You’re off into the majestic outdoors for a day of exercise and relaxation. You’re taking your camera along and you’re hoping to get some great shots in a beautiful natural setting; nature is a wonderful source of inspiration. Here are 3 tips how helping you create better outdoor photos.
1. Photos of people
Can you add a person to make your photo more interesting? There’s no arguing against it – people just love looking at photos of people! Composing an outdoor photograph with a person in it can add another dimension and level of interest to the shot. I’m not necessarily talking about sticking your friend smack bang in the middle of the picture.
Consider composing your photo with someone to the side. The person in the photo does not have to be the primary subject of the shot. Instead they can provide scale and human interest to what might be an otherwise lonely outdoor scene. Adding a person to the shot can add another element of interest that draws the eye of the viewer deeper into the photo.
If you’re a keen hiker then you’ve probably felt humbled by a grand, mountainous vista. There’s something deeply satisfying about standing on top of a mountain – you truly feel on top of the world. Capturing this emotion and achievement in a photo can be much more difficult though. If you add a person to your picture then you add a sense of scale to your shot.
Everyone has a good idea of roughly how big a person is and if they see a human being dwarfed by a mountain range then the picture can leave that much more of an impression on the viewer.
2. Straight horizon
We’re used to seeing the horizon as a straight, level dividing line, unless of course you’re rocking and rolling on a boat at sea! So, it is worth considering the horizon when you compose your panoramic image and checking to make sure you’ve got it nice and level. You can adjust this in post-production by using the crop function if you didn’t quite nail it the first time in camera.
This is definitely a rule you can break, but if you don’t do it well you may leave your viewer tilting their head and pondering what it is about your photo that bothers them.
Think about putting your horizon line off-centre in your photo too. For example, if you place the horizon line in the top third of your image you can draw emphasis to the ground, or land/sea portion of your photo. Composing your landscape photo with the horizon line running across the centre of the picture can lead to a flat and underwhelming image.
Which photo do you prefer?
3. Have fun with your photography
Are you enjoying the outdoors and having fun with your photography? If you’re having fun taking photos, it’s bound to show in your final results. Take photos of the things that interest you – maybe it’s the flora, birdlife, sunsets or distant snow-covered mountain peaks.
Have a go at capturing the action. It’s not always easy to get the shot first time or as it happens. But it is okay to say to your friend, “would you mind stomping through that mud one more time? I’d like to have another go taking a photo of that!”
Photographs of you cooking on a campfire, wading through a river, pitching a tent and bathing in a hot pool can all add interest to your outdoor online album. A repetitive series of selfies with varying landscape backdrops is bound to drive your friends bonkers.
The list of possible photo opportunities in the outdoors really is endless so get creative and mix it up. Try to capture a mix of landscape and macro perspectives, and look for ways to inject emotion into your images. Most of all - have fun giving it a go.
Also, go in and read, photo competition 2018 here you can see how the photos have similar composition. You can also, read the interview with Thomas Quan for some inspiration.