Adventure Photography Gear, Tips & Tricks

Grab your gear!

Group rafting in a lake, after going down a small waterfall. Made better by having the right adventure gear.

Picking the right adventure photography gear will make your photos that much more shareable. We spend a lot of time scrolling through your Instagram feeds and watching your YouTube videos. Ziplining, tubing, skydiving – they’re all awesome photos and videos to watch (and to help plan our holidays). Some of the most exhilarating photos and videos are from rafting tour operators. Nothing beats the look of thrill on your guests’ faces as they shoot the rapids or the rolling laughter as they get sprayed and soaked. Capturing these moments is a combo of having the best spot and right gear. Specifically, adventure photography gear which can withstand the elements and with enough of a lens that it captures both the pride and sometimes fear, on faces.

Sure, your guests can take their own photos and videos on their phones, but only you know the best places to get that shot that they’ll want to show to friends and family. You have some of the best vantage points to capture the action.

Here are a few suggestions for putting those amazing spots to their maximum use with some new adventure photography gear recommendations and tips and tricks to get the most out of your existing gear.

What gear to choose

GoPro cameras remain the first choice for capturing great action videos on your adventure tours. Both the GoPro Hero7 and GoPro Hero8 Black are awesome choices. There are multiple helmet mounting options for them that either your staff or guests can wear to capture in the action videos. You don’t have to worry about how rough the waters are either. Both models are waterproof up to 33ft (10m). The newer Hero8 includes a new feature called HyperSmooth 2.0 that could really make your videos stand out. HyperSmooth includes built-in horizon levelling. This means that no matter how wild the rapids get, your videos will look wicked.

When it comes to great candid shots, there’s nothing like a simple, easy-to-use point and shoot camera. One of our team’s favorites is the Panasonic Lumix TS7. The Lumix TS7 features a 4.6x optical zoom lens giving you a 28-128mm lens equivalent. Not that you’d need it, but the Lumix TS7 is waterproof and functional to depths of up to 102 feet. What sets the Lumix TS7 apart from other similar rugged cameras is its built-in viewfinder. LCD screens are great – but if you’re in a really bright setting, the built-in viewfinder can come in really handy when working to compose awesome shots of your guests.

Gadget heads know that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) each January is the place to be to see what’s next in tech. One camera, in particular, caught our eyes this year – Insta360’s One R modular action camera. Know for making 360-degree video cameras, Insta360 is getting into 4K video capture with its modular system. The One R lets you switch the lens between a 360 camera or a 4K camera. Even with its modular, click-together setup, the One R is still waterproof up to 16ft (5m). If you’ve been looking into adding 360-degree video to your lineup, then the One R could be a good option.

Tips and tricks

Here are a couple of suggestions to get the most out of your adventure photography gear whether you’re using the latest tech or your tried and true gear.

Lighting has the biggest impact on the quality of your photos and videos. Remember to always have the sun at your back. This will avoid you only capturing silhouettes of your guests. If your tour times work, try and capture group shots during golden hours. Those are the times right after sunrise and right before sunset where the sun hits your subject almost parallel to the ground.

Composition is key! Every introduction to photography class or blog post will teach you the “rule of thirds”. When you’re setting up your shot, mentally divide the image into thirds and try to frame your guests left, middle, or right. For action shots down a river, you know the course rafts will take. Use these lines to set yourself up to capture those dips, dives, and tosses that guests want to see.

Man on a raft, being splashed by the river.
A high shutter speed “freezes” the action, making it great for splashes!

If you’re using a DSLR camera to capture photos, make sure you use a shutter speed between 1/800 and 1/1000. This higher shutter speed practically freezes the moment as it happens. It’s great when capturing splashing waves, mist off rocks, and oars in mid-stroke.

We hope these tips, tricks, and gear suggestions help you to continue to capture amazing guest experiences on your adventure tours. If you’re struggling to improve customer experiences be sure to check out our post with some tips on how to do just that. Tag us on Instagram with your gear choices or tips – we’d love to hear them!

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