Trail Tips: Outdoor Photography

6 tricks for successful backcountry shooting

1.Kill the shakes Carry or improvise a tripod. Three techniques: cross your trekking poles and place the lens in the V, then lean the whole thing back (your body completes the tripod) set your self-timer and put the camera on a rock; make a monopod by embedding a 1/4" bolt in the handle of a trekking pole.

2.Control that color Don't use automatic white balance when shooting inside your tent. Your tent's fabric acts as a giant color filter and the camera gets confused. Instead, set white balance to the appropriate icon for the type of light (usually Shade).

3.Squeeze in more pictures Running low on card memory? Use a smaller image size or lower-quality format, and make sure you're saving only the keepers.

4.Protect the LCD If your camera didn't come with a cover, make one by trimming one of those clear press-on covers designed for PDAs. Available at office supply stores.

5.Hug your batteries In cold weather, keep spares in an inner pocket and swap them in when the others hit half-charge. Batteries regain some charge when warmed, thus lasting longer).

6.Use your film skills What you know still applies: Add people for a sense of scale. Make them wear bright colors. Outlaw standstill poses. Watch what's behind them--no trees growing out of their heads. Situate the horizon in the lower or upper third of the frame, never at the middle. Place subjects in the right or left third. And so on.