9 TIPS FOR A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY HIKE

LOCATION: Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Photography and hiking are two of our favorite things and bringing those two things together is such a joy for us. Combining physical fitness, adventure outdoors, and creative expression; what else could one ask for? :) I hadn't really thought about it, but hiking it totally one of our things. Do you have "things" in your marriage or with other friends. Hiking and movies is totally our things. And I totally have things with friends too.

Seeing that hiking and photography and two of our favorite things I thought it would be great to provide some tips for a great photography hike.  Ready to get started? :)

WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR

Wearing the right gear is a huge, huge deal, specifically when it comes to shoes.  I've done many hikes in a pair of tennis shoes, which was totally fine. But I finally got myself a good pair of hiking shoes and it makes all the difference. Aside from my feet being tired by the end of the hike I had no other complaints. Wear clothes that are comfortable and breathable too. You're more then likely going to work up a sweat so wear clothes that are appropriate.

CARRY THE RIGHT GEAR

Tyler and I have been on many hikes without our cameras and for one specific reason. We didn't have the right gear to carry and protect our equipment. I wasn't willing to risk our equipment by not carry the right gear, especially knowing that a mountain hike could easily turn into a little mountain climbing. Carry a good solid camera pack that will protect your gear. Our camera pack holds both of our cameras with lenses on, our Nikkor 55-300 lens, as well as canteens, and snacks. Our pack also comes with a water proof coat. I knew that if it rained or if we had to climb we would have a safe place to put our equipment. Carry the right gear, it makes all the difference.

LOTS OF WATER AND SNACKS

It just makes sense to bring water and snacks, right? We'll keep in mind that you're carry your gear, which means your probably burning my calories and drinking more water. Make sure that you have lots of water and lots of snacks. Hiking takes a lot out of you and your hike will be longer with all the stops you make to take pictures which means you'll need more water and more snacks. And, just for good measure, don't forget those wet wipes, your hands are going to get dirty too.

TRACK THE LIGHTING

Keep track of the lighting. Even though you may be hiking in the middle of the day you probably under a canopies of trees. Our most recent hike was under a canopy of trees, which was nice because we didn't run into any harsh light. We also reached the top of the mountain before sunset and the clouds rolled in for some over cast shooting. It was on the way down the mountain that we ran into the magic hour and we made sure to stop and photograph when we had the lighting. We knew that the further down that mountain we got the less light there would be.

GET YOURSELF IN THE PHOTOS

Remember to document your journey on your hike as well. It can be easy to spend your hike taking pictures of all the beauty you see. But what makes the hike, is seeing you in the pictures as well. Tyler and I are blessed to both have camera's so we're able to snap plenty of pictures of us hiking, but it's a little tough to get pictures of us together. Tyler, however is a master at finding a place to set the camera and the timer so we can be in photos together.

ONLY TAKE WHAT YOU'RE WILLING TO CARRY

You're pack is going to be heavy and unless you have been training to carry a lot of weight during your hike, only take what your willing to carry. Willing is the key word here. You very capable to carry a lot of weight, but what are you really willing to carry to enjoy yourself. Tyler has done lots of multiple day hikes where he has carried 40+ pounds on his back, I however have not. When Tyler and I hike together, Tyler carries the heaviest pack and I carry a much lighter pack. As you continue to go on more photography hikes add a little more weight to your pack each time and the next thing you know, you'll be trained to carry plenty of weight.

HIKE WITH FRIENDS

I don't know many people that hike alone, but gracious, always hike with a friend. For starters it's just more fun and second it's way more safe. If you're hiking with a non-photographer it may be a great opportunity to teach them some tips and tricks of the trade. Let them use your gear and encourage them in their process. Let's not forget that hiking can sometimes be tough too, especially on the last leg of a hike when all you doing is hiking up, ha! Friends are their to spur you on. :)

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Here is a funny story. On our last hike Tyler and I got to a point in the hike that we thought we would be headed down next, except that we were wrong. I had mentally already thought we were done, but then I had to finish a whole other section, which felt like the hardest part. Because that section felt so tough, I didn't push my body. I took things a little slower and gave myself grace on the final leg of the hike. My body was completely capable of handling the last leg of the hike, but I was mentally checked out. Whether it's your body that is struggling or your mind, make sure to listen to your body and don't over do it.  

TAKE A MAP

Unless your hiking a familiar trail, take a map. Some hikes don't require a map. Tyler and I hiked in Griffith Park while in Los Angeles many times without a map because it's a super easy hike and it would be pretty difficult to get lost. Our last hike, in Bear Mountain, was a completely different story. It would have been pretty easy to get lost. Our trail was marked, but there were multiple trails to hike. We checked the map a few times to make sure we were headed in the right direction and so we knew how far we had to go. If a map is available grab one to keep with you.

HER GEAR

  • ... American Eagle Midi Shorts
  • ... Under Armour Razor Back Heat Gear
  • ... Keen Targhee Hiking Shoes
  • ... Mini Mule Camelbac
  • ... NIKON D700 + 50mm

HIS GEAR

  • ... American Eagle Shorts
  • ... Columbia Omni-Freeze
  • ... Merrell Hiking boots
  • ... LowePro Photo Hatchback
  • ... NIKON D300 + 35mm

Are you ready to tackle a photography hike? Where have been some of your favorite places to hike?  What is your favorite photography pack?

related : PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE GO : TIPS & TRICKS