Check out the link to discover tips for composition, lighting, editing, finding the right location, and getting great photo gear for your next outdoor photoshoot session!
There is no denying the fact that mother nature can be a lovely muse. But, when it comes to outdoor photography, with its constantly changing conditions, it can also be challenging, especially for amateur photographers at times. While professional photography courses and ample practice will allow you to get the hang of it in a certain time, there are a few steps that you can take immediately in order to level up your outdoor photography experience. In this blog, we are going to share some amazing and creative photography tips that will help you to better document the true majesty of the great outdoors in the most wonderful way possible.
If always a great idea when it comes to planning ahead. If your client has chosen an outdoor photography session, then planning ahead always sounds like an obvious first step, but there are times many professional photographers neglect it. Though at times it feels like busywork, especially when you are too excited to head outside and shoot your clients in the great outdoor settings. But, failing to plan can sabotage the final product in various ways.
But, the very first thing that being a photographer you should consider is the time of the day and weather, the sunrise and sunset, are indeed two of the best times of the day to document professional photographs in a dazzling natural light. So, before you head for the photo shoot location, make sure you are doing proper research on the sunrise and sunset so that you can creatively set the cloud to blue sky ratio. In fact, you must look for other location-specific information such as tide schedules so that your client’s professional outdoor photography session would not get disturbed in any way.
Well, there is a various mobile application that makes it easier than ever before to cover all your bases before heading for your outdoor shoot. There are various applications for knowing the tide levels, getting up-to-the-second weather for your client’s chosen location, or even finding the perfect dark sky moment for incredible night photography shots. In short, there is just no excuse anymore for getting caught in the rain or getting disturbed during the outdoor photoshoot session.
But, if you ask for our advice, we always suggest our photographers scout out the location they are heading for the photoshoot session in person before the actual photoshoot session. Scouting locations on your own will allow you to look for scenes, objects, and compositions that might work wonders for the professional shots captured by you.
If you are pursuing photography professionally, we are very much sure that you already have a professional camera, more likely a DSLR, lens, and some other photography tools. But, regardless of what your professional camera bag is, you can easily step outside and shoot beautiful and amazing professional shots. We all know that photography is all about creativity, so you don’t need to stress much if you don’t have the latest and most expensive camera gear. You are still good to go for your next outdoor professional photoshoot session. But, the right photography gear does indeed offer great advantages to photographers, when whey they are shooting in the great outdoors. Just a professional tip here. Consider adding these gears to your bag in order to have a remarkable outdoor photography experience. Well, they are not at all mandatory, but they do make a great difference in your capabilities.
Wide Angle Lens- Well, capturing nature at its best at times can be an overwhelming experience. They are glorious but vast and expansive, therefore, there are times when a regular camera lens just can’t do a view justice. So, just give yourself a leg up simply by using a wide-camera angle lens of your choice. Most preferably, go for (a 35-24mm) lens if you are going for outdoor photography sessions. With a wide camera angle lens, you will be able to emphasize the sky in interesting ways or can even angle it down to bring the focus on the details or patterns on the ground while keeping your subject the center of attention. Just be aware though, as a wide-angle lens usually distorts the edges of the frames, causing some straight lines to appear to lean inward. And just because a wide-angle lens can capture so much of the scene, you might be needing to put some extra effort into emphasizing your main subject in the photograph so that you don’t end up with any kind of distractions or any kind of cluttered composition.
Tripod- Having a tripod will indeed elevate your outdoor photography experience. Tripods eliminate camera shake while allowing you to use wide-angle lenses or shoot with longer exposure settings coming away leading to blurry and distorted photographs. Having a tripod during your outdoor photography session will allow you more room for endless creative shots. All you have to do is to adjust the height for low-or-high-angle shots, or just set up your camera in mud or water and just use a cable release in order to snapshot an especially rustic view in the best of frames.
Camera Release- A camera release is a little handy device, which usually costs about $30. All you have to do is to plug this device into your camera and it will allow you to operate it from a distance, safeguarding the shot against the jolt of your finger simply just by pushing the shutter release button.
Well, being a professional photographer, it is very important to find the right composition. It is absolutely true that finding the right and ideal composition at times can be the trickiest part of outdoor photography that a photographer gets to experience. Adjusting the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO at times can feel like a work of science, but using the elements of composition in harmony is truly an art. Luckily there are certain basic principles of composition that generations of artists have turned to for centuries when it comes to professional photography sessions, especially outdoor photography sessions.
Here are two composition techniques that, being a professional you should keep in your mind in order to capture mind-blowing photographs in the great natural lights. Let’s have a look at the two outdoor photography compositions for a better understanding of composition.
Visual Weight- Any time our eyes are open, our brains are constantly busy assigning varying degrees of importance to every detail we see! When it comes to art, this is referred to as visual hierarchy. In short, the more pull an element has on the viewer’s focus, the higher it is in that hierarchy, and the more visual weight it will have. For all great works of art, including professional photography, it is always great to use visual hierarchies strategically in order to move the viewer’s eye through the composition pleasingly or effectively, resulting in great professional shots. If you are thorough with the visual hierarchies, it means that half of the battle of photography composition is achieved. You can easily develop this skill simply by looking at photographs, and other works of art for a better and clear understanding. All you have to do is to see what draws your eye first and then how you are moving your eyes through the composition from there. And then, think about how you can apply those compositional elements to your photography.
Simplification- Just like another kind, photography is also a form of communication. This communication process is very much simple. You are capturing what you see and then passing it along to your viewer, but in a truly artful professional photograph that features endless emotions and beautiful expressions. Consider a simple composition, like an endless field of rolling wheat at sunset, which makes the goal easier and also achievable. There are times when there is no uncertainty about what the actual subject is, a viewer can consider their feelings around the image and make their own perception. In the meanwhile, a photograph that has a lot going on leads to confusion. With so many elements in a photograph, it gets a bit tricky for viewers to figure out what are the main and focused details that they should consider while looking at the photograph before considering how they should feel about that photograph. So, if you are shooting for your client in the great outdoors, and you are in doubt, just keep it simple by focusing on a single subject or finding a simple but sweeping landscape to bring out the best in the photographs.
Talking about the focal point when it comes to photography then it is the object or element that most powerfully attracts everyone’s eye and also the attention. The focal point in any professional photograph might be lighter, brighter, more detailed, or even more emotionally weighted than any other element in the photograph. In photography, darker elements are often perceived as shadows or negative space and are thus usually consigned to the bottom of the hierarchy, but it can work the other way around if something dark is starkly contrasted against lighter elements.
If we talk about viewers, then their eyes will always look for the focal point within a photograph, so almost all skilled photographers try their best to control their viewer’s eye’s movement through the composition just by choosing the subject strategically.
We all know that our brain has certain spots in a composition where it is more likely to find a focal point. Being a photographer, when you divide an image into thirds horizontally and vertically, there are generally four points where vertical and horizontal lines intersect. Those intersecting points are called the sweet spots, and using them to your advantage is called the “rule of thirds”. So, once you have chosen a focal point, all you have to do is to consider placing it at one of those intersections for a fool-proof composition.
Therefore, it is always important to keep the thirds in your mind especially when you are shooting outdoors. Make sure you are always placing your subject in one of these intersecting lines. It is very important as the human eye is just trained to work that way.
Photographing outdoors might look a bit messy at first glance but they indeed offer great possibilities to capture swoon-worthy photographs. But, if you look a little closer, you will be able to find that lines and patterns are everywhere, and they can be easily used in your photography not only to elevate the photographs but also to guide the viewer’s eye in the direction you want it to go without making any extra effort.
Leading lines are the things that go horizontally or vertically that lead the eye. They are called leading lines as they lead the viewer’s eye up to the subject or towards your point of focus or your point of interest.
The simplest or we say the key way to elevate your outdoor photography skills, is by learning to use long exposure. If you know how to use long exposure in your photographs, you will be able to create texture and also will be able to have perfect night shots. Talking about long exposure photography, it is used when you increase the length of time that the camera lens is open and receive the information, such as light, and motion, from the scene you are shooting. To capture everything in great frames, all you have to do is just adjust the shutter speed, an important factor that can vary hugely depending on what you are trying to document.
Long exposure is very much useful in documenting motion in order to create interesting textures. If there are kids to document, then you can consider using long exposures. There is absolutely no denying that long exposures are very much impressive, but the technique at times brings with it some complications.
Just Avoid Using Washed-Out Photos Using Lens Filters- The first challenge that many photographers experience while using long exposure is during the daytime. In the daytime, the lenses collect light in addition to motion. And during the daytime, that can produce washed-out photos when you are using long exposure for outdoor shoots. And this is where lens filters come in handy. Filters absorb lights, but no colors while allowing your camera to only collect motion without being deluged with the natural light during the long exposures.
Do Some Photo Retouching for Unwanted Motion- And the second challenge that comes with using long-exposure photography is that you won’t be able to pick and choose what motion you want to capture as you shoot your clients outdoors. While shooting in long exposure, you will be able to capture everything indiscriminately, which means that you are just bound to capture all the unwanted motion from time to time. Luckily, you can now easily solve this problem with photo retouching.
Well, it is absolutely true that nighttime photography and that too outdoors are quite challenging. The odds of stumbling into an artful photo might go out of the window once there is no sun in the sky, this goes for professional photographers too. But, night photography can also be amazingly arresting and evocative, and just learning just a few simple tricks will definitely free you from having to pack up your camera at nightfall. Here are certain tips and tricks that will help you excel in nighttime photography in the great outdoors and give mind-blowing results to your clients that they will love unconditionally.
So, if you shoot your couple during the nighttime, it is important to get your exposure triangle, which includes the balance of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, just right. Amongst all the three aspects of the exposure triangle, shutter speed is arguably the most important corner of that triangle. Long exposure photography allows the shutter speed to slow down, and is helpful during the day for documenting motion, but during the night, it is the secret weapon that will allow your lens ample light without a flash or other disruptive artificial source. So, whether you are shooting your client with the bustling nightlife and cityscape in the background where the stars are your only light source, just give your lens plenty of time to soak up all the available light in order to offer great and stunning night pictures.
So, concluding everything, all we want to say is that, there is almost nothing more magnificent to behold than the wonder of magical nature. Keep these pointers in your mind for perfecting your next outdoor photography session to empower you as you capture that blissful wonder and share it with others.
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