Last weekend marked our last camping trip of the season with Eggie. The weather was hot and humid but signs of fall were everywhere. Geese flying south, falling leaves, ripe berries and withering blooms. The sun is setting earlier, giving us big glowing sunsets and a full orange harvest moon to admire by the campfire. Manitoba's Whiteshell Provincial Park is a favorite of many. It's full of big lakes to swim, boat and fish in and has no lack of interesting hiking and biking trails to explore. We had a great time.
I love to pack light when we camp. Our '76 Boler is tiny, smaller than most tents actually. Everything we bring has to be multi-functional and take up little space. The one thing I make an exception for is my SLR. Although I've gotten some pretty impressive photos with just my iPhone 5S this summer, it's no replacement for the Nikon. I know what a pain it is to worry about your more expensive camera getting dropped, lost, stolen or wet when all you want to do is relax and have fun. However, bringing your camera along on a camping trip can actually enhance the fun you have outdoors. That's how I feel about it and here's why.
Save a few moments to last a lifetime
Camping gives you the time to press pause and enjoy that perfect slow sunset over the lake. It offers freedom to live unfettered, if only for a day or two. Taking quick, candid portraits of the people you love in these playful, happy moments is time very well spent. Adorn your living space with these images and you'll find yourself feeling uplifted on the dullest of days. Sharing a portrait with someone you love is a great way to show that you care about them and cherish your time together. I think photography can be such a loving gift, don't you? Camping is a perfect time to catch those lasting good vibes through photography.
Gain motivation to get off your camp chair and into the forrest
So you're feeling sooooo relaxed. Maybe a little too relaxed. Don't sleep the day away - get out of your hammock once and a while and step away from that cooler. There's so much to see and experience in the woods. Even a short hike or walk along the rocky shoreline will provide you with interesting subject matter for your photos. Knowing how to play with the light during ideal times of day like an hour after sunrise or before sunset (magic hour) can produce gorgeous results. My favourite resource for how best to work with light to make your photos truly incredible is Fantastic Fundamental Light Skills - The essential guide to understanding light by Photography Concentrate. Spending a few days outdoors gives you plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the magic natural light can lend to your photos.
Focus in on the Macro World
I especially enjoy taking macro photos of plant life, which is easy to find and abundant in summertime. The results are always so colourful and satisfying. You'll notice all sorts of details (and creatures) in a macro photograph that the naked eye tends to miss. In this instance, I believe taking your camera along actually enhances your time in nature. It gives you a reason to get down low to inspect something on the forrest floor, to venture off the trail just a bit and to stand at that outlook point for just a few more minutes.
If you've ever paused to marvel at a gorgeous sunset, the look on your child's face as they discover a giant snail along the shoreline, or the intricacy of a wildflower, you are the perfect candidate for taking your camera camping. Try it out! You might just love it as much as I do!
If you are thinking of buying a digital SLR or already own one but don't feel confidant in how to use it to it's full potential, I wholeheartedly suggest Extremely Essential Camera Skills by Photography Concentrate. It's the best course for a beginner photographer that I've ever come across. In fact, while I read through it, watched the videos and did the exercises I realized I had been doing a few things the hard way, and not really understanding my own camera fully. I love their way of teaching so much I am backing it here on Lune Blog as an affiliate. Seriously, their courses are so rad, I wish I would have made them! Check it out and treat 'yo self!