for an afternoon stroll through the park, or attempting a first ascent of a mountain in the Himalayas, you may want to record your time outdoors for posterity.

Alastair Lee, specialist outdoor filmmaker and photographer, shares some of his insights into the best tech and techniques to make sure that it's not just your memories you keep from the day. As someone who's picked up 36 international awards for his work, he's best placed to give a few pointers on how to make your photos and videos stand out.

As we approach 2011, most of the country carry a camera of some sort with them at all times of the day, especially since the introduction of affordable HD smartphones. When you're taking the effort to get out of the city for a while, a dedicated device pays dividends for really capturing those moments - and for the humble beginner a digital camera or camcorder is a lot more forgiving.

Top Tips for Outdoor Photography

Before heading out, rather than buy new equipment at the last minute, get it a few weeks beforehand, so that you've got time to get used to it - get to know the ins and outs and make sure it's fit for purpose. Practice does make perfect and the last thing you want to be doing is looking for the instruction manual only to miss ‘that' ultimate shot.

For cameras, consider the new Samsung NX10 as a good introduction to the digital SLR world as it's a light weight hybrid that fits neatly into the hand, has an AMOLED screen for easier viewing in sunlight and a range of lenses for different occasions. A sturdy HD camcorder, with natural viewing angles and lens position is also worth the investment too.

Top Tips for Outdoor Photography

Once you've got the tech and have become familiar with it, Alastair has a few basic rules of thumb you can adopt to make your memories last:

1. When out for long periods, keep an eye on battery levels and how much memory is left. If you haven't packed spares - ration it so you've got some left for when you reach your ultimate destination (and a few for the way back - just in case).

2. The weather is a big factor in the shots you're going to be getting - work with the light and air quality to build your picture - with relatively dry, clean air, you are more likely to get the best clarity and sharp images and, the sun on the horizon may lend itself to silhouette shots.

3. Adding effects, such as mud splatter, are fine in post production when comfy at home - they shouldn't be part of every shot you take when out and about, it's important to keep the lens clean - check it before each shot.

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