1: Use a tripod and a timer remote!
While setting the camera on a rock or the ground will work in certain situations. A tripod is going to allow you to place the camera at any height, position, and angle. This gives you full control and allows for way more control of the composition.
I use my Induro 104’s for hiking and backpacking. Then I use my Induro 204 for short hikes and drive up spots. I personally use the Induro ballheads which are perfect for quick angle changes.
It’s also a great idea to pick up a time-lapse remote or intervelometer. These devices are great because they allow you to trigger your camera a timer or to keep clicking the photos automatically. This gives you time to get out into the scene without having to rush. Without this type of timer, you are stuck with the 10-second timer on your camera, which most often is not enough time to get out into the frame and get a comfortable pose.
2: Keep the pose natural
Instead of rushing out into the scene, take your time and enjoy the location you’ve chosen. Try out different poses and see what feels comfortable for the specific scene
3: Shutter Speeds
Try to keep the shutter speeds as short as possible (if you can). It will keep the figure in the frame looking sharper.
If you are shooting at night, you will need to use a long exposure. In this case, its important to stand as still as possible and hold the pose. This may take a few tries to get a crisp figure.
4: Try Shooting Silhouettes
Try shooting silhouettes and showing the figure in shadow rather than fully lit. This is a great way to make the photo a bit more anonymous and mysterious. This also allows the viewer to put themselves in the photograph and imagine that they are the person in the scene.
5: Make Sure the Person is Adding Something to the Photo
Make sure that the person is adding to the composition of the photo and not taking away from the natural shapes in the image. Sometimes it can distract if the person is blocking an important object or if the person is too far to the edge of the frame. It can also be distracting when the sense of scale feels off. Just make sure you are being compositionally aware and place the figure in a spot that helps the image and helps tell the story.
These are my 5 trips for shooting self-portraits in nature. I really hope they help!