5-Tips for Documenting Your Thru-Hike
1. Gold Hour
Light dramatically effects a photograph. If all your photos are taken during the middle of the day , then they’ll most likely turn out over-exposed and flat.
To combat this, take advantage of Golden Hour– a time when light’s at its best. This small window exists a half hour before and after the sun rises, or sets. Expect solid results if your photos are snapped within this time.
What makes a subject in a nature photograph pop is depth.
If you see a cool bug, pinecone, or something lower to the ground don’t just point your camera at it! Lay out on the ground and get eye level with whatever it is (If it’s a rattlesnake be careful!). Dropping to this level helps separate objects from the background by creating blur, while the subject stays sharp. This technique is especially useful when photographing our four legged companions on the trail.
3. Confine yourself
It sounds crazy to confine yourself on a thru-hike, but do it!
If you take an area (such as a camp at golden hour) and try to capture the textures, colors, shapes and interesting subjects within that scene, you’ll work your eye and become a more intuitive photographer.
4. Don’t be afraid of Auto – I’m self trained.
To get passed the complexities of manual controls on my DSLR I first flipped it to Auto mode. It’s important to not be intimidated by your camera, and actually use it. Once you’ve mastered light, composition, and depth using the automatic settings, then begin playing with the manual functions and take your photography to the next level.
5. Don’t be afraid – Photography is about capturing the world around you.
Done right, a camera won’t inhibit your experience, but enhance it- allowing you to see the world in a different way, capture and share it. When you are out there in the mountains, hitch hiking, eating crazy food and being general hiker trash, don’t be afraid to click away!
You won’t regret it. – Andy Laub, Director of As It Happens TV
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