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Things to consider with outdoor photography

OM-D E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO • F5.0 • 1/5000 • ISO 200

In my travels and especially when I'm hiking in the mountains, I love breaking new ground. I enjoy nature not only for the landscapes but also for the sporting possibilities. I like to try out new ways to get around and new types of sports, and to push my personal boundaries. Of course, all this is not just for my own pleasure. These stories and adventures are also a major part of my talks and articles and therefore an important element of my work as a photographer. After forays into the areas of storytelling, landscape, and travel photography, I would like to share a few tips with you here on the subject of outdoor photography. In my view, the most important rule for outdoor photography is to be familiar with the type of sport you are photographing. I can only capture the special moments, excitement, drama and fascination of a sporting activity if I have sensed and lived through them personally. If I can judge the heights and depths and the underlying appeal based on my own experience. For me, this means that before I go on one of these trips I put myself in the experienced hands of an absolute professional and go through several training sessions to learn the secrets of the sport I am looking at. I am already inten-sively engaged in taking plenty of photographs during these training sessions to ensure that I also immerse myself in the subject photographically.

OM-D E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO • F14.0 • 1/400 • ISO 200

My motto for outdoor photography is ‘Don't be a bystander – get in the thick of things’. As with landscape photography I really like working with a wide-angle lens, including the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye. The closer I get to my subject and the action with my camera, the better I am able to convey this sense of being ‘in the thick of it’ to the outside observer. If there is fast action or if the terrain is difficult, I will work in burst mode or use the Pro Capture function. The Pro Capture function allows me to take 35 images by holding down the shutter button. By doing this I can capture the right moment and later on, when I am at home at my computer, I have the time to choose the best composition when I am relaxed and have no pressure on me. It is important to work with different perspectives, such as eye level or low and high-angle shots. However, I mainly work with what is known as the ‘5-shot method’. This allows a complete narrative of the action to be created in just a few shots. A long shot will give an idea of the location, where the whole scene is unfolding. A medium long shot will depict the action itself, in other words, what is going on. Close-ups of the face provide an insight into the emotions and reveal who is on the move here. A shot-reverse shot combination can be used to tell the audience what exactly is happening and how it is done. And shots from high and low angles as described above are a creative way to give some insight into the why.

OM-D E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO • F3.5 • 1/160 • ISO 200

Outdoors, sports and action are brought to life by emotions, effort and tough moments, as well as victories and losses. That is why the photographer should always capture a few detail shots and emotional close-ups of the athlete's face. For a complete sequence, especially when filming video, it is always important to include a few de-tails, such as: putting on crampons, tying bootlaces, putting on a helmet or sunglasses, turning bicycle wheel spokes, etc. This ensures some variety and brings the viewer closer to the details related to that type of sport. A few images are enough to tell an exciting and complete photographic story of an action-filled out-door adventure. The primary focus here is not on one sensational picture – even if a tiny climber on a majestic rock face could of course be a fantastic subject – rather, it is in a unique composition consisting of a sequence of a few pictures that the adventure can be depicted and the story told in all of its facets.

OM-D E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO • F9.0 • 1/1000 • ISO 200

Products on show:

OM-D E-M1 Mark II
M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye

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