Having amazing adventure photos isn’t really that hard
Do you ever wish you could capture your vacations in photos to show how amazing it was while you were there? Having amazing adventure photos isn’t really that hard if you implement a few tweaks to the composure of the lphotograph.
For example, have you notice how some people’s adventure photos showcase the scenery of massive mountain tops as they stand in front of them?
But when you try to take a photo like it, the mountains do not look so impressive. They look something more like picture below. Well, a problem like this can be easily fixed.
Use your zoom carefully
If you are trying to get a picture of a far off mountain goat, obviously you want to zoom in on him with a telephoto lens. But the telephoto lens also brings the background closer. So if you want a portrait photo that showcases the mountains behind you, walk 20 to 30 yards down the trail from the person taking the picture and have them zoom in on you. This make the the mountains more prominent in your photo.
The second photo was taken with the lens zoomed out to a wide angle. A wide angle is anything zoomed out past the point of normal perspective, and a telephoto is anything zoomed in more than normal perspective. A wide angle takes in a lot of scenery and a telephoto bring them together.
Sometimes you want to use a wide angle. If in your adventure photos you want to showcase the vast sweeping scenery, a wide angle might be better suited. In the following photograph of the logs on the beach in Washington State, I wanted to fit in as much of the landscape as I could. This shows the logs piled up. It also shows the vastness of the beach and ocean.
But if I was trying to capture sea stacks (tall islands along the Washington coast) behind the logs, I might have used a telephoto lens. This would bring them closer and make them more prominent in the photograph.
Use colors and shapes to get artsy
Photography is an art. Colors and shapes can give your adventure photos more of an appealing look. The picture below of the street under the “L” in Chicago has repetitive lines and is mirrored, which draws the viewer’s eye toward it.
Nature is full of color and provides numerous opportunities for amazing adventure photos. Look for flowers, blue water, or other things that are naturally colorful.
Fill the frame with your subject
I am a photographer. My friends are not. I take this into consideration when I ask them to take adventure photos with me in them. Even still, I get a few eye rolls as I make them retake photos again and again.
Many people make the mistake of putting their subject’s head in the center. I tell my friends to be sure to get my feet. Sometimes they just zoom out instead of moving the camera.
In this picture, my face is actually below the center. There is also a great deal of blue sky. The photographer here could have pointed the camera lowered, gotten my whole body and skill kept some of the sky.
This photograph shows how much better adventure photos are when there is not a lot of wasted space.
If you are taking portraits and not implementing the scenery, then you need to fill the frame with the person. But in the previous two photos, the subject is me in beautiful places. Even though a blue sky is beautiful, you do not need as much as the snow picture has.
Use generic human elements in landscapes
The placement of generic human elements allows the viewer to put themselves into your adventure photos. Looking into the camera is personal. So if you have a photo of someone that is not making eye contact with the viewer, it helps them imagine what it’s like to be there.
Silhouettes are nice to add to a human element to beautiful sunsets or sunrises. The above picture would be beautiful without the person, but adding a silhouette allows people to see themselves there too. You can also shoot the back of a person, which tells the story of the adventure, but allows others to imagine themselves along.
Many people gripe about Instagram adventure photos being full of feet or knees. But those photos show the viewer what it is like to be where you are.
Look for unique angles
If you are going to a very popular destination, and it has been photographed over and over again, look for unique angles. If you going somewhere iconic, like Yosemite Falls, you should definitely take the same picture as everyone else, but also look for angles that not don’t usually see. The picture below is one I took of my dad in a valley we have been to numerous times. I focused on the spider in the light, but kept my father in the frame blurred in the background.
I spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer. In the picture below, I took a chance on a selfie as I jumped into the water from the boat. It isn’t something you see every day. It’s fun and captures the story of a day at the lake.
And lastly have fun
Playing around with the camera is the best way to practice you skill. I took a gamble on the selfie when I jumped into the lake, but it turned out to be a cool photograph.
I love playing with the camera. I love playing with motion blur, funky cropping, or something like changing what I focus on (like picture of the spider and my dad). It’s not like you waist film with digital cameras. If it doesn’t work out, just delete them and no one is the wiser.