You have your portrait photographers, your fashion photographers, your sports photographers and, in general, every possible kind of photographer in between. The world’s full of them!
However, in this article we’re going to look at a very particular breed of photographers. We’re going to talk about the photographers whose foreground, middleground, and background consists purely of the Great Outdoors. They work on the land, shooting the breeze and actually getting quite muddy just to get that perfect shot.
Because that’s what it’s all about, right? The perfect shot. This where outdoors photographers differ from other photographers: to get that shot, they need the tools to help them get the job done.
So, if you’re a budding outdoors photographer you’ll want to take note of the following tips n’ tools. Let’s go!
A decent tripod will be your best friend in the outdoors
Unlike our coddled lives in towns and cities, nature’s terrain is rarely even and it’s full of surprises. Poor footing is not only an injury risk, it could also ruin the balance and composition of your photo. Invest in a high quality tripod that will give your camera a level, firm footing and won’t fall over with a mere gust of wind (you’d be surprised how many tripods do!).
Light your path in the darkest of surroundings
Every good landscape or outdoors photographer has the urge to discover the most cut-off shooting location possible. Often, this will require lighting assistance (especially if you’re delving into a deep, dark and dank cave for example). The solution is a good headlamp that will simply attach around your head or whatever hat you’re wearing. With your hands otherwise occupied with your camera, a headlamp will ensure you don’t blindly walk your way into a horrific accident.
See for miles with a good set of binoculars
Binoculars have almost gotten a bad rep of late, often thought of as the favourite plaything of birdwatchers and train enthusiasts. But, we’re glad to say, they’re an indispensable part of a landscape photographer’s kit. Who has the time or energy to walk blindly to what ‘may or may not be a good photo opportunity’ – with binoculars, you can scope out the good photo ops before trudging your way over there.
Beat outdoor glare with this bit of kit
As every outdoors photographer will know, sometimes the sun makes for unflattering or nigh impossible shooting conditions. The glare is too bright! If this sounds like a situation you’ve found yourself in, you should add a polariser to your outdoors kit. A polariser is like another lens but thinner, and working somewhat like a film or filter it will improve colour saturation and most importantly reduce glare.
These boots are made for walking (in the great outdoors)
Vital to your outdoors photography kit, a pair of walking shoes will see you through all terrains and weather conditions. They should be comfortable, have some kind of waterproof properties (GoreTex is something to look for here), and have good grip. The calling card of every amateur ‘weekend photographer’ is not having shoes prepared for the great outdoors. In fact, we’d rather you have ‘all the gear and no idea’ – at least you’d be protected from the elements!
A trusty backpack will serve you well
You wouldn’t get very far without a good backpack. Whether you’re out for a weekend hike or you’re out in the wilderness for longer, a backpack is your go-to source for.. well, everything. This is where your sustenance goes, as well as your camera cases (which we’ll get onto shortly) and other gear. Again, look for waterproof or water-resistant properties.
Protect your gear from the bumps of outdoor photography
It’s not always plain sailing when you’re out there in the elements. Maybe you take a fall now and again, or you’re rappelling down a hillside and have to first throw your bag down before you. You need good sturdy camera protection (complete with DIY custom foam inserts, for snug and adventure-proof protection). The great outdoors could spell the end for your most probably expensive gear!
So, the wilderness takes no prisoners, and you need to be prepared. With our tips, you can realise your ambition as a brave and fearless adventurer. It’s all worth it, just to get that perfect shot.