Let’s see classy mountain pictures, as well as learning about mountains and their photography with me and a friendly mountain travel guide.
Just like troubles, mountains come in all sizes. And just like troubles, they can be found in all corners of the world… but mountains are something we’re happy find. They are a source of peace, joy and serenity.
I love mountains and I love photographing them, but mountain photography isn’t as simple as one would wish for. High wind, bursting colors and uneven surface are the few problems you already know about… there are plenty more!
So today we learn some of the things we need to remember when going for mountain photography. For inspiration, I’m also adding several photos of mountains.
Mountain Photography Tips
Sometimes people think that mountain photography would be very easy because they are extremely beautiful in them selves…. Dead Wrong! Mountains are probably the most difficult subjects to capture in landscape photography. Their hypnotic atmosphere, their cool breeze, the smell of grass, peace and quite… these are some of the things that we should be seizing when clicking the shutter button. Sadly, we end up seizing none of these in the first try. That’s because we forget some of the most important aspects. Let’s check out those important aspects one by one.
UN celebrates World Mountain Day on 11th December every year.
Understanding the Light in Mountains
Let’s set our basics straight once again. There are three things we have to notice about light:
- Quality: You need to know is it overcast soft light or harsh bright sunshine.
- Direction: You need to have complete knowledge about the light source and it’s location.
- Temperature: I’m sure if you are a photographer, you’d know that orange is a warm color and blue is cold. So check color temperature as well. If it’s dusk, it’ll be a cold photo, if it’s the morning and sun is rising, warm picture it is.
Check out these images, light is used brilliantly here:
The worst time to capture mountains is mid-day hours. Bright sunshine has no ‘mood ‘ so pictures are never appealing. They always seem to be missing something.
Golden hours (the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset) are the best time to go for mountain photography. But still, this is not a rule, you should experiment and take photos in different times of the day.
Mountain Photography Equipment
Do you love your tripod? It gives stability to your photos. You might have captured many beautiful photos with the help of that tripod and you never photograph without it, right? Leave it at home next time you go for mountain photography!
Why you ask? That’s because a friend of mine, who is a travel guide tells me that how annoyed photographers get when they come to mountains with heavy luggage find themselves in trouble. Mountains are the place to go light. Nothing unnecessary should be kept. That’s because you have to climb and hike frequently, the less weight you carry, the better.
Foggy weather sometimes hurts the camera, so keep waterproof camera bag and lens cleaners always in hand-carry.
Here are some pictures of such foggy times.
6 Quick Tips for Mountain Photography
1. Stay aware of unnatural shadows. Sometimes they hurt the image pretty bad. If you have good knowledge of direction of the light, then hopefully you won’t have this problem.
2. Shoot in slightly warm colors.
3. Wide-angle is usually compulsory in landscape photography.
4. If capturing a back-lit photo, use a lens hood and remove UV filter.
5. Extra batteries, must!
6. Reflections work charms. If you can, get reflections to your photos. Here are a couple of examples of photos with reflections:
It’s getting late so I should conclude the article with a few tips from my side. I love mountains and I have lots of pictures and wallpapers of them. One thing I’ve noticed is that horizontal photos, or as we refer to them, landscape photos contain a peaceful mood while portrait photos have a rather adventurous exciting feeling. So use these modes wisely.
Another advice is that don’t go on mountains that are too high in altitude. Low altitude mountains are good for mountain photography. If you go to the mighty Karakorums whose average altitude is 7000M, yes seven skyrocketing thousand meters, you’re a goner. 7000M is triple the average height of Alps.
In the Himalayas and it’s counter-parts, you have difficulty in breathing, walking and doing everything. They are mesmerizing but you should avoid them. They are for professional mountaineers, not us. Difficulty of living was the reason why famous Hollywood flick Vertical Limit was mostly shot in New Zealand rather than Pakistan (home of Karakorum).
Last and most important point is never to forget adding points of interest. This can be a flower, a cloud, the sun, a man walking, a goat, a leaf of grass….. anything at all but points of interest are a must. A mountain on its own is never a point on interest.
Hope you enjoyed this article, I’ll be back with another article soon, in the meanwhile, amaze yourself with mountain pictures.
The One Above