Camping can be a fun family getaway, and it’s a great time to take photos.
When you’re away from the hustle and bustle of work and school, there’s a lot of time to relax and enjoy your photography. So get out your camera for photos of family and fun activities, as well as pictures of the beautiful settings and camping scenes that you don’t want to forget!
While the kids are off playing, it can be a great time to shoot just for you. Be sure to think about photographing these ten things next time you go camping!
We always try to fit at least a couple of fun special activities into our camping trips.
Whether it’s hiking, swimming, boating, mini golf, geocaching, or something else, these are great adventures and memories that you don’t want to forget. These don’t have to be portfolio-worthy images, but these photos capture the fun and excitement of camping that you and your kids will look back on for years to come.
If you’re anything like our family, there are some foods that just go hand-in-hand with camping. For my daughter, it just isn’t a camping trip if we haven’t had s’mores.
But it can also include other camping treats like watermelon, corn on the cob, hotdogs over the fire, or any other family camping favorites. Whatever it is, capturing some photos of your family cooking and eating helps tell the whole story of your trip.
One of the benefits of getting out into nature is experiencing a lot more wildlife than you normally see at home. One of our favorite animals to see while camping in Georgia are deer but birds, squirrels, frogs, snails, and even spiders and insects can be interesting to see while camping. Kids especially love to get up close to animals in the woods.
A telephoto zoom lens is handy when capturing animals like deer and birds, which you may not be able to get close to. And a macro lens is useful for capturing smaller guests to your campsite. I don’t like to bring a lot of different lenses camping, but think about what wildlife you mind encounter when packing your camera gear.
I find that when I slow down and relax while camping, I am more in tune with little things around me, and I like to capture these details. Sometimes I like to capture little things in nature, like flowers or leaves, and other times it’s the small details of camping with children, like a child’s dirty hands, or sidewalk chalk on the ground.
Either way, camping gives you time to appreciate the small things, take them in, and capture them in an artful way. You don’t necessarily need a macro lens for this. Many of my favorite detail images were taken by just getting in close with a 35mm or 50mm lens.
This may seem like an odd item to be on a camping list, but I often find that we stumble across some truly unique buildings while camping. Whether it’s a historic old home, a building at a state or national park, or just a cute rustic cottage near your camp site, capturing these buildings can help set the scene for your trip, and provide some beautiful images of structures you don’t see in a typical urban or suburban setting.
Seeing beautiful scenery is one of my favorite parts of camping, and I love having a camera to capture the gorgeous views. There’s just nothing like getting away from the city and taking in nature’s beauty.
Most of my favorite landscape images were taken on camping trips. We are often camping in lake-front sites and I love the view just looking out over the water. We also enjoy hiking where we often see mountains, waterfalls, and other interesting scenery. I typically use my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens for my landscape photos, sometimes using the panorama stitching in Lightroom to create panoramic images.
One of my favorite types of landscape images are sunsets, especially over lakes. Sunset is also a great time to take some silhouette images.
While you don’t have to go camping to take gorgeous sunset images, it’s often the best time for me. When I’m camping, it’s much easier to be outside and ready at sunset, and the wide open spaces at many camping locations make for especially beautiful views of the setting sun.
Of course, every camping trip needs a campfire, so it only makes sense that you photograph this iconic part of camping. You can take photos of the fire itself as well as ones with people around the fire.
Photographing activities around the camp fire during the day can be fun, but you should challenge yourself to take some photos of the campfire after dark also. Using manual mode will make this easier because you can control all your camera’s settings. Using a slow shutter speed will smooth out the flames from the fire while using a fast shutter speed will freeze the motion.
Both approaches can make for interesting photos. Ideally, you would have a tripod for long exposures, but if you’re like me, that’s gear you may not want to bring with you camping. If you don’t have a tripod, you can set your camera on a picnic bench or brace yourself for handheld images. Focusing in the dark can be tricky, so I recommend locking focus before taking the photo.
9. After Dark
Don’t put the camera away just because the sun has gone down and you’re headed to bed. Get creative with artificial light like a flashlight, iPad, or lantern to capture some images inside your tent, camper, or yurt after dark.
I love to photograph my daughter reading before bed and after she falls asleep. Shoot in manual mode so you can handle the low light by using a high ISO, a wide aperture, and a slow shutter speed. As with campfire pictures, without a tripod, you’ll need to rest the camera on something steady or brace yourself to avoid motion blur.
Finally, I like to take advantage of the freedom and relaxed schedule of camping to experiment with some photography techniques that I don’t use often. This is a great time to play with techniques like deliberately out-of-focus images, sun flare through the trees, or panning as kids ride by on bicycles.
You can also experiment with different perspectives, or take the time to practice your macro photography. When you have time to slow down and you’re relaxed and not worried about messing up, you can really grow your skills.
Have fun on your next camping trip and watch out for these photo opportunities!