Here are a few outdoor photography tips straight from accomplished photographer Fred Bohm to help you up your game and take better photos afield.
If there's one thing that hunters in general struggle with, it's taking good photographs. That's a real shame, because hunters get to see some absolutely amazing sights while they're out enjoying the great outdoors.
Fortunately, outdoor photography is an area that's relatively easy for most people to improve on.
This article is a compilation of outdoor photography tips by Colorado native Fred Bohm. In addition to selling high quality gun cleaning gear through his company Sage & Braker Mercantile, Fred is a long time hunter and talented outdoor photographer.
The tips outlined below are a great first start, and they'll take your photography skills to the next level almost immediately if you keep them in mind.
Take the Time to Stop and Take Pictures
It may seem obvious, but this one of the biggest reasons why most people don't take great pictures. Every time you think "That would be a great photo," stop and pull out the camera. I promise you'll be glad you did later.
You'll never be able to get that photo later, because that special moment will be gone forever.
How many times in your life do you think you'll see a full rainbow with a perfect combination of magical natural lighting conditions and a misting rainstorm? When that moment is gone, it's gone forever. Promise yourself you'll capture it when you see it.
Fortunately, pixels are cheap, so use a digital camera to take lots of photos while the moment is there. Keep the good photos and delete the rest.
Framing Your Trophy
When taking a "grip and grin" photo, you can make your trophy stand out by getting the horns or antlers of the animal above the skyline. By making the animal stand out in contrast against the sky and preventing it from getting lost in the background, you'll make the animal the focal point of the picture.
Use a wide angle lens and sit behind the animal, but not too far back or it will appear as though you're trying to fake the size with some clever photo editing.
Also, if you're in front of a beautiful backdrop, don't be afraid to show off the amazing country that you were hunting in. The point of taking the photo in the first place is to tell the story of the hunt. Incorporate landscape photography and your outdoor portraits will look even better.
While the animal is an important part of the story, the hunt itself and the location of the adventure are both incredibly important as well. Make sure they get their due.
This is particularly true on an Alaska sheep or New Zealand tahr hunt where the country itself plays an outsized role in the story.
The best way to captivate your audience is to show them a fresh way of looking at things. The vast majority of all photographs are taken with the camera level with the subject. Don't be afraid to be different!
If we constantly shoot from our regular standing position, we are only showing them what they see every day. Instead, offer them a new perspective.
One way to do this is by adding a new camera angle or by using a different telephoto lens with different shutter speed, focal length, or exposure settings. You can also add some new elements or props to help tell the story.
For a more in-depth guide to great hunting, nature, and wildlife photography, check out Fred's photography series on his blog. He goes into great detail on utilizing natural light, working under both bright light and low-light conditions, taking great close up photos, using the right camera lenses for the job, making the most of post processing, and other photo tips for taking nice, sharp images.