Skip to Content

4 Easy Ways To Enhance Your Outdoor Photography

Enhance Your Outdoor Photography With These Simple Tips

How many times have you stood in awe at the horizon; wishing you could capture the emotion rapidly flooding over you? Like me, I am guessing you have lost count. It is a common practice to take spur of the moment photos on location, thanks to modern day devices, like cell phones. However, many people are disappointed when they review their photography because upon review the photos don’t portray the powerful image they were standing before while holding steadfast to their camera. The question is how can we tell the story through the camera lens without losing the majestic scenery, I am happy to share with you one place that has given me the answer. REI, yes the retail store, they offer a few classes for the inspiring photographer. Here are some of the lessons I learned from partaking in their outdoor photography class last month.

What Are You Looking At?!

3 simple easy tips to outdoor photography REI class mn

First you need to focus on a subject because the goal of photography is to tell a story visually. Ask yourself what is the object or person you want the viewer to be drawn in by when looking at your photo before pressing down on the shutter-release button.

After locating your subject try to place it anywhere but in the center of the frame. Take for example, if you are wanting to photograph a person running on a path, it’s more interesting for the viewer to see the runner placed on the left side of the frame leading the eye across the photo to wonder what is ahead on the pathway. If you were to shoot the runner centered in the frame their eye would stop at the runner.

Take at least 6 different photos of your subject. This exercise will help you visually place your object in a more natural center point as you look for a unique view of the same target.

running shutter speed tips

Rule Of Thirds

Rule of thirds is the action of aligning a subject within the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. Which gives your photo a well balanced and a more interesting shot.

Tall trees

Play With White Balance

In the camera’s settings menu there should be a section called ‘White-Balance’. You will find presets offered in most styles of cameras, each with an option showing what lighting condition the camera is taking photos in as example; flash, cloudy, fluorescent, ambient, indoor, outdoor, sunset and so on.

By playing with the different white balance selections the photographer is able to create a natural effect to their photo, while also being able to manipulate a clearer contrast that is not displayed well in auto mode.

how to make outdoor photographs stand out more easy tips

Shutter-Priority Mode

When you’re trying to stop action or blur a motion, such as a burning fire, you need to set the shutter speed faster than the subject you are trying to photograph.”Shutter speed” is the amount of time the camera exposes the sensor to light from the scene. To catch the flame and smoke in the photos below I adjusted the shutter speed. Most cameras use the symbol “S” to designate Shutter priority on the mode dial. If you set the speed high it will freeze action completely and when set low it will blur out your image.

fire shutter speed tips REI class photos


Smoke in the fire camping minnesota rei class photography review

The best advice I can give you is to learn your camera settings and get outdoors to test them all. I really enjoyed my class and I was amazed by how much I was taught. The instructor was completely knowledgeable and gave each person attention to help their photography skills increase. If you are wanting to expand your skills this class is worth the cost. Also, they have more than just outdoor photography available. Click here to see their current class listings. I hope this helps you the next time you are out taking photos!