Capture the beauty

Learn how to take great photos on your next hike.

I’ve been photographing Irvine for 32 years. As a professional photographer and Woodbridge resident, I love roaming Bommer Canyon, Quail Hill and all the trails that crisscross Irvine’s 16,500 acres of open space. Here are five easy tips on how to capture all the beauty of your next hike — with just a smartphone.

1. One step closer

With friends, get up close. No need to show their feet. People want to see faces, like in this shot at Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

2. A little to the right

When shooting a flower, get down to its level, then frame it slightly off-center, like this beauty in Bommer Canyon.

 3. Think in depth

Include something in the foreground, like these reeds at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, to add depth to your shot.

4. Walk this way

When photographing people, I often set up about 50 feet in front and let them walk toward me, without posing, for a very natural effect like this shot at William R. Mason Regional Park.

5. Sweeping beauty

Most smartphones now have a panoramic mode for ultra-wide shots. Hold the phone vertically and press the shutter button to start. Slowly pan left to right, then press the shutter button again to complete the panoramic photo. It’s a fun way to get an ultra-wide shot like this one at Quail Hill.

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