Get creative on your photo walks in 2021
As we are all fully aware, 2020 was a strange year and now 2021 is set to be very different indeed. Whilst we may not be able to do many of the leisure activities that once gave us lots of photo and video opportunities we can still undertake some daily exercise (for those that it is safe to do so), so why not make the most of it?
Next time you grab your coat, grab your camera too, and capture your surroundings in new and unique ways with our top tips on how to get creative on photo walks in 2021!
A distant shot of the Clifton Suspension Bridge
A reflective Portishead Harbour.
1. Any camera will do!
Don’t feel like you HAVE to take your medium format camera like the Fujifilm GFX 50S or ensure you’ve got your Canon EF 600mm F4 USM IS II lens to capture that squirrel at the top of the tree in your local woods. Literally, any camera will do.
If you’re already a competent hobbyist or even a seasoned professional, why not strip things back a bit and take out a compact digital camera such as the Panasonic Lumix TZ70 or the Nikon Coolpix A1000? Challenge yourself to get to grips with something with fewer dials, something that requires less thought about the technicalities but focuses on the actual images themselves. Sorry, pun definitely intended.
If you’re new to photography then maybe cycle through the different settings your camera has to offer. Start to teach yourself about the exposure triangle or white balance settings, all of which we have guidance on how to do here >
Just pick a camera and start experimenting.
2. Travel light, but fully equipped.
You don't want to be caught short on your walk, so ensure you've got everything you need to make the shot you want.
Again, this one depends on the time you’ve allocated yourself for the walk and what you intend to shoot. If you’re going to be shooting street photography in broad daylight, for example, you can probably leave your tripod behind.
That said, if you’re aiming for some long exposure, night photography then a good camera bag with tripod carrying options will of course be just what you need.
A good camera bag can make all the difference to a comfortable walk. A traditional backpack can be more comfortable to carry for longer periods (and double as storage for your gear when at home), but a shoulder bag will give you quick access to your kit if you need to swap lenses in a hurry. Alternatively, if you have a coat with big pockets, you may be able to get away with popping a lens or two in those.
You can view all of our camera backpacks here >
If you’re feeling brave, you could just take one lens and carry your camera on a sturdy, quick release strap, like the Peak Design Leash. As well as reducing the load to carry you’re actually providing a great opportunity to be creative as it’s one less decision for you to make when you find the shot you’d like to take.
3. Shoot with a plan.
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” True in some cases and some may argue that creativity needs to flow freely. However, if you're like me and you're an ex-military person, you will want to work to some sort of plan or schedule. The creativity can then flow around that strict plan, right?!
For those of you that like a bit of a plan to stick to then why not jot down the subjects or style of photography you’d like to complete on your walk. You could aim to photograph and log specific wildlife and nature, or you could simply note a couple of locations you’d like to stop at and photograph.
Now I’m not saying you should tell yourself you’re going to shoot landscapes and then ignore a brilliant street style photo as you walk to your location, this is simply to keep you focussed on a goal rather than spraying the shutter in all directions. This will also aid your development within a specific style of photography.
4. Set a challenge.
I’ve nothing against just a casual walk with a camera and snapping away at anything you think looks great but sometimes it’s fun to set a bit of a challenge.
If you’re a seasoned pro or experienced hobbyist then why not set yourself a challenge to only shoot street photography with a portrait lens? Or vice versa, take a family member with you on your walk (where it is safe to do so), ask them to pose for you, and capture a quirky and unique portrait image using a wide-angle lens such as the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
If you’re new to photography, then why not test yourself with capturing an image from all of the photography genres? Try a landscape photo with a stunning sunset (or sunrise if you’re an early bird) or try your hand at sports photography by trying to capture an image of your child running around and chasing the dog! You can even give portrait photography a go - if you have a willing member of your family in your bubble that’s willing to sit for you!
If it's sunsets and sunrises that you're after then make sure you check out our blog on Taking Better Sunrise and Sunset Photos here >
5. Start shooting from the get-go
How can you be creative if you're not even taking or even thinking about taking a photo? As soon as you leave the house, start snapping away. It helps to get your eye in and helps you get into that creative zone. You never know, you might even capture a corker from your own doorstep!
6. Shoot, learn, repeat.
After each photo walk, regardless of whether you’ve captured an award-winning shot or simply filled your memory card with blurred rubbish, take the time to review your images. If you have missed some shots, they may be overexposed or out of focus, try and figure out why and try to understand what you can do differently to fix the issue next time.
Similarly, if you have actually captured some beautiful imagery then you may want to get them printed and up on the wall at home, into an album or even on your social media channels. If you do, then make sure you tag us in your best ones and we’ll try and share them with our followers!
7. Use your creativity in the community.
Most villages, towns and cities will have a Facebook or Instagram account that’s filled with like-minded people doing the exact same thing as you. So why not post some of your favourite images and share the beauty of your local area with other members of your community.
You never know, you might even make some new friends along the way!
Please remember to consult the government guidelines on where you can walk and when it is safe to do so, whilst we are under these strict circumstances.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog, we really do hope they help you out and answer some of your questions. If you still have some unanswered, then please feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.
We have a LiveChat option on our website and we can, of course, be contacted via our email, we're also on the end of the phone too! Read more on how to contact use here >
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