How To Take Great Trail Photos On The Run

Trail Runner|July/August 2019

How To Take Great Trail Photos On The Run

How to take great trail photos on the run

Howie Stern

Nowadays, you see running pictures everywhere—Instagram, Facebook, magazines, blogs, websites. And that is not surprising, especially when they feature running off the roads. Trail running takes place in some of the most beautiful settings, so it’s natural to want to capture your friends and fellow runners out in nature doing what they love.

Even though you don’t possess the knowledge and gear professionals to use, following a few simple guidelines will help you to up your photo game and be on your way to social-media glory.

Get Started

It isn’t necessary to shoot a fancy DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. In fact, a late-gen smartphone is capable of capturing excellent, sharp images, and has the bonus that most people carry them everywhere they go. As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you.

While keeping things on the small and light side, a significant step up in versatility and image quality is a higher-end point-and-shoot camera, such as a Sony RX100 or similar, which usually offers optical zooming as well as higher megapixels and better lowlight performance. You can shoot in manual mode and save to RAW files for greater processing flexibility.

It’s About Location

In general, seek clean backgrounds, i.e. ones without a lot of clutter such as scrappy vegetation, dead trees or manmade structures. If you can find open views, water crossings or interesting sweeps of trail among grasses or lightly treed terrain, you’re off to a good start.


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July/August 2019