How To Shoot Epic Outdoor Photos With Adventurer Max Lowe

Words by Matthew Vanatta

It’s hard to reduce Montana raised adventure filmmaker and photographer, Max Lowe, down to a single moniker or title. Max, who grew up under the tutelage of one of the most prominent mountaineers in history, has forged his own path as a creative. The young director and photographer is making some of the most inspired outdoor films of the modern era and continues to push his limits both creatively and in the wild.

The National Geographic Adventurer and avid outdoorsman was kind enough to share five tips on how to shoot epic outdoor photos. With Max’s keen knowledge and detailed advice anyone venturing into the outdoors can capture awe worthy images. Lowe has inspired a new generation of adventure enthusiasts with his vivid images and rich storytelling, and we can’t wait to see what the young creative has in store for the future.

1. Learn how to use your gear, whatever it might be: It’s pretty baseline stuff, but to be a good photographer you need to know how to use the camera you have at your disposal. Having the camera almost be an extension of yourself; when you interacting with an environment or a situation and trying to capture a brief moment of beauty, you can’t afford to be messing around with your camera trying to figure out the proper settings. Also, nice gear is great, but it’s not going to make you a great photographer. A chef isn’t measured by the quality of his range.

2. Don’t be afraid to shoot into the sun or into the night: A lot of people will look to only shoot photos away from the light source, or might think that beautiful images cannot be captured in a void of light, not the case. Many of my favorite images ever taken by photographers I look up to, have been taken in a wash looking directly into a light source, or with just a hint of light amidst a blanket of darkness. The interaction of light and dark creates emotion in imagery and there is much to be taken from both extremes.

3. Shoot always: To be a great photographer, you have to genuinely enjoy taking photos and love the action of interacting with the world through the lens. When I was coming up in my practice, I did a project 3 years running where I forced myself to shoot a single image every day for all 123 days of the summer, from the beginning of May to the end of August, and in that I learned more than I had from any other venue. Practice makes perfect, as the old saying goes, and to this day, practicing constantly is how I continue to hone my style and skill with a camera.

5. Don’t be afraid to steal: The quote from Pablo Picasso “Good artists copy, great artists steal” is pretty on point when it comes to mastering the visual story telling realm. Take as much as you can from those around you and build yourself from it. Don’t recreate imagery or ideas, but don’t be afraid to take an idea or a style and make it your own.

Share This Story:

Shop the Collection