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Mountain selfies

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

How to ensure you get in on the action

A good tramping photo captures people enjoying the outdoors. But when you are tramping by yourself or want to be part of a group photo, you have to be creative to get in the picture.

Find solid ground
A stable support for your camera is important. A bean bag on a rock is a cheap, lightweight and flexible platform for your camera. But a table-top or half-height tripod will open new perspectives. Remember that any tripod is better than no tripod!

Unleash your camera
While a self-timer will cover your basic needs, a remote trigger will allow you more flexibility. Use your camera’s built-in Bluetooth or smartphone app, or buy a wireless radio trigger which can work at a distance of 100m or more. Avoid infrared triggers due to their limited range.

Take charge of your settings
Set yourself up for success with manual exposure and focus settings. Take a few test shots until you are satisfied, then snap away from afar. Shooting in manual mode will give you the confidence that your camera will not change settings while you are away.

Be a paparazzi
Set your camera to burst mode to take several images per second. Burst mode will increase your chances of capturing just the right moment instead of hoping that a single image will do the trick.

The breakdown
Walking towards our campsite from Mount Owen, I noticed a rock ledge that would make a perfect location for a team photo. I set my camera up on a lightweight tripod and attached a radio trigger that would cover the distance.

The image is roughly split into three horizontal layers using the rule-of-thirds. The outline of the rocky ledge acts as a lead line towards our team of two. The composition is further reinforced by our placement by a rule-of-thirds grid intersection. Closer inspection reveals that we are looking towards our tent in the distance.

Camera: Fujifilm X-T2
Lens: Fujifilm XF16-55
Settings: 28mm, ISO200, f8, 1/500s
Tripod: Sirui T-025X
Radio trigger: Yongnuo RF603CII.