MINUTES OF EXPERT ADVICE
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.
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.
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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.