Discover the Outdoors With Your DSLR

Delight in detail with your DSLR
Taking a step up from your smartphone? We’ve asked some professional
photographers for some great tips for capturing those winning shots with
a DSLR camera.
If you’re serious about high-quality, sleek shots of the outdoors,
grab your DSLR and your sturdiest footwear and immerse yourself in
nature’s beauty.
Image Credit: Adam Burton
“Without doubt the best thing you can do to improve your
landscape photographs is simply to set your alarm clock! Regardless of
camera the best outdoor photographs are usually captured around dawn and
dusk when the quality of light can be magical. Dawn is especially
pleasing; as well as colourful skies you may find the landscape
blanketed by low lying mist or sugar coated in frost.”
Adam Burton
Image Credit: Heavenly light over Castlerigg, Terry Abraham
“Knowing where and when to be capturing the great outdoors is
vital in achieving those inspiring shots we all seek on camera. You
don’t have to be out and about on a sunny day; more often than not
you’ll enjoy Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring delights when the storms roll
on in.”
Terry Abraham
Image Credit: Lake Coniston, Lake District at sunset, Stephen Ennis
Tip: Snap the same shot at different times of the
day. You’ll really get a feel for the perfect lighting to make the
landscape pop. Strong light works well for this but play around to find out what works best for you.
Image Credit: Winter dawn from Bowfell, Terry Abraham
“This photo has transpired to be rather iconic for me and my
documentary ‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’. I nearly didn’t capture
it! It features in the finale to my film and was taken at dawn from the
summit of Bowfell. Words cannot do the scene justice. I was camped just
yards away on deep snow and the temperatures were well below zero making
it all the more difficult to operate and fully function my camera. This
photo is a good example of how perseverance can pay off – which is the
key to much of landscape photography.”
Terry Abraham
Image Credit: Gary Holpin
“Lead the eye into the photo with layers of interest – in this
case, the couple on the landing stage in the foreground (helped by the
splash of colour of the man’s jumper), the arriving ferry in the middle
distance, and the skyline of beautiful Salcombe in the background,
topped off by some lovely fluffy clouds above.”
Gary Holpin
Tip: Shoot far-away subjects with a light
background. If the background is dark, make sure the subject is wearing
brightly coloured clothing to stand out. Likewise, if you’re capturing
up-close shots of coloured flowers, emphasise their brightness with a
dark shadowed background.
Image Credit: Jodie Randall
“Know your camera! I love the level of control I have with my SLR
(a Nikon D300). To achieve this dark, atmospheric silhouette of
glistening ink cap fungi, I had to under-expose the image by two stops.
When I got my first SLR 10 years ago, adjusting the shutter speed and
aperture, and altering the exposure, along with a multitude of other
settings on the camera seemed overwhelming. Now I know my camera like
the back of my hand. Taking the time to get to know your tools is a
priceless lesson and gives you an advantage when it comes to taking
great shots!”
Jodie Randall
Tip: Use people to portray scale. Add context to
your landscape shot and take a photo of a person standing far away from
the camera. This will show just how vast the landscape is.
Tip: Use an ultra-wide angle lens to show depth. A
10-20mm zoom lens is ideal for capturing depth in a tight spot. The
trick here is to get up close to your subject otherwise they can look
far away. It’s a great technique for taking impressive selfies!
Image Credit: Jonathan Hawker bouldering at Tunhill Rocks, Dartmoor National Park, Phil Hemsley
“Getting ‘up close and personal’ is a good approach, whether on
land or in the water. Immersing yourself in the activity, makes anyone
looking at your photograph feel connected to the adventure. Use of
‘leading lines’, such as the diagonals made by the climber’s right arm
and leg in this photo help convey a sense of depth.”
Phil Hemsley
Tip: Position yourself to create drama. Shooting
from up high or crouching down low can lend a different perspective to
your shots. Choose an ultra-wide angle lens and crouch down low to
emphasise the foreground or give the image some scale by shooting from
way above your subject.
Image Credit: Richard Fox
“This image of Staple Tor, Dartmoor, was taken with a full-frame
Sony A7R and Canon 16-35mm f4 lens using a Metabones IV adapter. The low
light conditions on this chilly spring sunset required a tripod and remote
release. Two exposures were used to create the final image without the
use of any filters but a soft graduated filter could also be used to
reduce the brightness of the sky.”
Richard Fox
Tip: Know your aperture. Put the focus on the
subject of your photo by setting the aperture wide and to a low number
such as f5.6. If you want the whole image to be in sharp focus,
narrow the aperture to f16 and use a wide-angle lens.
Tip: Use the rule of thirds. Instead of placing the
subject directly in the centre of the photo, divide the shot into thirds
based on the longer edge of the frame, with your subject positioned
on the imagined third lines.
Image Credit: Boat near Bridgwater, Somerset, Tony Howell
“Composition is simply how you arrange your subject within the
frame. A fine example of good composition is when the main subject in one
corner is offset by the secondary subject in the corner diagonally
opposite. This encourages the eye to wander around the frame. There is an
implied diagonal line from the boat to the sun in this image, and
diagonals create dynamism.”
Tony Howell
Image Credit: Old Man of Storr, Ross Hoddinott
“Good planning is essential to capture great landscape images.
Check local forecasts to ensure the conditions are suitable. Try and
avoid cloudless days – 30-50% cloud cover will help add life, depth and
drama to your shots.”
Ross Hoddinott