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A walk in the park

Image of the November 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
November 2018 Issue

Take your tramping images beyond people walking from A to B

Let’s face it, tramping is not a particularly action-packed activity.

When taking tramping pictures, your subject’s natural state of being is walking. And while there is nothing wrong with someone walking through a beautiful landscape, a lack of variety in subject activity puts your tramping story at risk of being dull. The following activities will add interest to your photos and drama to your tale.

Spice up your walking shots
While a plain walking shot is an accurate representation of how trampers spend their time, a few simple tricks can make it so much better. Watch out for things your subject can interact with, like a tree to duck under, a stream to jump across, or a rock to push off. It’s all about connecting your subject to the environment with more than just their feet.

Capture domestic bliss
Nothing adds more variety to your tramping story than camping and hut photos. At the same time, they are the toughest images to capture. Try and capture your team setting up their tents, preparing food or reading a book. Close-up images with a wide-open aperture for shallow depth-of-field will add intimacy.

Strike a pose
Don’t be shy to give your tramping mates’ instructions when the selling shot of your tour presents itself. They will appreciate nice images of their adventure as much as you.

Work out the composition for your scene, then carefully place your subject in the frame. Ask your models to change into something colourful so they stand out from the background. Most importantly, keep them busy. It is better to have them walk up and down a path repeatedly than allow them to get self-conscious while they are waiting for you. Often it’s a minute change in expression and posture that will make a good image.

The breakdown
The infamous ‘selfie with legs sticking out of tent’ has become an Instagram cliché. Nonetheless, I really loved the warm light before sunset and decided to give it a try.

Shooting inside a tent usually requires an ultra-wide angle lens to capture the narrow space. I did my best to work the triangle of the open door into my composition. Exposing this shot correctly was not easy, due to the huge difference in contrast. I decided to expose the clouds correctly and recover the shadows later in post-production.

Camera: Fujifilm X-T2
Lens: Fujifilm XF10-24
Settings: 10mm, ISO400, f8, 1/640s.

Dennis is a commercial photographer and teaches photography at www.heroworkshops.com