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Elevating Your Mountain Shots

By Peter Latriano | Inspiration

“As we approached the mountain, I stared at it in awe. It seemed impossible that within a day’s time I would be standing on top of the massive chunk of land. As my eyes traced the ridge we would be walking along, I couldn’t help but notice the minefield of crevasses that we would have to navigate through. Certainly this was going to be a dangerous climb. It was going to be long, tiring and one wrong step could result in death. As I considered this, I smiled excitedly and continued marching towards whatever fate the mountain held for me.”

There is something about the mountains. No matter how perilous they may be, people have always been attracted to them. Maybe it’s because of their majestic beauty, or perhaps it’s the sense of adventure that they awaken, but the mountains are a special place. One that people have been capturing on film since the invention of the camera. From the professionals like Ansel Adams to regular Joe’s, snowy summits have become a key part of the history of photography, and will continue to be as long as there are explorers willing to rough it to get the perfect picture. But in order to capture those sublime shots, there are a few simple rules that need to be followed.

Location, Location, Location

When it comes to mountain photography, it’s all about location. In order to capture those pictures that will really wow your audience, you need to reach locations that aren’t easily accessible. This might mean climbing up a rocky crag, ascending a billowy bluff or maybe just a hike along a trail. Whatever it takes, it is always worth it. Not everyone is willing to go the extra mile to reach that sweet spot, but those who do are guaranteed stunning pictures that will impress.


Put it into Perspective
When you’re at higher elevations, perspective is important. It helps to give your viewers a better sense of place, and transports them to those faraway locations you’ve traveled to. It also provides better depth of field, and shows how far, or not-so-far you are from the nearby mountains. Get down low and capture the babbling brook with a massive mountain protruding from its far end. Put some wildflowers into perspective, with the mountains fading out into the background. Take a photo from inside the tent, creating a perfect frame. The options are endless.


It’s All About Timing
The mountains are always beautiful, but there are certain points in the day where they look truly magnificent. In the early morning, they live up to their reputation as purple mountain majesties, with a scenic pink backdrop. If you’re backpacking and get the opportunity to watch sunset, have your camera ready. If the conditions are right, the horizon will go aflame is reds, oranges and pinks, making for great memories and even better pictures.


Summit Selfies!
There are few feelings better than reaching the top of a mountain. After hours of pushing yourself, you finally get to indulge in some of the best views that Mother Nature has to offer. Take a minute to breathe it in, be one with the mountain and then get your camera ready for some summit selfies! You worked your butt off getting up that mountain, and now you need proof that you made it all the way to the top. The most important factor when it comes to summit selfies is the background. Are there more mountains in the distance? Make sure they are in the frame before you start snapping away. A great way to do this is to put yourself to the far left of right of the shot. The second most important factor is your pose. It should convey confidence, determination and of course victory. Throw that ice axe up in the air and smile big!


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