There are many aspects that make up outdoor photography. These include landscape, street, nature, night, aerial, macro, architecture, panoramic, travel and wildlife photography, as well as outdoor sports and portraits, etc. You can take shots of anything you please when you’re outdoors. However, there are a few tips you should consider to make sure you get the best photos possible and to keep your camera in good working order when shooting outdoors. Here are some useful outdoor photography tips.
1. Use a Lens Hood
A lens hood is an ideal way to protect your photos from against lens flare. The lens hood simply fits over the end of the lens and it’ll help cut down on flare that’s caused by a bright light source. Basically, the sun could be too bright for your lens and the photograph could be ruined. If the light reaches the lens, but isn’t in your field of view, it can produce a haze which can reduce the contrast in the photo and actually wash out the image.
2. Use a Haze Filter
There are several types of filters that can come in handy when shooting outdoors. A haze filter can be used to get rid of haze that’s formed by minute particles of dust and vapor. The haze usually settles in the atmosphere which means it can affect distant scenes. When you use a filter which can absorb scattered sunlight you’ll be able to penetrate haze. An infrared model is the best to cut through haze.
3. Use a Polarizing Filter
A polarizing filter is used to eliminate or reduce reflections. They’re ideal when you want to photograph water and/or glass. A polarizing filter is also useful for reducing effects of haze as well as darkening the blue sky. There are several types of polarizing filters which can increase an image’s color saturation without affecting the hues of image colors.
4. Use a UV Filter
A UV filter is basically used to protect your camera lens from scratches, moisture, fingerprints, and dust etc. You won’t be able to capture crisp and clear images with a dirty lens. It’s a thin filter which is screwed onto the end of your lens for protection.
5. Use Fill Flash
Even when your outdoors you might find there isn’t enough light available to take your photo. If this is the case you can use your flash unit. In addition, if it’s a bright, sunny day and there are shadows, you can use the flash to fill these shadows in. This common photography technique is known as fill flash.
6. Place a Person in Landscape Shots
If you want the viewer to comprehend the scale of your landscape shot you can place a person in the image. This will enable them to appreciate the size of your outdoor subject. For instance, placing a person at the bottom of a waterfall will allow them to see just how big the falls are. It’s a good idea to take two shots, one with the person and one without.
7. Depth of Field
If you want as much of the image as possible to be in focus you should use a high (small) aperture setting as this will allow for greater depth of field. The smaller aperture will allow less light into your camera, but you’ll need slow down the shutter speed and/or increase your ISO setting.
8. Use a Tripod
If you decide to extend your shutter speed when using a small aperture setting for greater depth of field it’s a good idea to use a tripod to keep the camera as steady as can be. A tripod is actually helpful no matter what shutter speed you’re using.
9. Take Advantage of Weather Conditions
You don’t need a bright, sunny day to capture good outdoor photos. A rainy, misty, snowy, foggy, cloudy, stormy, and dull day is just as good. These conditions usually create moods that come with ominous overtones. Some of the best outdoor photos you’ll ever see are taken in bad weather conditions as they can be very dramatic. A sunset or a rainbow on a stormy night can be simply amazing.
10. Shoot at Dusk and/or Dawn
Most photographers like to take landscape shots at dusk and/or dawn since the natural light is generally the best at these times and it adds life to the images. The angle of the light can often create some pretty interesting patterns, dimensions, and textures.