Wilderness Photographer of the Year judge Mike Edmondson offers his top tips for entries into the photo competition.
GRW: As a judge in the Wilderness Photographer of the Year awards what are you looking for in a stand-out image?
An image that has the Wow! factor and makes me want to go there.
GRW: What the best advice you can give a photographer?
- Keep it light Multi-day hikes into the wilderness means you’ll have a pretty heavy pack full of clothes, food, camping gear. Lighten your load.
- Take handhold images where possible This means more time for compositions, especially in wet, unstable ground and windy conditions. Save your heavier tripod for twilight, astronomy and pre-dawn shots.
- Here's what you could carry in your pack one lightweight alloy slik tripod (less than 800gm) for star shots; 1-3 lenses: a full frame 24-85 f35-f45 with stabiliser (this is lighter than a 24-70 f.28), a lightweight wide angle (e.g. 20mm f18) and/or an an Astro lens 14mm (Only when needed).
- Have your camera handy Use a Lowpro chest pouch for easy access to your kit. Buy one with an inbuilt rain cover and a fastex waist strap so it doesn’t swing around.
- Avoid condensation Keep your camera in its bag in your tent’s vestibule. Not in the more humid tent with you.
- Be adaptable The weather can change quickly and unpredictably in the mountains. Be flexible to change your location for your own safety and enjoyment. Be grateful for the opportunities provided to you and respect the wild will of the mountains.
- Be present Tune into the energy of the environment. Use your intuition and connection to nature to guide you to photo opportunities. Challenge your expectations.
- Create a story Aim to locate something interesting in the foreground, midground and background. Look for angles coming into corners.
GRW: What’s your best advice for shooting in the low light of a winter’s day?
Arrive 25 minutes early pre-dawn to scout out compositions. I hand hold at any speed above 1/30 second for my wide angle 24 to 20mm full frame lense. For slower shutter speeds I carry lightweight tripod and I use the self timer.
GRW: What your advice for protecting a camera from the elements?
I use an easy accessible Lowepro chest pouch with waist strap added not a heavy monster bag as my backpack is full of camping gear and food etc.
Click here to enter the comp.