The art of outdoor photography may have been appropriated by Instagram, smartphones and an endless competition for likes, but coming home from a trip with quality images is still one of the rewarding experiences of spending time in the mountains. Digital photography is within everyone’s reach these days with
This is probably the most important aspect of photography. In the context of
When shooting action i.e. when the skier is moving downhill or making a turn at speed, you can either use a “rapid fire” setting (camera shutter fires several frames per second and you choose the best one, phones now have this function too) or do it the old fashioned way by timing a single frame just right. The latter takes
If you want to get the shot right, the subject (ie the skier) and the photographer need to be on the same page. That means discussing the timing, framing and intended ski path before dropping in. The old adage of “did you say no, or did you say go?” was born from unclear words getting yelled up and down slopes. Figure out a system. Don’t rush either party. And if shooting over longer distances, invest in a set of 2-way radios. That way everyone can be clear on how the shot is going to work.
Light is the foundation of all imagery, but not all great photos are taken with cloudless skies. Shadows, contrasts and textures (see aforementioned Framing and Composition) can turn a dull, middle grey shot into a monochrome masterpiece. Post processing with a program such as Lightroom will let you boost contrasts and adjust exposure slightly to make shades and textures pop a bit more. Careful not to overdo it; there’s nothing worse than an oversaturated photo that looks like its hemorrhaging colour.
If you’re learning to paint, don’t start with a Picasso. The same goes for photography. Too often shots with good potential are blown
Taking photos in the backcountry is an open-ended artform, so be ready to learn something new every time you venture out with a camera. It only gets better with practice.