Tom Managan offers this guide to simple outdoor photography with a digital camera:
It’s not about the camera. It’s how you use it. Waiting for the right light, shooting only memorable scenes, avoiding shutter-induced blur, cropping and editing the best images you bring home.
1) Shoot in the best light
The best times of day are sunrise and dusk… In the High Country they call it alpen glow (for fun, start watching movies for evidence of location shots taken during this “magic hour.” The long shadows and brownish cast are the giveaway. It’s astounding how often they shoot at this time day.)
2) Shoot only memorable scenes
This is easier than you think: if you’ve never seen it before, it’s probably memorable… If you filter out all the stuff you’ve seen before, you practically guarantee bringing home more novel images. Corollary: shoot something familiar from a bunch of unfamiliar angles. Sometimes the results are wacky, but sometimes they’re way cool.
3) Avoid shutter-induced blur
… if you’re shooting under tree cover in low light, your camera slows the shutter speed down a point where the act of clicking blurs the image. Here’s what I do: use the camera’s shutter-release timer. I set it to go off two seconds after I click. When the shutter snaps, I’m holding the camera much more still than I would if I were snapping the picture when the shutter clicks.
4) Editing and cropping
Editing simply means choosing the best, forgetting the rest. Professional photographers typically shoot a thousand frames or more for every image that gets published. The web removes these constraints, but it also generates a lot of snoozer travelogues and slideshows because shutterbugs just dump everything into them. Take your 25 favorite images and slash them to a 12-picture set. I guarantee it’ll tell a more powerful story.
Read the full article on Tom’s blog Two Heel Drive: 4 keys to getting great outdoor shots from a cheap digital camera.