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A Beginner’s Guide To Outdoor Photography

Taking photos outdoors comes with several technical challenges. Compared to indoor photography, you have less control when you’re outside. The lights may come from anywhere. The weather may also change suddenly, requiring you to adjust your procedure.

On the contrary, outdoor photography will give you access to various possibilities and subjects. To prepare yourself and take advantage of those possibilities, read this beginner’s guide below:

1. Have The Right Accessories And Equipment

As with any photography, outdoor photography requires you to bring along the right accessories and equipment. As a newbie, you can shop around on online platforms similar to for the best photography accessories and equipment ideal for shooting outdoors.

To start with your outdoor photography journey, be sure to bring the right lenses with you. A standard 50mm lens for street photography is great, but if you’re trying to capture dramatic landscapes or wildlife in motion, you’ll need to bring more specialized lenses.

At a minimum, opt for a wide-angle lens to shoot landscapes. The good thing about these lenses is that they subtly exaggerate the difference between various objects in the background and foreground, creating a dramatic sense in your photo. If you wish to shoot wildlife, you might want to bring a telephoto lens. It’ll let you get some close-up shots from a distance.

Other than lenses, you should invest in a sturdy monopod or tripod. These will allow you to capture sharp images even when working with lowlight environments and slow shutter speeds.

When working with outdoor light, you also need a lens hood and polarizing filters to lessen the glare and atmospheric haze. Such accessories are also helpful when shooting distant objects like clouds and mountains. So, don’t forget to include them in your photography pouch or bag.

2. Learn About Your Surroundings

In terms of outdoor photography, it helps to learn about the location if you wish to get the best shot within a short time frame of ideal light during sunset and sunrise. If you’re planning to go to a familiar place, visualize everything and try creating photos in your mind before you take photos.

On the other hand, if you don’t know about the location, it’s best to research to make it easier to capture photos. Research the different manmade and other unique natural features around you. Knowing which direction the sun is setting or rising is essential, so you can use it as a subject and find ways how the light affects your photos.

Understanding the location as a whole will help you know where you want to move to get the best angles. Plus, it’ll help you work better with your preferred subject.

Photographer man taking nature photography with professional SLR camera at mountain landscape, New Zealand Banner. Tourist on travel adventure holiday shooting video on tripod panorama.

3. Know The Best Time Of The Day

Never take photos around midday. The sun’s position may cause harsh shadows. For example, if you focus on people as your objects, they’ll struggle not to squint. Late afternoon and early morning are the best times to take photos outside and aim for the hour after sunset and before sunrise.

4. Look For Unique Angles To Enhance Your Composition

When it comes to outdoor photography 101, being unique is essential. It’s how you could set yourself apart from average photography enthusiasts and take a few steps towards becoming a good photographer.

Regardless of your goals, be bold and put extra effort into getting your camera in the perfect position. Every photographer does crazy things to get the ideal angle. Depending on your style or technique, you can lie down on the ground, climb up trees, or hold your camera above your head.

Composition is a cornerstone of photography, so do your best to be conscious of how your subject lines up with the foreground or background. Be aware of every different line coming into place in an aesthetically pleasing manner within the frame.

If you don’t know how to compose decent outdoor photos, educating yourself on this subject would be an excellent idea. While composition may come naturally to others, some may need to learn it from scratch.

5. Look For Shade And Light

The light guides the photographer’s work, so it’s crucial to get it right. Even if it’s more challenging to control the available light outside compared to the studio, natural light can help create an energetic feel to your image.

Shooting at different times of the day may affect this. For instance, shooting a scene a few minutes after sunset may also give your photos a different look. So, if you want to have better-looking photos taken outside, look for areas with shade and light as soon as you arrive at your preferred location. This way, you’ll add better effects to your photos using natural light and without using artificial light and other lighting accessories.

Travel couple hikers tourists taking photo with camera at view of mountain landscape in Autumn forest Parc de la Jacques Cartier, Quebec, Canada. Panorama banner background.

6. Know Your Subject

If you want to capture a beautiful image, you should determine and learn about your subject. Your subject can be anything, depending on the concepts you have in mind.

For example, if you’re into wildlife and you want to take photos of a beautiful lion, search about how it moves and other essential things that may affect how you capture its photos. Understanding your subject’s behavior is the key to understanding where and when to shoot it.

7. Be Prepared

The best thing about outdoor photography is that you never know what will happen. Therefore, always keep your camera ready. Don’t switch it off and choose an auto-off setting.

With this, your camera will always be ready to shoot as soon as you press your shutter button rather than switching it off. For the same reason, don’t use a lens cap. Although removing it will only take a few seconds, it may cost you a beautiful shot.

8. Have Fun

Be it landscape, wildlife, or people you’re shooting, don’t forget to have fun and make the most out of it. Outdoor photography must not be a chore. It must be a process of discovering, learning, and enjoying what you produce. The more you have fun, the better your photos will be.

Final Thoughts

Outdoor photography doesn’t have to be complicated. Regardless of your photography skills, never be afraid to dive in and experiment. Use the guide above to start your journey as an outdoor photographer, and don’t stop learning until you master it.

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