Know The Trails
Credit: Rich Wheater

Know The Trails

Before shooting mountain bikers, get to know the trail. Scope out boulders you can stand on for an over- view. Is there a downed tree you can lie under? In general, avoid eye-level perspectives in mountain biking: Very low or very high angles give the most dynamic look. And remember: A biker coming toward you looks better than one riding away.—Rich Wheater
Get Fit
Credit: Ryan Creary

Get Fit

You can't be a good ski or climbing photographer without being a good skier or climber. Along the same lines, good outdoor photographers should be pretty fit. They not only have to carry heavy gear into the backcountry, but if they’re with a group, they need to be fast enough to run ahead for one photo, then lag far behind for another, then catch up easily and run ahead again. —Jerry Kobalenko
Go Manual
Credit: Ryan Creary

Go Manual

Whitewater kayaking has such bright highlights that when the sun glints off the water, it fools even sophisticated modern meters. Set your camera on manual, and freeze the action with a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 second and preferably 1/1500 second.—Darryl Leniuk
Tilt-Shift
Credit: Ryan Creary

Tilt-Shift

I love using selective focus—making one part of my photo sharp and the rest blurry. One of my favourite lenses for this is a tilt/shift, which allows me to pin-point the focus of my image. It’s difficult to use for fast-moving action, but when it works, it can result in a very unique shot.—Ryan Creary
Intimacy Rules
Credit: Darryl Leniuk

Intimacy Rules

For kiteboarding shots, a fisheye lens (I use a 10.5mm) is the only way to get the kite in the photo, without pulling back so far that the shot loses intimacy. I ask the boarder to come as close as possible without running over me—often inches away.—Darryl Leniuk
Show Motion
Credit: Ryan Creary

Show Motion

If you want to take a blurred shot of a mountain biker or any other fast-moving outdoor athlete, a good starting shutter speed is 1/50 to 1/100 second.—Rich Wheater
Climbing
Credit: Rich Wheater

Climbing

Climbing photographers are often climbing right beside their subjects, so they have to figure out how to get away from the wall a little, for the best angle. Some of us carry homemade stilts, which we lash on our feet and then use to push off from the wall before shooting. Often I just thrust outward from the wall, and shoot at the still point of my swing, before I start arcing back.—Rich Wheater
Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.