August is peak time for spending long days outside, exploring nature and the world around us. Whether it’s admiring a sunset while hiking or gazing out over the water while paddleboarding, outdoor adventure activities give us a rush of adrenaline while allowing us to take in the beauty of our surroundings.

For this month’s five fresh photos, where we highlight outstanding new licensable content from our community of 8 million photographers, we are focusing on amazing moments that capture recreation, sports, and outdoor adventures through unique use of light, texture, and patterns.

“An early morning run” by Ngan Yeow Goh

An early morning run by Kimberly Potvin on 500px

In traditional sports stock photos, runners are often featured wearing high-end athletic gear and running in perfectly lit open spaces or city environments. Capturing the true experience of a runner can be difficult. It is hard to convey the feeling of being in the moment instead of just portraying a literal version of events. Ngan Yeow Goh’s photo, however, with its warm light and implied motion, successfully encapsulates the honest emotion of what it’s like to go for a run. It evokes the feeling of escaping in the early morning, with the sun slowly rising and the cool air emanating in a light steam from the pavement. From a design perspective, the open space at the top and bottom of the photo allows a designer to add text or crop the photo for a variety of uses.

“Sunset SUP” by Claire Willians

Sunset SUP by Kimberly Potvin on 500px

Some recreational moments occur in truly unique locations, where the natural environment is an essential part of the experience. Paddleboarding, a way to experience the world in a peaceful and serene way, is deeply dependent on water and weather conditions. In “Sunset SUP,” the photographer captures this feeling with softly lit ripples of water that are illuminated against the white of the paddleboard and contrasted with the strong vertical angle of the female model. The dramatic sky and strong horizon line add to the the overall composition of this photo, creating a dynamic image that a buyer could use to capture either soft concepts like peace and serenity or active concepts like water sports and exercise.

“Teide” by Liyuan Su

Teide by Kimberly Potvin on 500px

Hiking and climbing are activities that let us interact with nature in intimate ways. Instead of showing a detail of a hiker on a grass-covered hill, here, Liyuan Su has chosen to convey the rich experience of hiking in a more unexpected way through use of color, light, and composition. The horizon line against the clouds and sun, the rich hues of pink and red, and the sharp vertical of the two hikers making their way up the dark outline of a rocky hill combine to create an impressive composition. For a buyer, there are several elements that help make this an appealing image: the photo is easy to crop while still maintaining the relationship between the hikers and the sun, and the vast black and blue space at the top and bottom of the image is great for textual elements.

“Exploration…” by Eric Volto

Exploration... by Kimberly Potvin on 500px

Scuba diving is a unique adventure. Being surrounded by the solitude of water and the rich blue undercurrents of waves is an awe-inspiring experience. In “Exploration…,” Eric Volto captures this feeling through the use of contrasting light and dark patterns. The soft ripples of light flashing through the surface of the water illuminate the shape of the scuba diver, who is stretched out in the vast expanse of underwater space. The texture in the rocks and sand, barely visible, creates a layering effect within the photo. The overall composition, color, and texture of this image pull in viewers to make them feel like they are part of the moment. A buyer could use this photo to allude to a variety of concepts, including freedom, exploration, and silence.

“Morning winter hiking” by Sandi Bertoncelj

Morning winter hiking by Kimberly Potvin on 500px

When photographing a hiker in snow, it is often difficult to create a composition that captures both the beauty of nature and the details of an individual’s experience. Sandi Bertoncelj does just that with “Morning winter hike.” Featuring elements like the morning sunlight, the dramatic fog rolling over mountains, and the rich white of the snow, this photo reveals nature in its most stunning and tumultuous moments. Highlighting the hiker’s action in the foreground complements the movement of clouds in the background. In addition, by positioning the hiker in the left side of the frame, the photographer has given a buyer plenty of room to edit or modify the photo.


Check out this outdoors Marketplace collection and explore more images that can build a sense of adventure for your upcoming campaigns.