Practical Photography (UK) - - Your Free Gifts -

There’s some­thing truly spe­cial about ven­tur­ing out into the great un­known, with noth­ing but a back­pack filled with essen­tials and your cam­era loyal at your side. no mat­ter whether you’re plan­ning a ca­sual sun­day af­ter­noon ram­ble or more of a three-day hike in the moun­tains, cap­tur­ing the jour­ney you un­der­take is a fan­tas­tic way to both ex­pand your port­fo­lio and ex­per­i­ment with new pho­to­graphic tech­niques.

Shoot hand­held

When you think of out­door pho­tog­ra­phy, your mind may au­to­mat­i­cally jump to epic long-ex­po­sure land­scapes. While ad­mit­tedly im­pres­sive, tra­di­tional land­scape pho­tos can in­volve hours of wait­ing for the right light and tweak­ing the com­po­si­tion un­til you cap­ture the shot you want. how­ever, the beauty of this project is that rather than com­ing away with one amaz­ing im­age that you’re proud of, you’ll end up with sev­eral.

the key as­pect of this tech­nique is es­chew­ing your tri­pod and in­stead opt­ing to shoot hand­held. this will give you a greater flex­i­bil­ity in ad­just­ing your com­po­si­tions, as you won’t have to man­u­ally move your tri­pod each time you want to shift slightly to the left. this means that you can eas­ily move around your sub­jects, shoot­ing as you go. it also makes it eas­ier for you to ‘go incog­nito’, as you will be able to cap­ture candid shots with­out your friends even re­al­is­ing that your cam­era is trained on them. While this is a fan­tas­tic way to cap­ture your out­door ad­ven­ture, there are a few tech­ni­cal as­pects you need to keep in mind…

Firstly, as both you and your sub­jects will be con­stantly mov­ing around, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your shut­ter speed. as your friends will most likely be walk­ing, not run­ning, you should be fine with a min­i­mum shut­ter speed of 1/160sec. Dou­ble-check your im­ages and zoom in to see whether there’s any un­wanted mo­tion blur. you should also re­mem­ber that the closer you are to your sub­ject, the faster your shut­ter speed will need to be to

Con­tin­u­ous Fo­cus­ing is great for keep­ing mov­ing Sub­jects Tack-sharp

avoid mo­tion blur. So, if your friends are walk­ing in the dis­tance, you could cap­ture a sharp im­age with 1/60sec. But, if they are only a few feet away from you, a shut­ter speed this slow would likely ren­der them as a blur.

While many pho­tog­ra­phers swear by shoot­ing in manual, it’s not the be-all and end-all of pho­tog­ra­phy. in fact, you can ex­ert a good de­gree of your ex­po­sure by shoot­ing in aper­ture-pri­or­ity mode. By set­ting your cam­era to a or av, you’ll be able to se­lect the aper­ture you want to use while let­ting the cam­era au­to­mat­i­cally cal­cu­late the shut­ter speed for you (tak­ing into ac­count the iSo you’ve set as well). how­ever, you’re not tied down to what your cam­era thinks your ex­po­sure should be. the best way to take full con­trol over your set­tings is to use the ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion but­ton to lighten or darken your scene.

if you’re as lucky as we were with the weather, main­tain­ing your min­i­mum shut­ter speed should be sim­ple. on over­cast days, or to­wards sun­set, you may no­tice your shut­ter speed be­comes too slow. if this is the case, then you’ll need to take a look at your iSo and see whether it needs to be pushed up. While we’d rec­om­mend that you try not to go above iSo 3200, the slight ap­pear­ance of noise is prefer­able to a blurry shot.

Get the right fo­cus

For a per­fectly fo­cused photo, shoot in ai Servo aF or aF-c. con­tin­u­ous fo­cus­ing is great for keep­ing mov­ing sub­jects tack-sharp. While your friends will only be walk­ing, they’re still go­ing to be mov­ing through the frame as you

shoot. Us­ing con­tin­u­ous fo­cus­ing al­lows you to track your sub­ject as they move and main­tain a sharp fo­cus. a word of warn­ing – this mode uses a lot of bat­tery power, so we rec­om­mend that you switch to aF-S when­ever the group is sta­tion­ary to save power.

you should also set your cam­era to sin­gle point aF, which gives you one fo­cus point that you can move around the scene us­ing the D-pad on the back of your cam­era. if you shoot with mul­ti­ple fo­cus points, you may find that your cam­era ends up fo­cus­ing on the wrong area in your im­age. Sin­gle point aF gives you the con­trol to de­cide ex­actly where you want the fo­cus to be.

Ex­pert tu­ition Pro hints & tips Shoot­ing ad­vice Cam­era skills

Above Use stone path­ways as a lead-in line to draw your view­ers’ eyes to­wards the sub­jects lo­cated in the dis­tance.

Above Cap­ture candid mo­ments where your friends are talk­ing be­tween them­selves to add a sense of nar­ra­tive to your im­ages.

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