Tips and Tricks for Taking Amazing Outdoor Action Photos

Sometimes you are having so much fun on your holiday that you don’t want to stop too often to take photographs. However, you want to take the snaps to look back on and remind you of your great holiday. Whether you can splash the cash and fork out for a top of the range camera, or if you need some tips to take photos on your smartphone. Here are some ideas to help you get those great photos whilst on your active outdoor holiday.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Use a Point Of View camera

When you are taking part in outdoor activities you don’t always have any hands free to take any photos. This is where wearable POV cameras come in handy. Small cameras such as GoPro can be strapped to your body, head or wrist and can take photos and record whilst you are moving.

This means you don’t have to think about stopping the fun to take photos or record whilst on your activity holidays. Some cameras have voice control too, so if you don’t want to be continuously recording you can take photos or start and stop recording with some simple commands.

When shooting video on these sorts of cameras you can save snapshots which instantly become great quality photos. This way you will capture those amazing moments you wouldn’t be able to catch with your camera alone.

Choose the right lens

When choosing a lens for your action shots you need to consider how often you are going to use it, the weight and what kind of action range you will need. Lenses can be expensive so it pays to decide how you are going to use it and your budget before you make your choice.

The best lens type will have 70-200mm and f/2.8. By using a smaller aperture to let in more light, then you can use very fast shutter speeds to stop the movement dead for a crisp capture of your picture.

If you want to show the movement in your photo then you can use the same lens but with a slower shutter speed which will show the movement as a blur in your picture. To take this kind of photo though you will need to keep the camera very still during the shot. This is great to capture others but not if you are moving yourself!

High zoom and lots of light

If you want to take your pictures with any camera you already own then the best tips are to make sure you are taking your photos where there’s lots of light and use a high optical zoom. This means that you can take a quick snap whilst keeping the detail of your subject.

You don’t need a very expensive camera to achieve this either, use a high ISO in your manual settings and stick to your optical zoom rather than digital so you don’t lose the detail.

Sometimes it’s hard to take photos in low light especially with your smart phone, but using the light you have around you especially when outdoors will greatly enhance your photography.  Choose the time of day with the best light.

Use your compact cameras settings

If you want to get great shots but don’t want to worry about using manual settings then you can use the action shot or similar on your compact camera. Your digital camera sorts out the settings for you so you don’t have to which means you can take great shots with the click of a button.

There are settings such as action, landscape and waterfall with slow shutter speed or similar. These settings will help you get the best out of your pictures. Practising these settings prior to your holiday will help you be prepared.

Make sure you set up your camera before so it is ready to capture the action. The settings will usually include a high ISO to let in light and a fast shutter speed to catch the action still.

To keep it simple: Use a fast shutter speed, high ISO, take bursts of photos, manage your white balance and avoid using your flash. Follow these suggestions and you are sure to have some great travel snaps.

How to get great action shots on your smart phone

With some of the great cameras on smart phones out there these days you can capture some good photos. If you don’t want to use a separate camera then there are a few tips to follow for great smartphone pics.

Android and iPhones tend to have professional modes where you can change the settings just like your compact camera. There are also lots of apps out there to help you to get those shots just the way you want them, and to apply filters and other edits to improve the picture.

There is also action, fast and slow photo and recording settings which are brilliant for getting the shots you want. Like with a POV camera if you record or take a burst of photos you can then choose the frame you wish to use.   

What’s the best camera to choose for outdoor action photos

If you are looking to purchase a new camera to record your outdoor activities then the best type of camera to choose is one that is small and portable but also has great features. Here are some examples depending on the type you want to go for:

-The GoPro Hero 5 is a good choice when it comes to a POV camera. The wearable camera includes wide angle ranges, voice activated recording and photo taking including time lapse and burst modes. Not too expensive but when buying accessories, it can all add up.

-When it comes to the top of the range Canon or Nikon DSLRs your best choices are Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or Nikon D810. They both have a massive range of features and everything you could ever need, but they do come with a pretty high price tag too.

-When it comes to compact cameras the Panasonic Lumix ZS100 / TZ100 has a good lens range to take action photos and can shoot 4k video too. For a cheaper version try the Sony WX220 which has less range but is great for beginners. These options are more budget friendly.

-The best smart phone cameras at the moment are the Samsung s7 edge or the iPhone 7 plus. Both have a range of features which mean you can take good photos at the touch of a button without having to bring along a separate camera. This is a cheaper option too.

These are just a few of the cameras available at this time, so do your research and you will find the best camera just for you.

All that is left is to take your trip

Now you are set to take the best action photos, with whatever camera you choose, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy your outdoor adventure holiday, making memories and capturing those moments. Do you have any tips for taking the best outdoor action photos? What do you use to take the best action shots? 

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