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What is Adventure Photography?

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As the name shows, adventure photography is all about capturing adventures forever with the eye of the lens. It’s all about having the whole story of an adventure in a single shot or a brief video.

Adventure photography is a pretty broad term. Certain type of photography falls under this category such as action photography, sports photography, sky photography, landscapes, and outdoor shootings. This niche of photography is one of the most popular ones, and it doesn’t seem like there will be a decrease in its popularity anytime soon.

All thanks to tens of new features in action and digital cameras, more and more enthusiast photographers are adopting action photography as a hobby as well as a career choice. And believe us when we tell you that this career choice is making them a fortune!

Do you wonder why this niche is gaining a lot of popularity over time? Are you considering starting adventure photography or looking for some easy ways to make your output awe-inspiring? Well, you’re at the right place. In this article, we will give you a brief insight into the salient features of action photography and some ways you can improve the results of your adventure-filled footages.

Fire camp in the night

What makes adventure photography different from other niches?

Most of the adventure photography is outdoor shooting. It requires a novel skill set compared to a person shooting in the studio or working as a wedding or fine art photographer.

First and foremost, to be an adventure photographer, a person needs to be an adventurer. To get a perfect shot, he/she might have to get deep into adventure himself. Take an example of a wildlife photographer. All he wants to do is capture close-ups of wild animals.

How come he can capture close-ups if he is too sensitive to be in wild conditions or too scared to be near those wild beings? With a particular skill set, one also needs a lot of adventure to explore this ventures-filled niche.

As a photographer, action photography not only gives you a front-row seat in full of thrill situations but also allows you to live many once-in-a-lifetime moments. Many times in adventure photography, things are usually happening once.

For example, if you are shooting your skydiving or deep-sea diving experience, it is tough to recreate your desired shooting conditions again and again in case something goes wrong. This makes it essential for adventure photographers, especially professionals, to master this art and know their equipment well.

Adventure photography is all about creating a perfect balance between being a part of an adventure and capturing that it is using solid camera techniques.

It might sound pretty easy, but it requires proper planning about what kind of results you are looking for, what equipment you need to carry around, what is the perfect timings and camera settings to execute your shooting plan, ensuring the safety of self as well as saving equipment from damages, et cetera.

For a regular photographer or an individual, a scenario must be nothing but a regular one but an adventure photographer can create a masterpiece.

Friends on camper roof

Adventure photography equipment:

As a beginner or a casual enthusiast, an action camera or DSLR with some basic equipment can do the job. As a professional or a serious adventure photographer, you can invest in adventure photography gear.  <- Affiliate link  🙂 Yes, it’s an investment – it pays you back with exclusive and unique shots.

This form of photography is mostly a field job, so it’s mandatory to have the right equipment with you. Basic gears an adventure photographer requires are:


There is a wide range of cameras available for adventure photography. DSLR or mirrorless cameras work the best for outdoor adventures. Personally, I think action cameras are the best suit for this category of photography. These cameras are designed to address the needs of adventurers and have many features, i.e., lightweight, high resolutions, higher image stability, etc., to make your experience better.

Adventure photography camera needs can vary from photographer to photographer. Therefore, before making a purchase decision, set a budget limit and thoroughly go through the specifications of cameras available in that range.

If you are a total beginner, instead of buying a camera to start adventure photography, start with your smartphone camera. Modern mid-range cameras are even offering 4K, and they are straightforward to carry around.


In this genre, lenses are as essential equipment as a camera to get perfect results every time. 10-24mm or 16-35mm (f/4 or f/2.8), 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm (f/4 or f/2.8), 35mm (f/1.4 or f/1.8), 1.4x teleconverter lenses are most popular lens used by adventure photographers.

Again, before buying any lens, evaluate first if that is a requirement of the type of adventure photography you are into. You don’t need to buy a lot, but relevant and good gear only.


Adventures are all about thrill for the adventurer and a lot of possibility of blurs and shakes for footages.

To ensure stable and clear shots every time, you need a tripod/monopod. So invest in a compact and lightweight one. Besides adventure photography, it will come in handy in all sorts of shooting.

Storage and power

DSLR/mirrorless/action cameras don’t come with any built-in storage. Adventure photography is shooting most of the time outdoors; you need a solid storage pool with you all the time to ensure uninterrupted shooting. For additional backup, also keep a portable drive with you to store your hard-earned footage.

The battery life of cameras is limited. It can end before your adventure ends. To not miss any moment, just like memory cards, you also need spare batteries or a portable power bank with you.

Safety gears

These safety gears are for personal as well as to protect the equipment from any damage.

A backpack

With all the other things, as an adventurer photographer, you also need a good backpack in which you can carry a first aid kit, sunscreen, water bottle, snacks, headlamp, GPS messaging device, backup storage/battery, other akin equipment, and camera and other gears if necessary.

Man jumping in the sea

5 Tips to make adventure shooting better:

These tips can be helpful to all types of adventure photography.


Amateurs do not consider it, but planning is as important as actually shooting.

Without complete homework, a trip for adventure photography can be nothing but a waste of time. First, choose the subject you want to shoot. Then, if you do not have enough knowledge about it, search and ask other people in the field for theirs.

Once you have a complete sketch about the subject and how you want to shoot it, choose a location. After that, consider the best shooting options and narrow them down to the best one. Last but not least, prepare a proper photography backpack with all essential shooting gadgets, items you might need on sight, backups, first aid, et cetera.

If you are shooting at risky places, make sure you are prepared for yourself and your gadget’s safety.

Invest in equipment

Smartphones or just action/DSLR can do a job for beginners, but you need to invest in gears as a serious hobbyist or professional.

You don’t need a lot but the right tools. Look out for the right lens, filters, safety gears, memory cards, battery backup as per your job requirement.

One more thing you need to understand as an adventure photographer is that you can own many adventure photography equipment, but you don’t need to carry everything with you on every trip. Always pack your bag with the right amount of tools only. Unnecessary gear will be just a burden on your back, stopping you from enjoying adventure properly.

Watercraft near the waterfall

Learn manual settings

Manual settings offer creative freedom. In fact, it can cut off a lot of post-production work and allow you to create filters and special effects.

It is difficult to recreate the shooting circumstances of adventure photography. However, knowing manual settings, you can get various shots in one setting, which a photographer relying on auto settings can’t.

Keep your camera ready

Any shooting opportunity can come unexpectedly in adventure photography. Set the camera on desired settings before beginning the adventure, so you don’t regret ending up missing a moment.

Always have a perspective

A clear point of view helps more in adventure photography than randomize stuff.

A single adventure photograph can tell a tale. Try to have a perceptive or a clear point of view before you start shooting. It will refine your creativity, help you decide how you want to present the subject, and help you present the world which everyone walking around the same scene couldn’t.


If you are not documenting your adventures yet, you are missing out a lot. Don’t have a camera? Pick up your phone and start saving your memories for later. Adventure photography will help you save and savor your thrills for a long time.

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