Lifestyle and Health

Pics and Peaks

Written by AmberD

“I think life is too short not to be doing something which you really believe in.”

Steve McCurry

I like taking pictures and I like walking up, down and around mountains.

Mountains have become a place my mind, body and spirit crave. When I pack up bag, and hop into my little blue CR-V (she’s named Blueberry, if you ever get the chance to meet her), and start travelling west, the music gets louder, the smiles get bigger and letting go of stress and anxiety becomes easier. On each of these trips, there is a good chance Blueberry will have to pull to the side of the highway if a photo opportunity pops up. My trips to the mountains can vary from a few hours on a small hike to multiple days camping in the backcountry, and over the years my camera has become a fixture on my packing list and is rarely out of arm’s reach.

Whether it’s your iPhone on a selfie-stick or a D-SLR you’re taking off “Auto Shoot” for the first time, taking photos while hiking is fun and can create a new and unique mindfulness to your day. Weaving photography into my hikes has made me more aware of my surroundings. While walking in the mountains with my camera, I’m looking for patterns and textures in nature, I’m trying to frame peaks with trees and create scale with my friends. My goal isn’t to make it to the top first, but my motivation comes from trying to capture beautiful images that will tell the story of my day.

Here are 5 tips I would like to share that have helped my photos capture the moments of the mountains.

  1. Friends – Friendship rules. Keeping that camera handy so you can capture your friends at their best (Pro Tip – People move more than mountains. I find photographing people really challenging)
    pics and peaks
  2. Scale – Take a photo of your pal from really far away, show your audience how big those mountains really feel when you’re out hiking
  3. Time of Day – The sun rises and sets every day, plan to be outside at one of these times and Mother Nature will likely gift you with some beautiful light
  4. A Different Perspective – Get up high, crouch down low, find an angle not everyone sees
    mountain peaks
  5. The Little Things – Cool things happen around the campfire, during après, and while making coffee – find some everyday images that convey the feeling of your day
    map of peaks

Photographing landscapes like the Canadian Rockies isn’t always easy. These mountains have been photographed daily by millions of tourists for over a hundred years and each of those photos is still unique. It’s easy to go to place a like Lake Louise and think to yourself, “Look at all these people taking photos, I’ll take a quick snap for a Instagram and just grab a postcard on the way out.” It’s time to change those thoughts! Pull out your phone, bring your camera, capture the unique light, energy and people that your adventure involved. Every trip to the mountains, even if it’s a place you’ve visited many times, will look a little differently each time you go.



About the author


Amber likes to take pictures, eat pizza, practice yoga, be outside, read BuzzFeed, hike, scroll through Instagram, wear funky leggings, and pretend she knows what she's talking about at wine tastings. Brunch is her favourite meal and nobody should let her know when mercury is in retrograde. IG @amberdunleavy

Follow her on Instagram @jamberee8

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