Many folks leave their photo gear at home when heading out on mountain adventures, be it a half-day hike or a multi-day mountaineering trip. This is unfortunate, as getting away from the vehicle opens up limitless photographic opportunities. Here are a few tips that will hopefully convince you to bring a little more gear along to document your own adventures.
1. Visualize. Have a thorough look at the map and the intended itinerary before heading out. In the field it is really helpful to already be familiar with the “whens and wheres” of the light, and where the most photogenic sections of the trip will be located.
2. Bring the Right Gear: Part 1. Carry gear that you know how to use. In this field of photography, opportunities are short-lived and there is simply no time for figuring out your camera as you go.
3. Bring the Right Gear: Part 2. Each trip may call for different gear. Consider bringing a longer lens and tripod if you will have a static base for a few days. If you’re on a more technical outing, go light with just a body and a lens.
4. Don’t Go Digging. A crucial part of adventure photography is having your gear handy at all times. There are some amazing belt pack systems available these days that will ensure you are ready when the moment happens.
5. Keep Everyone in the Loop. Communication is key when out in the field, especially when safety becomes a factor. Provide as much information to your trip partners before leaving and keep them informed on potential upcoming photo stops all along the way.
6. Know Your Sport and Anticipate. So much adventure photography is about knowing what your subject is about to do or what is around the next corner. Being proactive is the name of the game.
7. Remember the Emotion. Your subjects are likely to display the struggles and victories that are to be expected during a physically demanding trip in the wilderness. Be on the lookout for that emotion and challenge yourself to capture it.
8. Think Journalistically. Beware of the action tunnel vision. In between the more intense scenes, there are plenty of other angles of adventure photography one can cover, including life at camp, detail gear shots and humorous moments.
Highline accepts photo submissions for our print magazine, and your adventure photos might be the perfect fit! Take a look at our Photography Contributors Guidelines.