3 Reasons Why Hiking Improves Your Photography
In this article today, I am going to share three key reasons how hiking can improve your photography, no matter your genre.
We don't need evidence or reminders of the health and mental benefits of being outside in nature and getting physical exercise. All of these benefits are well documented and understood by most people.
In fact, hiking outdoors is a key part of my long-term health management plan and it is something that I do daily. Between hiking and making nutrition a priority, I am doing everything I can to be healthy and strong for myself and so I can continue to work and hopefully be a positive influence and make a small difference in the world.
Before I share the three reasons why I believe hiking can improve your photography, I will share a quick update on some new hiking trails that I have been working on over this last year on my land in the Missouri Ozark Mountains.
The terrain in the Missouri Ozark Mountain region is rugged and often difficult to navigate via foot. I like this because it is a great workout and of course being surrounded by over a million acres in the Mark Twain National Forest is natures paradise.
I wanted to have a trail system right outside my doorstep that could use and enjoy every day. My land borders the national forest so I also get the benefit of hiking and enjoying the massive footprint of the forest too.
I started to cut in a hiking and mountain biking trail system last year with my tractor and I am making good progress. I will share some of the photos from my hike today to show you the current status of the trail system.
We are just coming out of winter and I am starting to see the very first signs of spring with the daffodils blooming and the Eastern redbuds starting to show initial signs of blooming too. The photos of the trails today still have that winter look, but in about 4 to 5 weeks, almost everything will be green and beautiful. I will share some new photos and another update at that time so you can see how vibrant and different it looks in full bloom.
I am primarily working on the trail system for my own personal health plan, but I am thinking about hosting analog photography-based workshops on my land in the future where photographers can come for a few days and totally immerse themselves into nature and then of course, spend some quality time in my darkroom developing film and making prints. I will keep you posted on this as well.
At the time of this article we are still in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic. I hope that you and your families are well. I also hope that you have the opportunity to unplug from the chaos and constant influx of depressing news doing whatever it is that you enjoy.
I will share a few of the trail photos that I took today directly below and then scroll down to learn the three reasons why I believe hiking can improve your photography.
3 REASONS WHY HIKING CAN IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
1 - Improved Creativity. No matter your preferred genre, you need creative juices to make your best work. By getting outdoors and working your body, your mind relaxes and you are refreshed. Some of my most successful photography projects are a result of ideas that I had while hiking.
2 - Increased Stamina. Photography can be emotionally and sometimes physically draining. Having a strong body along with a clear and refreshed mind is key to creating your best work.
3 - Improved Focus. Being able to focus and be present during creative sessions is really important and I believe a key part of what helps us create our best work. Hiking not only relaxes and refreshes us, but I also found out that my ability to focus without my mind being distracted or overworked by other influences.
If you are physically able to get outdoors and hike or whatever form of exercise that you prefer, I strongly encourage you to make it a priority and your photography along with your sense of wellbeing and health will probably improve too.
I like to start my day with about 5 miles of hiking as a way to get my day started on the right track.
Scroll down and share your favorite places to hike.
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Walking and hiking is fine.
Carrying the necessary equipment can be challenging.
I walk trails that can take six or seven hours so lightweight equipment is a necessity .
My Bronica SQ was much too heavy and cumbersome and even an auto focus Nikon became too much.
Now its back to a Nikon FE or a soon to arrive Mamiya 6 folder.
Hello Mr. Layton,
Your trails beckon me. I couldn't walk 5 miles given the whole day. Decades ago, in FL, I would walk two miles daily. I exercise 6 days a week, but I miss walking. Hardly ever have the opportunity. The Philippines is not good for foreigners....if anyone at all. When I'm out, with my wife, I carry a hardwood stick.
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