Years of experience and a pocket full of cash are no longer necessary for taking and sharing stellar photos and videos of your outdoor moments. For those looking to branch out a bit from the generic selfies and snapchats on smartphones, here are a few different ways to get quality images to commemorate memories made outside.
With smartphones being a widely owned product, cameras as well as their features have improved, making it possible to shoot sweet nature pictures and even action shots. There is much more that can be achieved with simple and inexpensive phone add ons.
Cell phone tripods can secure your phone in one spot for an extended amount of time. Doing this in just the right spot could capture gorgeous time lapses from start to finish sunsets to inches of snow appearing to fall in just seconds. Beyond time lapses, certain mini tripods are made from a flexible material that gives you the versatility to attach it to hanging tree limbs and other non flat surfaces. This way, you can set it up in nearly any environment, set a timer, and get in position for a masterpiece. When hiking, biking, or doing any other recreational activity, there is no guarantee that you will have someone else passing through when the perfect photo op occurs. For just $5-10, you can take one of these lightweight, small to pack tripods along with you to ensure you have a way to capture any moment in any environment.
External smartphone lenses are small, yet effective in advancing the capabilities of your tiny smartphone camera. Additional lenses come in a variety of effects such as wide angle, magna, and fish-eye lenses. With a small plastic clip-on, these lenses get positioned right on top of your existing camera lens to make your photos more dynamic, close up, or zoomed even farther out to perhaps get a photo of a larger landscape.
Waterproof cameras are a great resource to have if you want to take underwater footage or if you plan on taking photos while out paddling and you don’t want to risk your cell phone getting wet. Waterproof cameras range from convenient store disposable ones around $10 to the more expensive options of a handheld digital camera or GoPro. GoPros can seem daunting to buy when you are looking at their retail price in-store and for the latest model. Luckily, there are plenty of apps and online avenues to buy used or older generations of the camera. With newest generations costing around $400, it is possible to find one for $100 or just under if you search for used options. Don’t be too intimidated by putting a little money into your photography experience as waterproof cameras will prove to be worth it as they take incredible shots in any type of environment or weather conditions, are lightweight, and like with GoPro, you have the ability to use mounts to attach it to the front of a SUP board, a whitewater kayak, on top of a snowboard, on helmets of climbers, and many more options.
DSLR Cameras are on the pricier end of the photography spectrum, but yield some of the best results in the field. Made from well-known brands like Nikon, Cannon, and Sony these cameras are a bit heavier to cary, don’t have a waterproof capacity, but give photo enthusiasts a platform to line up the perfect shot from a variety of zoom lenses to snap quick and high definition photos on a wide variety of adventures. Experienced photographers tend to shoot with DSLRs as they have many different adjustments such lighting, focus, and shutter speed.
From the lens of a smartphone to the twisting of a monster zoom lens, outdoor photography does not have to be complicated or past your price point to be better and more advanced. Next time you plan an adventure, think about the scenery and environment and what equipment could maximize the potential of your photography.