10 Simple Tips to Improve Your MTB Photos
You are doing and seeing amazing things. Here’s how you can better capture it.
When taking a photo of something in action, it is easy for it to look stagnant. Focus on the elements around the rider, like dirt or water spraying. You can also try to zone in on a specific action such as a jump or sharp turn.
What frames the rider makes a big difference to your photo. Before you snap, decide on the best location – and time of day when the lighting will be most dramatic.
- Shoot Moments
Your photo can really capture a mood if you manage to catch a rider’s expression on camera.
Some of the best sport photos are usually taken from an unusual angle.
- Try Lenses
Even if you are taking photos with your phone, there are usually lenses available that you can buy – or you can even add the effect later. The fish eye lens is a popular choice. Wide angle shots also work well as they give you a good idea of how high or far a jump is, for example.
Aperture refers to depth of field. It is indicated on your camera by F, for example F1.4, F2,8, etc. When the aperture number is low, you will have a shallow depth of field which means that the camera lens allows a lot of light to come through. It is usually best to use this when you want to zone in on one small part of the photograph and slightly blur out the rest. This works well for close-ups of a face or maybe hands gripping the handlebars, etc.
When the aperture number is high, it is ideal to take photos of landscapes as it gives more detail to the entire photograph.
When you take a photo of something in front of the sun, it will often create a ‘flare’ effect that can make photos look more dramatic.
Shutter speed can make an image look frozen in time (fast shutter speed) or give the idea of motion by either blurring the fore- or background a bit (slow shutter speed).
A great effect is also ‘panning’ where you move your camera with the rider as you press the shutter. This ensures that the rider is more stagnant whereas the background blurs, giving it the effect of motion.
- Rule of Thirds
One of the first things people will mention when talking about taking a good photograph is Rule of Thirds. Not everyone agrees with this rule, however.
What it means is that you divide the image horizontally and vertically by thirds. When taking a photo, the rule states that you must place the horizon and other objects in the photo on these lines and points of intersection. These points are your focal points.
Some disagree, however, and believe that a photo can grab your attention more if it has unusual composition.
- White Balance/Color Balance
When it is a cold day, you might want the photo to give off a cool effect. Setting the white balance on your camera will ensure that it either looks warm (yellow biased) or cold (blue biased). This can also be fixed with color balance in an editing program afterwards.
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