Keeping an Outdoor Adventure Journal

Outdoor PicturesWow! What a wonderful time you’re having on your camping and outdoor adventures. Wouldn’t it be great to capture that excitement on film? You can! Here are a few tips to help you become a better outdoor photographer.

  • Tell a Story. Your pictures are worth a thousand words. Each photo shows a different interpretation of the moment. What is your interpretation?
  • Photography is a personal expression. Photograph the images that interest you. People – Landscapes – Emotions – Signs – Specific Objects – Activities – Formal – Natural – Action. Just be creative. Use your imagination.
  • Use a Small Camera. Keep it handy for those unexpected moments.
  • Make a visual impact with each photo. Take the time to compose a great picture. You want each one to communicate a feeling. A little patience can make for a great photograph.
  • Keep it Simple. Reduce clutter and confusion. Get closer to your subject. Get particularly close when taking pictures of people.
  • Keep colors to a minimum. Use the proper film and consider the use of filters.
  • Use good light. The best times to take pictures is during the “magic hours” of the day — an hour or two after sunrise and before sunset. This natural light is warmer–almost a golden tone. Use your flash as needed but remember that it is only effective when used eight to ten feet from your subject. Campfire photos make for interesting portraits with the glow of the flames. Be sure to use fast film and don’t focus directly on the light of the campfire.
  • Create depth by contrasting your background and main subject.
  • Pay attention to the details of your surroundings. Search for interesting subjects. Look for the things that most people don’t see. The smaller objects in the larger picture. Ex. leaves, flowers, water, ice etc. Eliminate distracting details from your viewfinder such as poles, walls etc. Keep your subject out of the center of the picture.
  • Take pictures of people within your scenery. This makes the photo feel more real and also gives the landscape a measurable perspective. Don’t forget to put yourself in some of the photos. Use a tripod, a rock or have someone else take the picture.
  • Experiment with various lenses. Work with different angles. Zoom in close. Photograph from above the subject. Use different lighting. Various weather conditions can create some very unique and dramatic photos.
  • Look for unusual views of familiar subjects. Hike to unique vantage points.
  • Capture the fun found in everyday moments.
  • Take a ton pictures. You’ll get some great photos.
  • Label them. Look at those handouts found at visitors centers with your journal labeling needs in mind. Many will have FREE wonderful fonts and FREE descriptive phrasing and words that you will be hard pressed to find once you get back home.
  • Get a Personalized Jigsaw Puzzle made from your favorite photos.
  • To catch all the action in real time, use the pocket size Flip Ultra.

With a little creativity and patience, you can easily compile a complete outdoor adventure photo journal for each of your trips to share with your family and friends. This is a great project for kids also. Give them a disposal camera and let them take their own pictures. The photos in these journals will help you recall those special moments for many years to come.

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