Nature photography is an exciting genre because you can capture some truly stunning images. However, nature can also be a real pain to shoot. The light is constantly changing, there are lots of moving parts (insects, birds, leaves on the ground etc.), and you need to be in a specific spot at a certain time of day to get a good shot. That said, if you are up for the challenge, nature can produce some incredible images.
In this post I’m going to give you some great tips and techniques for photographing nature.
1 – Bring Along The Wide-Angle Lens
If you want to be noticed on National Nature Photography Day, make sure you bring a wide-angle lens with you. Many images look fantastic when they have a single point of focus, and while environmental photographs also have a main subject, the goal is to convey a sense of vastness.
These lenses have an additional benefit of having a larger depth of field. Wide-angle lenses allow more light to enter the camera, which means faster shutter speeds. Wider-angle lenses are almost always the best choice for nature photography, but there are exceptions to the rule.
2 – Opt For Longer Focal Lengths
While shorter focal lengths allow for a wider field of view, nature photography is fundamentally a balancing act. For better magnification when photographing wild animals, you’ll need a longer focal length lens. Nature photography can carry inherent risks that necessitate distance for safety, even though we’d all love to get that close-up shot of a hippopotamus.
3 – Understand Your Subject
Nature photography necessitates intimate familiarity with your subject matter. It’s a proven fact that when we know our subjects, we get better pictures. To get the best shot, you should be familiar with a lioness’ habits before a charge so you can take advantage of that knowledge. In addition, if you’ve read up on basking shark safety, you might be able to get a good look at the scary-looking pacifist up close.
4 – Utilize RAW Format
In their daily quest to capture beauty, many aspiring photographers – particularly those who stick to human-focused images – don’t use RAW format. Why? Because a large amount of memory card space is taken up by it. RAW format, on the other hand, is typically your best friend when it comes to nature photography.
Cameras that capture RAW images, as opposed to JPEGs, yield more natural-looking results. In the future, when editing photos, you’ll have a ton of pixel information at your disposal because of this. Rarely does a photograph capture nature exactly as it appears to be in real life. So you can relax knowing that post-snap edits are completely acceptable.
5 – Remember The Rule Of Thirds
In order to apply the Rule of Thirds, you must visualize a picture divided into nine equal parts by drawing two equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines across your field of vision. If you want to make your photo look good, you should place the most important parts of it along these lines or where they intersect with one another.
When capturing these images, make sure to use your best judgment – or simply take several shots with various compositions. There will be times when the center is the best place for a focal point. In contrast, the Rule of Thirds causes the eye to stray around the picture.
Those who view your images will gain a deeper understanding of the natural environment as a result of your efforts. Subjects should be placed in this manner to increase tension and energy.
6 – Define Your Subject
Nature photography frequently has a clear subject. Obviously, if you’re taking pictures of wildlife, that’s what you’re photographing: the animal. However, defining your subject in landscape photography can be more difficult.
What do you notice when you look through your camera’s viewfinder? Photographers have the ability to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary by capturing images of rivers, meadows, rock formations, and even clouds. Never just take a picture because it “looks pretty” because it’s haphazardly taken. Decide on a subject and then shoot the scene to reflect that choice.
7 – Use Natural Light To Your Advantage
When photographing nature, don’t be afraid to use your camera’s built-in flash. However, if at all possible, go with daylight lighting. Natural lighting provides a soft and hazy quality just after sunrise or just before sunset, allowing for even illumination and the avoidance of harsh shadows.
There’s a good reason why this is referred to as the golden hour. When the sun goes down and the sky turns blue, don’t hold back on taking pictures (right before sunrise or after sunset). When the sunlight is evenly diffused, it makes for beautiful photos.
8 – Use Water For Mirror Effects
Nature photography that captures the mountains as they appear reflected in crystal lakes is some of the best around. No matter what the subject of your photograph is, capturing a reflection in water only serves to enhance its grandeur. If you want to achieve this, you should take your photo during the golden hour.
Be aware that getting a perfect mirror image necessitates a number of steps. The best method is to use a tripod and to shoot in TV or Shutter Priority mode. In order to get the sharpest reflection, you should use a slow shutter speed and let your camera decide on the aperture.
9 – Separate The Subject From The Background
Nature photography frequently includes a subject like a flower, animal, or plant. Nature photography. This implies that the subject must be kept distinct from the rest of the scene.
You’ll have to use your judgment when it comes to where the various elements should be positioned within the frame. You’ll also have to make some alterations.
Your foreground and background should have some distance between them. As a result, they will be easier to distinguish in the photograph.
f/2.0 or f/2.8 are good examples of wider apertures. Focus on what’s in front of you. A softer, blurrier background should be the result of using a wide aperture.
10 – Crop Close On Textures
Many things in life are inspired by nature. Colors, sounds, patterns, and so on. Interesting topics can be right in front of us at any given time.
Take a closer look at your subject when taking pictures of nature. Anything from tree bark to leaves to forest floor or even lizard skin could be used for this project.
When you look closely, you’ll see that there’s a whole new world out there. If you want to see things up close and personal, consider purchasing a macro lens. Magnification of even the tiniest details is possible with these lenses, and the results can be stunning.
11 – Shoot Your Subject In Their Natural Context for Powerful Images
This is merely a suggestion, not a rule. If you’re going to photograph nature, make every element of the photograph as natural as possible.
The bird on the power line, or the spider on the wall of your house, is perfectly acceptable subjects for photographs. It’s a great way to create some unique and intriguing contrasts.
Photograph animals and plants in their natural habitat if you want striking nature images.
12 – Use The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a simple composition technique for landscape photographers. The rule of thirds is a photography composition technique that aids a photographer in placing subject matter on a dotted line. Aim for a visually pleasing and balanced image when looking through the viewfinder or screen. This is especially true when shooting landscapes, which often lack a clear focal point. Place your subject along the intersection of these two horizontal and two vertical lines to achieve this. Some cameras have a grid camera mode that shows a 3×3 grid on the screen to help photographers get the perfect shot.
13 – Play With Depth Of Field
A bird or a flower is often the main subject of a nature photograph. Use a wider aperture to make your subject stand out from the background. Wider apertures create a shallower depth of field, making the background appear blurrier and helping to focus attention on the subject, while smaller apertures create an extended depth of field, making the background appear sharper and more detailed. Try both and see which one makes your subjects stand out the most.
14 – Choose The Best Time Of Day To Get Perfect Nature Shots
If you can, try to shoot in the early morning or late evening when the light is best. There’s a better chance that the area where you’re shooting won’t be as crowded because of this.
This is especially true in tourist areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. These are well-known tourist destinations, such as national parks and historical sites.
Aim for mornings and evenings if you’re going out to hunt. You’ll have a better chance of getting great shots of wildlife if you do this. Many animals seek refuge from the oppressive heat of the daytime. It’s much more active at night and in the cooler weather.
15 – Use Different Angles And Perspectives To Stand Out
Pleasing others is not an issue when it comes to landscape photography. Alternatively, you could rely on the fashion sense of others. It’s all about capturing the moments that bring you joy.
If you haven’t yet found your own style as a nature photographer, spend some time studying the work of others.
What are the most common angles that they employ? What are the frame’s complementary colors? Do they get up close and personal with the people they photograph?
Make an effort to be original. Go the other way! Shoot from a different vantage point; instead of wide angle, use a close-up lens.
Nature is a never-ending source of visually stunning compositions. Take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you right now! One of the best tips for beginning wildlife photographers is to use your own imagination.
16 – Get Creative
Try to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for wildlife and landscape photography that exist in the natural world. Don’t be afraid to try things other photographers haven’t tried, and bring your own vision and ideas to the shoot. Consider taking a close-up shot instead of a wide angle; instead of shooting from a high vantage point, shoot from the ground instead.
17 – Study Nature
It goes without saying that you’ll be able to capture better images of subjects you have a thorough understanding of, and nature is no exception. To better predict and follow a rhythm, you’ll need to know more about different animals, plants, and areas. When a wildlife photographer is aware of a bird’s mating ritual, he or she will be able to position themselves for the perfect shot.
18 – Respect the Animals And Environment
Without using the phrase “leave only footprints,” it’s impossible to explain this. This is a cliché, but it’s dead on.
Even if you believe an item is biodegradable, make sure to take it home with you. It can take up to two years for an orange or banana peel to decompose.
Be mindful of your surroundings when shooting. Understand the significance of causing no harm to natural habitats before taking any action.
We’re documenting a delicate environment that’s home to a wide variety of species. Our goal should be to leave as little of an imprint as possible.
Nature is the source of life on Earth. It’s where all the amazing things that we see happen, including flowers and butterflies, evolved from. And there are many interesting facts about nature that you probably didn’t know.
That’s why we decided to put together this guide to help you get started with nature photography.