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8 Tips to Help You Take Better Outdoor Photos

8 Tips to Help You Take Better Outdoor Photos

Hot to Take Instagram-Worthy Landscape Photos


Capturing an Instagram-worthy landscape photo can be tougher than expected, but these tips can teach you how to get the best shot.

1. Carry a tripod. The easiest way to enhance the look of your outdoor photos is to use a tripod.

A tripod stabilizes your phone or camera, and you get clearer photos as a result. Another handy trick is to use a slower shutter speed, which gives your shots a deeper depth of focus. 

It might seem cumbersome to carry a tripod along on your hike, but it will result in much better photos. 

2. Target the “magic hour.” While you can’t always predict when a photo opportunity will occur, it’s generally best to plan ahead. 

When it comes to taking beautiful photos, timing is everything. For best results, plan your hike around the best available light. Generally, the hours at the end and beginning of the day yield the best light for outdoor photos.

3. Add supplemental lighting. Sometimes nature doesn’t provide ideal lighting for photography. You can enhance your pictures by adding a little bonus lighting from reflectors, a fill-flash or even strobes. 

If you’ve never experimented with lighting before, the best way to learn is to head outside with your camera. As you test different types of supplemental lighting, you’ll quickly learn how to adjust to whatever conditions nature throws your way.

4. Don’t aim for the bullseye. When composing photos, it’s common for amateur photographers to frame the target subject at the center of the photo. In most cases, you’ll get better results by throwing things a little off-center. 

This strategy is called the "rule of thirds”:  Imagine your photo is split up into a three-by-three grid and position the landscape and other focal points along the lines within the grid. 

5. Keep things simple. Simple photos can be incredibly powerful. To take engaging outdoor photos, try focusing on one critical element, like a single wildflower.

6. Add a face to your photos. Many outdoor enthusiasts avoid photographing people, but humans are also a natural part of the world’s landscape. People can add personality, scale, emotion and interest to nature photography. Instead of framing people out of your photos, add a human touch to the inspiring beauty of the natural world. 

7. Capture the action. Action photos can be especially powerful in an outdoor setting. Try using slow and fast shutter speeds. You can also intentionally move your camera and pan with a moving subject. These techniques can all add a perception of action to ordinary outdoor photos.

8. Use a filter. There are many filtering apps that modern photographers can use, but real filters add much more impact. 

A polarizing filter can add depth to the color of the sky and help you see into streams and lakes. When used properly, a graduated neutral-density filter can help you avoid overexposed white mountains and underexposed forests in the same photo, an image any outdoor photographer would be thrilled to capture.

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