Outdoor Photography Tips
Are you preparing to take some more striking photographs of yourself or other people in the great outdoors? With COVID-19 restrictions hopefully easing over the coming year, you will be able to explore more locations and search for some of the best areas to do photoshoots.
Location is one of the keys to taking great shots outdoors because there are so many factors that can be affected by it. From background to lighting, the location of your photo makes all the difference when it comes to the quality of the shot.
Read on for some quick tips about capturing that perfect shot outdoors!
The importance of location
It’s pretty simple to pick out some classically-beautiful locations such as a forest, lake or meadow. Nature holds plenty of awesome photo opportunities, but how can you get a bit more experimental? Consider a couple of locational choices that you might not usually go for. How about an abandoned building, beautiful backyard scenery, staircase or car?
Many outdoor locations actually offer interesting props that the subject of your photograph can pose with. Whether it’s a tree to lean up against or a bridge to stand on top of, an outdoor environment offers endless opportunities for interesting photos when compared to a sterile studio setting.
Always consider lighting
When outdoors, lighting is usually controlled by factors outside of your influence. From the changing of the seasons to the time of day, lighting can transform the mood of a photo. In winter, it is much more achievable to produce darker photos in which your subjects are shrouded by mist or fog. In the summer, you are going to see some brilliant beams of light that illuminate all the features of the people in your photo!
Do be careful here though - you will want to keep people out of intense sunlight because they are likely to squint or begin sweating. This could definitely ruin the mood you were aiming for! Try to shoot in spaces of open shade if you are taking photos on a very sunny day.
As a rule of thumb, it is generally easier to get aesthetically-pleasing and balanced photos on rather overcast days. Sunny days can sometimes be too harsh, and clouds do a great job of keeping things light without having sunbeams messing around with your lens.
‘Golden hours’ that are great for avoiding harsh shadows are 2-3 hours after sunrise and 2-3 hours before sunset. In the middle of the day, you are more likely to get harsh glare from the sun shining directly above the people in your photo.
Take plenty of photos!
You never know when a dark cloud might ruin your perfect shot, or a passer-by could block your view. Be sure to take a bunch of photos so you can pick the best ones to take to post-production. The people you are taking photos of might let a genuinely captivating facial expression cross their face for just half a second, so have your camera working away at all times.
Combine your resources to tell a story
So, you have lighting, your location and your subject(s). Your task as a photographer is to capture a human pose that complements your location and lighting in order to convey a message, mood or story.
When directing your subject, make sure you give them instructions on what to do with each part of their body so you can achieve this goal. You don’t want hands in pockets for a shot that is supposed to capture a mood of euphoria!
If you can successfully find an impactful location that does a great job of telling a story alongside the movement of the people in your photo, you are onto a winner.