Pro Photo Tip: By Fred Marmsater

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What makes a good trail-running photo?

Bring a flexible mind and eye.

Do your homework on locations and lighting, be ready to adapt to conditions, light and athletes and always be willing to make a Plan B on location.

Regarding gear, bring only what you really need. That might be a full rig in a big pack, or just a small DSLR and one lens in a running vest. But always carry sharp-quality glass, and an extra battery, card(s) and a lens wipe.

Be ready to get through the day in an efficient manner, i.e. bring water, food, jacket, sunglasses, shoes that fit, etc. Also, try to be a partner to the athletes you’re shooting, and give yourself enough time to get to your location when the light is right.

How to take photos

A reformed former scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, Fred Marmsater has catapulted into the outdoor-photography biz as one of its busiest shooters. His work has been regularly featured in Trail Runner, and includes a recent feature on his adventure to the wild King’s Trail in his homeland, Sweden, and several cover images. He specializes in shooting in remote locations and capturing athletes pushing their limits. During expedition skiing and long trail runs, he gets into beautiful and seldom-seen locations to bring back fresh images. Good luck keeping up with him, even when he’s loaded down with an extra 40 pounds of camera gear.

Joe Grant running in east Zion National Park. I really like the light, stride and depth of the background, and how the light strikes the sandstone ridges and fins. Joe has a great stride, so, in terms of the runner, it was just a matter of capturing the right part of the stride.

Getting really good light in Zion can be a challenge; scenic locations are often in canyons or other places where you do not get the very first or last light. I knew that this area gets first light and has really fun slickrock ridges and domes for good adventure running. Joe and I were down in Zion for a few days, and this was our last sunrise before hitting the road—I think it worked out.

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