Remember that hike where the photos of the most spectacular views of the route didn’t look as awesome as you thought they would when you were clicking away with your camera or smartphone? Nope, we’re not trying to bring bad facepalm-inducing memories (by the way, we’ve talked about hiking photography in another post). That’s just to emphasize the importance of knowing how to nail your outdoor adventure selfies.

Use Time Lapse, Burst, or Timer Mode

These modes will ensure you’ll have options you can pick from. Also, these will help you capture great action shots that look natural and spontaneous.

Anytime I’m trying to capture a specific image during an activity–in this case, hiking–I rely on TimeLapse mode to get the shot,” said adventurer Chris Brinlee Jr. “If my angles and body positioning are changing quickly, I’ll shoot one every 0.5 seconds; if the situation is a little more stable, I’ll switch it to one second.”

Having those high-capture frequencies increases the probability of getting the best shots, and allows for more experimentation in a shorter amount of time,” he added.

Include a Human or Animal Subject in Landscape Shots


Up close, the Aletsch Glacier may look super awesome, but on photo it appears to lose its magnificent scale. That is if you photographed it without a subject in the foreground. Including a subject, even if it’s an animal, helps make the picture mirror the majesty of the landscape in question as it gives the viewer a clear sense of scale.

Also, the subject can serve as a distinctive accent to the view. Photos of famous Swiss Alps landmarks, such as the Matterhorn, the Interlaken, the Eiger, and other peaks, already litter the Internet and various publications, so making your own shots of such places original and unique is a challenge and a goal.

While you’re at it, explore various angles and poses in taking landscape shots with a subject.

Pay Attention to the Lighting

What is the direction of the light? You’re supposed to take your shots facing the light, not against it. Otherwise, your face will look dark in the resulting pictures.

However, new touchscreen camera technology can help you remedy that – if you’re taking a shot against the light, tap on your face so the focus frame shifts to it and your features don’t look as dark anymore.

Give Your Outfit and Background a Once Over

A fantastic background can be ruined by hair that seems to have gone through a cyclone (nope, not the cool, mussed-up look) or clothes that appear to have undergone a vigourous pat down. Or a number of people scattered behind you.

That being said, give your outfit and background a quick check before shooting to make sure you’ll get a non-messy looking photo. You can try another angle or shift to some other spot to eliminate the crowd or other objects in the background.

One more thing – don’t forget to smile!

Double Check Shots Taken by Other People

Photo taken at Montricher to Mont Tendre

If you’re not using your selfie stick or find it difficult or time-consuming to set up your tripod or some other photography accessory, getting other people to take your photos is the next best thing. However, you should be very specific about the shot you want and articulate that. You should also double check the results and have the shot retaken if they’re blurry, out of focus, or simply not to your liking.

Further, see to it that you change up your selfies so most of them aren’t too similar. Be careful not to stumble into the pitfall of having shots where the background is the only thing that’s different. Use a variety of angles and highlight different parts of your face, or even your own body.

Play around with your shots and experiment. Replicate the best results on your next hike so you go futher in your hiking selfie efforts.

Have a suggestion to add to this piece? Tell us in the comments!


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