5 Tips for Taking Better Photographs Outdoors
Photographs last a lifetime. Unfortunately, sometimes they don't turn out quite the way we want them too. We've compiled 5 of our top tips for taking better outdoor photographs. Be a confident shutterbug on your next adventure.
Choose the Right Time of Day
One of the most important tips in taking photographs outdoors is choosing the right time of day. There is a time photographers call "The Golden Hour" and, with a bit of practice and testing, you will find it. The Golden Hour happens one hour after sunrise and one hour after sunset each day. It's the best time of the day to shoot because it will give you the best lighting without shadows or harsh sunlight. You'll almost always find photographers out at this hour in the morning and afternoon.
If you are working outside The Golden Hour, be aware of shadows and the impact they have on your photographs. You might even find some interesting ways to use them after you've had some practice.
Plan Your Image
Before you take a shot, consider what you actually want to photograph. What do you want to include in your image? Plan out the image before you capture it and consider the composition and the focal point of your shot. It's also important to consider what elements will work well together in an image and do some test shots to practice from different angles and distances. If at first you don't succeed, be prepared to move around a little and choose another perspective to take a shot.
Invest in a Tripod
If you are serious about getting the perfect landscape shot, invest in a tripod for support. A tripod is important when you want to capture photographs in the dark, because you will likely require a longer shutter speed and, unless you have steady hands, you will end up with shaky and blurry images. If you aren't capturing photos in the dark, a tripod is also handy for time-lapse videos and timed group shots.
Focus on the Best Bit
Ace your focus by carefully planning what you want the camera to focus on. Whether it's a person close to you or a mountain in the distance, make sure you have a clear vision in your mind about what you want to capture and keep in focus. Don't worry about having all the elements of the image in focus - the greatest images have depth of field created by a defined focus. Whether you choose a tree, a puddle or even an insect, ensure you are completely focused on it (either manually or with the automatic functions on your camera).
Add in a Polarising Filter
When heading outside to capture landscape imagery, you should consider adding a polarising filter onto your camera. These filters are fantastic little additions that help to cut out nasty glare and reflection in your shots, as well as helping to increase colour saturation and improve contrast of your image. These are handy for cutting down glare and reflection in any shots with water or sky. You can also use a lens hood to help reduce the glare.
Next time you head out on an adventure, pack your camera and start experimenting. You have a brilliant backdrop to capture and you never know what imagery you can create until you give it a go.