10 TIPS FOR SHOOTING OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY THAT CONVERT
These 10 tips for shooting outdoor photography that converts to shooting great outdoor photographs. The mere fact that most elements within your environment are not directly in your control, plus the various challenges one might encounter and yet these are opportunities to birth forth the desired output of optimum value; this ignites the excitement with outdoor photography.
Here are some tips for shooting better outdoor photographs
1. Prepare for the Outdoors
Taking some time out to plan and prepare for an outdoor shoot might be your best investment for that project. There are many advantages like scouting for the best locations and backgrounds, planning the shoot theme, identifying what level of assistance you need, planning the gear, prepping for animal attacks like bees, bears, raccoons, welfare, etc. Plan and Prepare.
2. Study Your Environment
Your shoot environment may be way beyond your control and to some extent, there is little you can do. Taking the time to study your environment and understand the various environmental dynamics that will help produce the desired output is of utmost importance.
3. Identify the Gear you’ll Need
Having a proper pick of gear you’ll need for your shoot is important because most times going back for a replacement or additional gear (camera, lens, filter, etc) may not be immediately available and so packing it out and properly at that contributes to keeping the shoot organized and smooth.
4. Know and Understand your Gear
This is key in shooting outdoor photography. Shoot with a camera that is optimal. As a fundamental principle, shoot with a lens at/longer than 50mm, shoot with a fast lens and your aperture wide open (for great use of natural light and background blur) and use manual, never use your automatic setting.
5. Shoot in RAW format
Be professional, shoot in RAW format. This is an uncompressed file format that most DSLR cameras should allow you to shoot in. Shooting in RAW tells your camera to not touch anything when you snap a photo — your camera will leave it exactly as it is, allowing you more control in post-processing to fine-tune what you want without anything else getting in the way.
6. Invest excellence in your subject
Whether you’re shooting a model, wildlife, natural objects, take time to invest in bringing the subject to excellence. For a model, ensure makeup and wardrobe fit to portray the desired result. For wildlife, studying the animal/insect to understand their patterns help output excellence. Whilst for natural objects, knowing the best angles and exposure to accentuate their shape and form is vital. Invest in your subject.
7. Learn the sunny ƒ/16 Rule
The sunny ƒ/16 rule states that on a sunny day, with your aperture value set to ƒ/16, your shutter speed will be the inverse of the current ISO speed. For example, in shooting outdoor photography, if your camera is set to ISO 100, and your aperture value is ƒ/16, your shutter speed will be 1/100th of a second. On a cloudy day (or when in the shade), you simply use ƒ/8 instead. If you own an incident light meter or gray card, use either for the most accurate exposure instead. Shoot in the shade or better still at the “Golden-Hour” of the day.
8. Select the appropriate focus points for portraits; Don’t choose all
When you pick the autofocus option that allows the camera to select focus points, you are doing your portraits a terrible disservice. This feature of a camera is usually designed to pick whatever is closest to the lens and focus there. Sometimes, the camera will choose a cluster of focus points and make a “best guess” based on averaging the distance between all of the chosen points. Using the appropriate focus point (depending on your desired output) gives you, the photographer, ultimate control.
9. Shoot outside the box
You are not in the studio, you are shooting outdoors, so ensure you take advantage of the biggest perk of outdoor photography — the sheer amount of spontaneity. Don’t keep your focus so narrowed on your subject that you forget to look around you.
When you’re outside there are plenty of opportunities to improvise and go against your initial plans. And sometimes those photos are the ones that elevate your subject matter into something else entirely.
10. Learn/Upgrade your Post-processing Skill
Most photographers agree that there is an 80/20 ratio to photography. 80% of your photograph is created at the moment when you’re out there photographing your model. The other 20% is created afterward in front of your computer.
If you haven’t already, learn software like Adobe Photoshop. Understand the fundamentals of retouching and post-processing. So, once you understand it, get good at it. Most photography today is adjusted on a computer — that’s why you shoot RAW.
If you want to just use a photo editing app, there are also many options to download.
With these tips, you will see improvement in your images. Not just in the technical qualities, but the overall success of the portraits as well.
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