Shooting an outdoor activity is a challenging but also very rewarding task. It has to be carefully planned and often it is physically demanding, but you can get some of the most amazing photos and videos from nature and nature-related activities. Also, it is a great adventure, and it is undoubtedly a health booster. So, whether you are a professional photographer or a hobby enthusiast, this kind of shoot is a great opportunity to learn and to create stunning images.
Once you are on the spot, trying to shoot everything that happens and everything that catches your eye is exhausting and often leads to mediocre results. The best way to avoid this is to plan ahead: what are you going to shoot. Limit yourself to some scenes or actions you want to get. That way you are more focused and can bring just the right equipment for that specific task. For example, if you are going to shoot on a fishing boat, a good idea would be to go in advance without a camera.
Just to observe, what kind of activities are going around. It’s useful to get an impression of what it is like to be on a fishing boat before planning the shooting. You will have a much deeper understanding of the situation then if you were to just jump in with all the gear you have. An even better opportunity would be to participate in the event before the shoot, whether it is fishing, hunting or hiking.
Hunting and Animal Photography
We are going to give you a few ideas for the shoot and suggest suitable equipment. Imagine what happens during one typical day of hunting. There are preparations, long walks, waiting in ambush or tracking prey but what is the most exciting part which makes your blood boil? It is the moment when you spot an animal. The animal is not going to stand and pose for you, you have to be very quick and very stealthy.
What kind of equipment would be best suited for that? You’ll need a camera that is suitable for shooting fast motion, so the moving animal won’t get blurry. Also, a good thing to have in this situation is a good telephoto lens, so you can keep a safe distance and not disturb the animal.
Our recommendation for the camera, all things considered including price/quality ratio, would be Nikon D500 DSLR Body or an EOS 7D Mark II. For the best results, we would recommend this lens: AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. Spending time hunting would greatly improve your relationship with the scenery, and would give you an insider perspective.
If you choose to try it, a fun way to start is going bow hunting. You will need a more experienced hunter to go with, and a bow. If you are confused about what kind of bow you need, check out this selection of high-quality compound hunting bows.
Hiking and Landscapes
Besides the healthy exercise, what is the most valuable aspect of hiking? The natural scenery of course. Landscapes have always amused humans, a very large portion of art was made with inspiration from them. From the ancient Greek poets (Theocritus c. 316 – c. 260 BC) to the 20th-century film classics, landscape was something to be admired, and the struggle to capture it in the best possible way is still ongoing.
The landscape was present as a subject in photography since the very birth of this medium, just check out the works of pioneers such as Ansel Adams. A good way to start photographing landscapes is by using wide-angle lenses and shooting panoramic photos. For maximum results, you will need a powerful camera such as EOS-1D X Mark II.
Fishing and Poetry
Imagine a day on the fishing boat. Sure you can shoot colorful fish, odd-shaped fishing equipment or the sun on the horizon. But the real challenge would be to portray the emotional condition of the crew and the atmosphere on the boat. Fishing was and still is, a great inspiration to a lot of artists.
There are famous stories (even in the bible), poems, paintings and movies about fishing. Fishing involves a certain kind of thrill and suspense rarely matched even in Hitchcock movies. The ups and downs, the disappointments, long nights of incertitude, all have some mythical and ominous feeling to them.
Think about how you can capture that, how you can impose those feelings to the audience. It can be done in numerous ways, what is yours? Maybe by choosing some specific situations, body postures of the crew member, or by finding the detail that would give away someone’s state of mind. As for the equipment you’ll need something unusual, something that can create a photo that will immediately spark curiosity. As odd as it may sound we would suggest using a new film camera Toyo-View 8×10 810MII folding field that uses 8×10″ large film!
As we already stated, the best way to get into that feeling and thrill of fishing in order to capture it by camera is to go fishing! You can make a basic list of gear: fishing rods, bait, hooks, but also newer applications and fish finders. In the past, they were extremely expensive and robust but with the new developments in technology, they have become affordable to anyone.
There are a lot of options, we suggest this article written by Donnell Henderson, for further information.
Fishing and Textures
In the world of fishing, there is a lot of breathtaking imagery. Some of it lies in tiny details: shimmering light that bounces off colorful scales of a fish or an extremely sharp point of a small fishing hook; a rusty bolt on an old ship covered with algae. You need to be very patient and to have the right equipment to get those kinds of shots. Fujifilm X-T10 coupled with a 100mm f/2.8L macro lens would be a perfect camera for this task.
We can conclude by saying that inspiration influences the choice of equipment. We gave you some ideas and an example of the thought process from inspiration, to planning, and the actual shooting process. Now you can choose your own adventure and weapon of choice!