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Backcountry huts

Character and light help make a hit photo stand out. Photo: Richard Young

Find a hut with character
With over 950 huts of all shapes, sizes and colours, there are plenty to choose from. Older huts have a lot more character and often make a better shot, telling more of a story.

Include the landscape
When photographing huts, it can be easy to end up with just a close-up shot of the hut or lots of boring sky. Try to include the surrounding landscape, as well as the hut, to give it some environmental context and show its backcountry location.

Move out
Think about how close you want to be to the hut when photographing it. Moving in closer with a wide angle lens will often make the hut dominant in the photograph and not include much of the surrounding landscape. It can sometimes be best to move further away from the hut, use a telephoto lens to compress the perspective and bring the background behind it a bit closer.

Add some late light
The great thing about photo-graphing huts is that you often arrive at them when the sun is about to slip over the horizon, which is when the light is at its best. Make use of this late light to illuminate the hut and give the photograph some extra warmth and contrast. Even once the sun has gone down, huts can make brilliant shots under a night sky full of stars.

Location Hopeless Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
Camera Settings 24mm lens, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/45 second