Alex Morgan Photography Tips
5 Tips to Get Photos Like the Pros
Outside GO traveler Alex Morgan shares how to capture the ultimate travel photos, no matter where you're headed.
By: WHITNEY JAMES
Alex Morgan is no amateur photographer. He's also no stranger to international travel. So when he returned from Uganda earlier this year, our team had high expectations. But as soon as we saw his photos, we found ourselves picking our jaws up off the floor. I had only one initial question for Alex—how can we make our photos look more like yours? He shares his knowledge below.
What gear do you recommend traveling with?
ALEX: The best camera is the one you have with you. My caliber of gear is not exactly necessary for everyone's needs, but on this Uganda trip I brought my Canon 5DMKiii camera body with a 24-70 F 2.8L lens and a 70-200 F2.8L lens with a 2x extender that allows for 140-400 F5.6 range.
Great! But you've lost us. What do all of these numbers mean?
ALEX: The 24-70 millimeter lens is great for wide angles and close ups. Think shooting landscapes. The 70-200 millimeter lens is a great versatile option that will give you sharp focus and great fall-off, or what we call "bokeh," in your backgrounds to really make your subject stand out.
Don't all the pros use massive, super-zoom lenses?
ALEX: You don't need one. Extenders work great as a compromise, and are useful for shooting up into the trees for wildlife like chimps or birds, as well as for shooting across the plains. I wouldn't bring a great big 400-600 lens—those things are too heavy.
Alex's Top 5 Tips
1. The closer you can be to your subject, the better. Don't use your lens to compensate for being too far away, just get closer (unless there is a minimum distance, like with gorillas).
2. Don't bring so much gear that your hike becomes unmanageable. I was right on the brink of unmanageability for these strenuous hikes in Uganda up narrow trails. Often, there were no trails at all.
3. NO FLASH! It's not allowed while gorilla trekking, and your shots will often come out better with natural light.
4. Always shoot in RAW mode to have maximum editing capabilities. Programs like Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom are all wonderful tools to get the best out of your shots.
5. Bring a rain cover for your gear bag—it can start pouring at any moment.
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