If you like taking beautiful photos, then camping is the best place for you. Camping is a great way to get away from everything and just enjoy nature. But, if you are a beginner and you do not know how to take great photos while camping, then this can be very difficult for you.
In this article, we are going to give you some really great tips that will help you get better photos when you are camping. These tips will also work for you when you are taking photos anywhere else.
Prepare Everything Carefully
1. Check The Forecast Before You Go Camping
Sony ILCE-7RM2 – Focal Length 24.0mm – Aperture ƒ/10 – Shutter Speed 1/320s – ISO 640
Make sure to check the weather forecast before you go camping. There are many variables that can drastically alter the appearance of the outdoors, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. Rain can make everything soggy and unpleasant; snow can turn everything white and pristine, or it can completely cover everything in a thick layer of slush, which can quickly turn into a muddy quagmire.
Camping can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be a very scary one. Make sure you are prepared and have the right gear to make it as safe and pleasurable as possible.
2. Bring The Right Equipment
You don’t need the world’s most expensive gear to take great photos when you are camping. However, it is important to bring the right gear. You see, the kind of gear you need will depend on what you want to photograph. If you are going to photograph people, you will need different lenses and lighting than if you are going to photograph the scenery. Also, you will need different types of memory cards and different types of batteries for your camera. So, the first thing you should do before you go camping is to make a “to do” list of all the things you will need. Then, check off each item as you pack it. This will help you avoid forgetting something important.
3. Bring A Chair
Camping is all about being comfortable. Bring a chair with you whenever you go camping, even if it’s just for a day trip. You can use it under a tree for shade, set it up near a fire for heat, or even use it as a prop for a landscape photograph. It will make your experience that much more enjoyable.
4. Wear Layers In Cold Weather
Layers are the key to surviving camping trips in the cold. You should dress in several thin layers. Wear a long sleeved shirt underneath a T-shirt. Wear a pair of wool socks inside a pair of cotton socks. Wear a hat. Wear gloves. You get the idea. Layers keep you from getting chills and they insulate you from the wind.
It’s surprising how many people don’t think to layer up when they go camping. They say things like, “I’ll just be warm enough.” Or, “It doesn’t matter, I’ll just put on a sweater.” That might be true if you are a seasoned pro, or if you are going to a tropical climate. But you should not make that assumption about your own level of experience and fitness. Wear layers!
5. Bring A Spare Bag
It is surprising how few people bring a second bag to a camping trip. Even if you only use it to hold your camera, a small baggie with a rubber band around it and stuck to the bottom of your camera bag will save you a lot of hassle and grief. You never know when you might need it: To hold your wallet, your keys, or your mobile phone so you don’t lose them in the woods… or even to hold some snacks or a drink.
6. Don’t Ignore Your Feet
Inevitably, you are going to be standing on uneven ground, wet grass, or even snow or ice. Make sure you are wearing comfortable, well-cushioned shoes, and that you are aware of the terrain ahead of you. If you are going to be photographing in a remote area, it is also a good idea to bring along some extra footwear in a couple of pairs of sneakers or boots. By the way, you should always carry a spare pair of socks in your day pack or camera bag in case you get blisters or your feet get wet.
7. Give Your Location To A Friend
When you are going on a long trip, it is always a good idea to tell someone – a close friend or family member – exactly where you are going and when you expect to return. That way, if anything goes wrong, they will know exactly where to look for you. It also makes it possible for them to contact you if necessary.
Tips Camping Photography
1. Protect Your Gear
Sony ILCE-7RM2 – Focal Length 16.0mm – Aperture ƒ/4 – Shutter Speed 1/125s – ISO 640
Camping is all about being self reliant and having the ability to improvise. However, it is vital to remember that even the most “creative” camping trip can be ruined by a simple, easily avoidable mistake. A good example of this is the issue of storing your camera gear.
Most people put their camera gear in a pack or chest-pack. This is fine for those who are only going to be using their gear for recreation, but if you are serious about becoming a good photographer, you need to start treating your gear like it is a baby. Your gear needs to be in a safe place where it will be protected from the elements, where it will be easy to get to, and where it will be easy to clean.
+ If you are going to take your gear with you on a long hike or a backpacking trip, then you should put your gear in a dry bag.
+ If you are going to store it at your campsite, then you should consider putting it in a lockable bag or storage container.
2. Capture What Is Unique About Camping
It is easy to get lost in the mundane details of taking a great camping trip. However, the most memorable trips are often the ones where we push ourselves to find the unusual, the unexpected, the new and different.
Look for the little quirks that make your campsite or your adventure special. It could be the perfect view from your tent, the way the sun sets over the mountains, the pattern the rain falls in, the animal you saw, or even the way the wind rustled the trees. All of these are things that, when you look back, will remind you of your special trip.
3. Change Your Perspective
A great way to add interest to your images is to change your point of view. You don’t necessarily have to move the entire camera, but changing your perspective can be as simple as moving just a few feet or raising or lowering your camera. If you are photographing a campsite, for example, try shooting from a different angle and see if that changes the mood of the image. Do you notice any differences?
4. Play With The Unique Light
Sony ILCE-7RM2 – Focal Length 70mm – Aperture ƒ/5 – Shutter Speed 1/125s – ISO 800
When you are shooting in the middle of the day, there is a certain quality to light that is different from the light that is available just before sunrise or after sunset.
Early morning and late afternoon light has a very strong presence, almost as if it were a spotlight shining down on whatever is in its path. The light is very directional and unforgiving – if you miss your mark by even the tiniest fraction, you will completely destroy your image.
Later in the day, though, the sun is lower in the sky and has moved more towards the horizon. This causes a softening of the light, as it no longer has to travel as far to reach your subject and instead bathes everything in a warm, golden glow. It’s at this time of day that you can start to use interesting and unusual camera angles and unique camera settings to really make your images stand out.
5. Use Creative Composition
Sony ILCE-7RM2 – Focal Length 24.0mm – Aperture ƒ/4 – Shutter Speed 1/250s – ISO 100
A great way to make your photos more interesting is to use creative composition. Composition is the arrangement of elements in a picture. When you are composing your photo, think about what is leading your eye into the picture. Think about what is pulling your eye out of the picture. What would make the photo more interesting? Would a tree or bush in front of your subject attract your attention and lead your eye into the photo?
Try using unusual or atypical angles and positions and see what happens. Experiment with depth of field and see how it affects your photos. Look for ways to make your subject stand out from the background and add interest.
6. Use Filters And A Polarizer
Both of these add a whole new dimension to your images. A polarizer is simply a filter that is placed over the front of your lens to “polarize” the light coming through it. This causes the light to vibrate in a different way and makes it behave differently when it reaches your sensor. This has the effect of making your photos look more dramatic… and less like they have been “tampered with.”
Filters are a bit more complex. They consist of a stack of tiny, square, transparent filters, that are cemented to a backing. There are many different types of filters, each designed to affect the light in a certain way. The most useful ones for a beginner are “graduated neutral density” (GND) filters. These have a gray tint to them and are used to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor by a set percentage. You can use them to brighten up a dark image or to darken a light image.
Using both a polarizer and a GND filter will give you the best of both worlds… and allow you to take some truly spectacular images.
7.Think About Creating A Set Of Photos
Often, when people think about taking great camping photos, they only think about the “lucky” shots – those that were taken with a clear view of the sunset, or those that show themself in the foreground.
However, there is a far greater chance of getting great photos when you are thinking about the trip as a whole, and creating a series of photos that tell a story. If you are camping in a remote area, you could end up with hundreds of photos that are not particularly “lucky” – but they will all be part of a coherent story.
8. Night Sky And Milky Way Photography
Sony ILCE-7RM2 – Focal Length 17.0mm – Aperture ƒ/2.8 – Shutter Speed 30s – ISO 200
If you are lucky enough to be able to go camping during the night with nothing else to do but look up at the stars, you will find it an invaluable experience. There is something incredibly special about being outside under the stars with no light pollution to interfere… and no cellphone signal either! Just sit back and watch as the constellations come to life before your very eyes, you will see things you have never seen before. It is a truly magical time, and if you use a small, lightweight tripod and a remote release to avoid having to hold down the shutter button, you will be able to capture some truly breathtaking images.
Set your camera up so the lens is parallel to the horizon, and then point it at the night sky. You will need to use a long exposure (1-2 minutes) to capture the movement of the stars across the sky. You can then edit out the foreground (you) and any unwanted background elements and create an interesting, minimalist image of the stars and the moon.
Keep doing this until you get a long sequence of images. Then, go back in the morning and process the photos in Photoshop or Lightroom. The resulting photograph will be a unique record of a starry sky that is very different from any you have seen before.
If you like taking photos and you like to go camping, you should definitely pay attention to the tips that are written above. These tips will help you take amazing photos while you are on a camping trip.
Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the nature and get to know it better. If you do it right, you will have great memories that will last a lifetime.