Adventure Photography Guide: How To Shoot Adventure Sports

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Written By JohnBarnes

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What is Adventure Photography?

Adventure photography is a type of photography that captures shots outdoors. It often involves extreme sports. Adventure photography includes skiing photography, mountain climbing photography, and kayaking photography.

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Adventure photography requires different skills than other types. Photographers must often be part of the adventure in order to capture the shot. For example, taking photos while climbing a mountain. This type of photography is best suited for photographers who love to be outdoors and are comfortable taking risks in order to capture the perfect shot.

Essential Adventure Photography Equipment

Adventure photography is more demanding than other types of photography. You will need the right equipment to be prepared for the field.

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Camera: The most popular workhorse camera used by adventure photographers is the DSLR. This camera type is available in a variety of lens options and prices. Although mirrorless cameras are relatively new in the world of photography, they offer a wider range of lens options and are lighter than larger DSLRs. You can shoot with your smartphone if you are new to adventure photography. Smartphones come with powerful cameras that are lightweight and easy-to-carry.

  • Lenses: You need to plan what shots you want to make on location and decide which lenses you should take. A 24-70mm (f/2.8), which is a good choice if you only need one lens, can be used to take just about any shot. It has the perfect blend of a wide lens and a telephoto lens. A 16-35mm lens (f/2.8) is another great option. It can capture stunning landscapes and breathtaking vistas. The 70-200mm lens (f/2.8) has a great range from medium to high telephoto. It can also be used to compress the background and take pictures of distant objects.
  • Power: You don’t want your camera to display a low battery warning when you are out on the field. Make sure you fully charge your batteries before you go out. Also, make sure to change your lighting batteries and bring extras if possible. If you plan on spending long periods outdoors, a solar charger is a good investment.
  • Storage: You’ll need to have a reliable storage solution if you plan to be out in the field for several days. This will allow you to save your photos and make more space on your camera. You will need memory cards and a solid state hard drive. Solid-state drives are safer than traditional drives because they don’t contain moving parts. They are also better at backing up media than traditional drives which can be more fragile.
  • Tripod: It’s great to have a tripod or monopod, depending on the shots you are taking. These can be used to produce sharp images, even in low light conditions or slower shutter speeds. They are also essential for long exposures. Monopods and tripods made of lightweight materials like aluminum should be compact.
  • Equipment for adventure: Proper footwear and clothing are crucial. You will also need a sunscreen, a hydration bladder and a GPS. Adventure photographers also need an adventuring backpack. A waterproof backpack with a capacity of 35 liters is safe and can withstand the elements.

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Four Tips to Shoot Adventure Photography

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These are some great tips to capture amazing adventure photos.

  1. Do your homework. Adventure photography is the most difficult type of photography. You need to be knowledgeable about the subject matter before you can photograph it for adventure photography. This is especially true if you are going into dangerous or remote areas. Before you start taking pictures from the top of a mountain, make sure you have a good understanding of safety precautions. It will become second-nature and familiar if you spend time with the activity. Once you have a solid foundation and are able to think clearly about the activity, you can add photography to the mix. Before you start building your adventure photography skills, build your adventure skills.
  2. Know your light. If you are shooting outdoors, the sun is your only light source. Natural light will be your greatest asset and also your greatest challenge. Unlike indoor and portrait photography, you won’t have much control over the light intensity or direction. Midday photography can create harsh shadows and washed out highlights that can cause you to lose lots of details. When you are shooting with the sun high up in the sky, ensure that the sun is behind you. This will allow the sun to illuminate your scene and not overwhelm it. When the light is softening and diffuser, the best time to photograph outdoors with natural lighting is in the morning and evening. You will need to be at your location before sunrise or sunset to capture the golden hour.
  3. Natural lines are the best. A leading line is an element that guides the eye through a photograph. These lines can be very obvious (e.g. a stream or train track) or subtler. The leading lines should start in the foreground and go to the focal point or other element in the background. If you don’t want to create drama or unease, the horizon line should be kept at the same level. However, it is important to pay attention to how it divides your composition. If the horizon lines run straight through the middle, it can make your photo appear skewed. You may also miss out on interesting elements in either the foreground or sky.
  4. Learn how to assess and reduce risk. Adventure photography often has higher consequences than other photography–climbing mountains, whitewater rafting, and snowboarding are all higher-risk activities than shooting portraits. It is important to practice. The more you do something, the better it will become. You will be able to assess whether there are actual or perceived risks in the activity, which will help you make informed decisions and avoid getting into trouble.