Take an Amazing Adventure Photo

JIMMY CHIN tells you how to nail the shot that you’ll be proud to pass around

Apr 16, 2012
Outside Magazine
The end result

The end result    Photo:

On location

On location

On Where to Look: Finding physical locations is only part of the process. You should search for intellectual and emotional places as well. Every corner of the earth has something interesting in it, details that reveal a place's history, geology, culture, and more. Everywhere you look, there is something going on, something that tells a story, something beautiful, or something dynamic. Open your mind’s eye and you’ll find amazing images wherever you are.

On Equipment: My most basic set up is a Nikon D700 (soon the D800) and 24-70mm 2.8 Nikkor lens. But, the best camera is the one that is with you. These days I spend 90 percent of my time shooting with my iPhone. It's always low-pressure shooting; it’s very liberating. There are tons of great point-and-shoots now, so between the phone camera and high end digital SLR, you have a lot of choices. There are probably 25 point and shoot cameras out there right now that will shoot a publishable photo. My top picks would probably be the Canon G12, Lumix, and Nikon.

On Lighting and Composition: Focus on using natural light. The best times are the golden hours—dawn and dusk—when the sun is closest to the horizon. You can also shoot something back lit, front lit, in open shade etc. Be creative with whatever light you have. For composition, it's good to know the Rule of Thirds. If you are shooting an image from a normal perspective (at eye level) that is a general overview of a situation, it's probably not going to be that interesting because that’s what everyone is seeing in real life. Try a different perspective: move up close to someone (use your judgment and manners, especially if the person is a stranger), get down on the ground, climb up in a tree, get behind, below, above the subject, and shoot with something cool in the foreground.

On the Best Ways to Share: I'm always sharing via Instagram (jimmy_chin). If it's something I want on my Facebook page or Twitter, I'll turn those options on. Instagram is tons of fun and is a great way to follow my friends, and for my friends to follow me. Beyond that, I also follow a lot of different people—photographers, athletes, artists, musicians, etc. I'm always amazed at how great athletes are often great photographers. My favorite thing about Instagram is seeing how creative or funny or thoughtful people are.

Filed To: Adventure, Celebrities

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