Photography Tips To Take Your Holiday Snaps Up a Level!

We’ve compiled a few handy photography tips to help you make the most of your holiday pictures.

How to capture the perfect mountain bike tour photos

They say memories last a lifetime and we at H+I Adventures take great pride in making memorable mountain bike tours around the world. The bad thing about memories is you can’t show your family and friends, so that’s where the camera comes in!

Our ace photographer Ross has compiled a few simple photography tips and pointers to help take your tour snaps up a level when out on the trails.


The most basic and fundamental aspect of any shot, the recipe or formula for a successful photo starts here. The first thing to think about is the positioning of the subject, where you want the viewer’s attention to go. A great starting point is the ‘rule of thirds’, dissecting your image and placing the rider off-centre and in the thirds of the image. Most phones and cameras have a grid overlay which is good for helping you place the subject. But as always rules are meant to be broken…

Grid overlay showing the rule of thirds, part of our photography tips tutorial.

Camera Angle

More often than not photos will be taken at chest height, it’s the natural go-to and no-one thinks much of it. There is, however, a lot to be gained from getting low and shooting up at your subject, this will make them more imposing and impactful. Also getting a vantage point above or looking down can give images a quirky or even graphic angle.

Biker descending at sunset in Applecross, Scotland. Used to show camera angle in our photography tips tutorial.

Get Creative

Taking a photo from dull to dramatic is easier said than done but adding foreground is a good place to start, whether it be rocks, trees or heather – this will give the photo more depth. This will mean getting close to the foreground feature and focusing the camera (usually by tapping the screen) on where the subject will be. Other things to look out for are subject framing in trees or various shapes and leading lines which will bring the subject more attention.

Bikers at Loch Morar, part of our photography tips.

Phone Settings

Phones are limited in settings, but there’s a little potential to be unlocked and a few things to be avoided.

‘HDR’ mode will give your phone a slightly better dynamic range, so there will be more detail in the darkest and lightest parts of your image.

Most phones have a ‘Burst’ mode which will rapidly take a sequence of photos and increase your potential hit rate of getting the shot.

Something to avoid is zooming – the zoom on your phone is digital which means instead of the lens zooming in and out ‘optically’ like on a DSLR, the phone is in fact cropping in, which destroys quality and makes the image pixelated.

Shooting in Dark Conditions

Phone camera technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, but when it comes down to dark conditions they start to come undone. The low quantity of light means the camera’s shutter has to remain open for longer and won’t freeze fast action. Often shots taken in poor light will be blurry, particularly with a quick moving subject like we have in biking. One way of getting around this is by panning, so tracking the subject movement with your phone in a fluid movement. This will blur the background but should keep the rider sharp as the camera is following at the same speed… It is hit and miss and may take a few attempts to get right!

Bikers descending in Torridon, Scotland. Showing the effectiveness of panning in our photography tips tutorial.

Photography tips in Summary…Do’s and Don’ts!

  • Do try new things, photography is all about experimenting. Angle, foreground, lines, framing, etc…
  • Do utilise the rule of thirds, composition is king.
  • Do set the focus and exposure manually, usually by tapping the screen on where the subject is.
  • Don’t zoom if you can avoid it, this will kill image quality.
  • Don’t just focus on the action – landscapes, faces and lifestyle are just as important.
  • Don’t start maxing sliders on image editing apps such as Instagram.

Enjoyed this blog? Why don’t you check out ……..”Tips on how to travel with your mountain bike” and “Why do I need a 20 litre backpack?”

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