Expert Advice: Photographing Adventure with Al Lee

At Berghaus we live for adventure and on our Facebook page you can create your very own unique version of our latest print advert with your favourite outdoor images. Our fans are uploading some great images and we wanted to share with you how to capture the perfect adventure image, so we spoke to an expert.

Alastair Lee is an award film maker and photographer who shot our latest TV advert and captured the stunning imagery we use in our marketing.

His latest book ‘Baffin Island – the ascent of Mount Asgard’ details the full story of his epic ascent of Mount Asgard with Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding.

We caught up with Al to get his advice on how best to capture the perfect adventure image:

Tip No. 1:

There’s no substitute for the long time basics of photography: good light, the correct exposure, sharp focusing and good composition. Sound application of these factors will always be more valuable than any amount of expensive kit.

Tip No 2:

Try to take photos at the key moments, which unfortunately is usually when you don’t or can’t get the camera out. Reserve your photographic energy and be ready to get the camera out when it all kicks off. As the saying goes; ‘if someone says they’ll hit you if you don’t put the camera away, make sure you get a shot of yourself being hit.’

Tip No 3:

Having read point one you’ll be interested to hear that a photo that has great action or emotional content and is not technically perfect is better than a dull landscape or basecamp shot that is technically perfect. Although ideally we need to nail both (good action/emotion and technique) for a really great photograph.

Tip No 4:

This is my only technical tip in the list. Use fixed lenses rather than zooms – they are so much better and will improve your own photography tenfold. Having fewer focal length options will make you think more carefully about each shot. I did the whole trip to Mt Asgard with just two stills lenses and they are some of the most published images I’ve ever produced.

Tip No 5:
Which leads to perhaps the most important factor; location, location, location. Go somewhere mind blowing and anybody that can turn a camera on and point it the right way will get good shots.

We also asked our Facebook fans what their top tips were, and here’s a selection of the best answers:

Ross Kennerell-Walters: “Don’t compromise safety at the expense of going for that killer shot.”

Len Richardson: “Freezing the shot does not always give the best picture, movement and blur can add dramatic elements.”

Tim Sadler: “Learn how to use your camera equipment in every possible scenario. You don’t want to be learning how a lens hood fits when dangling 3000ft up!”

We hope our top tips have inspired you to get out and shoot some great action images. Once you’ve got your image head over to our Facebook page to create your own Berghaus Live for Adventure advert.

Al Lee photography

  • anne kathy

    it’s really fantastic

  • John

    Didn’t mention the focal length of the fixed lenses- but I suspect that they were wide angle rather than telephoto!