What people see when they go off-road is unlike any other. Whether it’s the landscapes you come across, the action of the adventures, or the vehicles themselves, there’s always a sight to catch on camera. There is no right way to take off-road photography, but there are ways to help make the photos interesting and tell a story. Here are 5 photography tips for when you’re out riding with off-road vehicles.
What matters is that you get the shot you want
When it comes to off-road photography, taking the picture is more important than how you take it. Of course, there are cameras with better specs than others, but in the end the moment itself and capturing it is what’s valuable. For instance, taking a photo of your off-road vehicle with an iPhone compared to a professional camera won’t make a difference to the concept of the photo itself—only the quality of the image will change.
How elements of the photo are placed makes all the difference
Everything you capture with the lens of a camera tells a story. Aside from the subject of your photo, such as your off-road vehicles, elements in the surroundings create good composition and something interesting to look at. Filling the frame is one way to create composition. In this way, you can frame your ATV vehicle or side by side vehicle with trees on both sides, creating a lot to observe in the frame. Another way is by blocking the subject, which means taking a photo of your vehicle that is partially obstructed by another element such as a bush, making it seem like your subject is peeking out from behind it. You can also create leading lines, which draws the eyes of the viewers in a particular direction. While off-roading, this would mean shooting square on your vehicle and having a dirt road, clouds or the sky leading towards it, directing your focus.
It’s all in the angle
Every object, animal or human being has a good camera angle. When shooting a portrait of your ATV vehicle or side by side vehicle at a distance longer than 70 mm, you should think of the headlights as eyes and level the lens at the same height. In doing that, you’re able to also capture other interesting parts of the vehicle such as the hood, headlights, and any other accessories such as a roof rack, a front winch and almost up to the skid plates under the vehicle. When shooting your off-road vehicle at a distance shorter than 70 mm, it’s best to get as low as you can to the ground to get your shot. This makes the vehicle look larger and gives it a tough stance.
Remember why you're taking the photo
When out on the trails, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget what you’re doing. Getting distracted and losing track of what you want to capture in your photo, such as certain details of your off-road vehicle or accessories can happen, so it’s important to keep your head in the game. Including details in your photo grabs the attention of viewers and creates a conversation around it.
This can be difficult, but it’s so worth it
Capturing your off-road vehicle in motion adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your photo. Of course, this can’t be done while you’re alone and driving. You need to call on one of your best pals or riding buddies for help to get the epic shot. One person can ride through a mud hole with an ATV vehicle or side by side vehicle and the other can take the photo. Give it a try!