How to take a great running photo

David Miller offers five pro tips for capturing the trails through your lens

Arc of Attrition

by Trail Running |

Regular TR contributor David Miller has been acclaimed for his running-themed photography, in particular for the below image which captures Courtney Dauwalter's joy after winning the 2021 UTMB.

David told us: "I’m happiest out on the trails with a camera in my hand. The sports culture has always had a strong influence on me as I love the way it unites and brings out the best of us. Particularly trail running in which I’ve been doing myself for many years.”

Here David shares his top five tips for taking better photos out on the trails.

Courtney Dauwalter
Courtney Dauwalter ©David Miller

1. Use the light

Try taking your photos during sunrise or sunset. The sky creates beautiful colours during these golden hours, giving any photo that wow factor and plenty for you to play with when it comes to the edit.

2. Be creative

Don’t be afraid to try something a little different. Dare to create. Think of new locations and ideas you haven’t seen before in a photograph. There’s always an answer. A GoPro camera is the best example of taking photos from different perspectives as you can purchase different camera attachments to help share your vision.

3. Find your focus

A key element to any good composition is a strong focal point, as it helps your viewers' eyes naturally settle on the important pieces of your photo. For example, try putting the subject (runner) in one of the bottom corners with the landscape scenery spreading across the rest of the photo. This will give the effect of depth and a sense of scale.

Jurassic Coast
Jurassic Coast ©David Miller

4. All the gear and no idea

You don’t have to have the latest cameras and expensive gear to take great photos. You’ll be surprised how good your photos can turn out even from your smartphone. Hydration vests are affordable and are literally designed to store your smartphones. This way you’ll be able to bring your smartphone (or small camera) along on your run to capture those awe-inspiring panoramic views out on the trails!

5. The edit

Lastly, the edit makes all the difference. You can download some good free editing software such as VSCO, which has some preset filters for you to play around with. Editing photos allows you to play around with colours, crop and enhance the story you are trying to tell.

Follow David on Instagram at Davidmillerphotography_

David Miller
David Miller ©Jake Baggaley

Photo of David by Jake Baggaley****. Others photos by David Miller.

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