Jake Norton has updated his MountainWorld Blog with an excellent article on how to take better expedition photos. There are ten tips in all and they come from a position of experience, as Jake has spent plenty of time on Everest and has been a mountain guide for years, all the while building an impressive portfolio of photographs.
Jake makes some excellent suggestions that work well for photography in general, and not just expedition photos. With his “Rule of Thirds” he recommends splitting your shot into thirds and putting the main subject in the left or right third, or the top or bottom. This will make for more interesting photos, with the main subject not necessarily appearing in the middle of the shot.
He also recommends experimenting with your shots, especially on the zooms. Take some close shots, and also pull back. Shoot from different angles. Think about your subject matter and frame it in an interesting way. Don’t just use your lens to get a good shot, move your legs and go to a different spot. Use your equipment and your own sense of what looks good to capture the moment.
There are plenty of other great tips and suggestions on the list as well. If you’re interested in taking better outdoor photos in general, or are planning an amazing trip somewhere and want some ideas on how to capture the spirit of that place, than I highly recommend reading through Jake’s tips and thinking about each of them independently.
Personally, I have an interest in photography, and want to learn to shoot better shots. When I was in Africa earlier this year, I had some excellent photo opportunities, and at first I shot everything in sight. But later, when I slowed down and started thinking about my shots, and composing them, I was much happier with my results. At the time, I was shooting with a Nikon D50, which a few months later I loaned to a friend, who brought it back from Alaska in a non-functional state. (Read: She broke it!) I recently replaced it with a new Nikon D40, which I’ve just begun to play with. I’ll write a full review once I’ve had more time with it, but one thing I can say at this point, that I LOVE the size. For a DSLR, it’s small, and compact, and fits very nicely in a backpack, and the few shots I’ve taken with it so far have been very nice.
Great photos really capture the moment and the place. With Jake’s tips, we can all capture our adventures a bit better, and bring them home to share with our friends and family. Thanks for the help Jake!