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Otter Tail Country Tourism

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hiking in Otter Tail Country? Don't Forget Your Camera!

As an amateur photography enthusiast, I get a few magazines about photography. I saw an article in Popular Photography about taking pictures while hiking - and Otter Tail Country's parks are a great place to try your hand at some nature photography while hiking.

No, we might not have mountains to hike, but we have some great forests and trails with plenty of nature's beauty and exciting wildlife.

Here's an excerpt from some hiking photography tips I found on another site:

Camera Equipment:

I talked about all the other stuff first, on purpose. Being safe is more important than getting a good picture. However, now that we’ve established the basics to keep you safe, let’s talk about camera equipment. A point and shoot digital camera with as many megapixels as you can get is a good choice. It’s small, lightweight, and you can use the back screen to shoot your pictures instead of looking through the viewfinder. This makes it easier to get a horizontal picture of a flower low to the ground.

For SLR cameras, weight becomes a hindrance, so you’ll want to keep your equipment down to a minimum, if possible. Before you go, decide what your goal of the day is and only take the lenses that will help fulfill that goal. Landscape photography is dominated by wide angle lenses, wildlife photography requires a telephoto lens, and flower photography ideally calls for a macro lens. I’d consider bringing a dark neutral density filter if you want to shoot waterfalls, and make sure and bring a second battery and a second memory card. It’s a long walk back to the truck if your battery dies. Because of weight, I’d take a maximum of two lenses, and usually this would be a wide angle and telephoto. You’ll also want to bring along a monopod, which can double up as a walking stick. Tripods are much too cumbersome to try and deal with out in the field, but a monopod will give you enough stability to get a good shot.

And the end of the article was probably my favorite advice for nature photography:

Most of all, getting in the outdoors can be a fun and sometimes religious experience. There’s a reason people call the wild “God’s Country”. Don’t be in a hurry and simply enjoy yourself. The photo is only half the experience.

Remember - the best camera is the one you have with you, even if it's just on your cell phone. The more pictures you take the better you'll be. Get out there and snap some shots!

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posted by Al at


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