NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Nature photography is what most people want to do when they have a camera. But nature photography covers such a wide spectrum of subjects that it may be helpful to skim through them here before looking at each one in detail.

You may decide that just one or two aspects of nature photography particularly interest you and eventually concentrate on those. So let’s see what nature has to offer:

Landscapes and Seascapes

These are the first and obvious choice for most people.

The trouble is that, so often, not enough thought is given before taking the picture. You may see a beautiful scene before you, grab your camera, put it to your eye and ‘snap’ it.

Yes, you’ve taken a snapshot which will remind you of the lovely place you visited. You have a record of it, but do you have a photograph to be proud of?

There are many things you could have done to get the very best result which may take you a minute or two longer, but which will reward you with a picture which will do justice to the view.

Take a few minutes to read the tips provided in the page under this heading which will help you to take full advantage of the many scenes you will want to take in the future.

Flowers and Insects

I have put these two together as the technique for capturing images of them can be very similar. It can make a close-up of a flower even more interesting if you can capture a bumble bee or, perhaps, a butterfly at the same time.

Here again is something beautiful that interests many people, whether keen gardeners or not. You don’t need to know the Latin names of the flowers or insects, but even better if you do!

Taking pictures of flowers and insects requires a very different technique than taking landscapes; the one is often all embracing, the other usually highly selective.

Many digital cameras incorporate a macro lens, that is a lens that enables you to get very close to the subject to encapsulate the unique beauty of a single flower or insect, which you would normally see only at a distance.

If this subject interests you find out how you can easily take some spectacular photographs.

Gardens

Visiting gardens in the summer months is a very popular pastime. Taking your camera along and following some simple tips can make your visits even more rewarding.

Each garden has its own character and usually is best seen at a particular time of year according to the flowers it may be most famous for.

The views in a garden will vary from wide general views to more selective areas and that needs to be born in mind.

There is, perhaps, your own garden where you may have plenty of scope to experiment, particularly with close-ups.

Trees

When next you are walking in the countryside, or even the city, pay particular attention to the trees. Depending on the time of year they will be fully clothed, half clothed in wonderful autumnal colours or in a naked skeletal form.

Each state can provide some beautiful picture opportunities, but the last, often in skeletal form, provides some of the most dramatic images sometimes set against an interesting sky.

As with everything in nature, careful observation will provide some excellent pictures. It’s amazing how just taking your camera along will help you to become much more aware of all the beauty around you.

Animals

If you have a cat or dog or some other pet then you will have an excellent opportunity to capture some wonderful photographs. But you may need a lot of patience to catch the most interesting ‘poses’!

And what about the zoo where you can even make it seem that you are on safari! The trick is to try to avoid including the obvious artificial areas if you possibly can

It’s also a good opportunity to make use of the zoom lens on your camera making it appear that you are much closer to the animals than you really are. It also narrows the angle of view helping to avoid including the give-away artificial surroundings.

Skies

This is a subject which many people seem to ignore although it is often a favourite with keen photographers.

There can be a great deal of drama in the skies both in beautiful summer skies with fluffy clouds or more dramatic stormy skies, perhaps looking out to sea. Try to get into the habit of looking upwards more often and recognizing interesting skyscapes which will make attractive photographs in their own right.

This subject obviously covers sunsets which can be the most dramatic of all.

Birds

Taking photographs of birds is a much more specialist subject and usually requires what can be rather expensive equipment.

Ideally you will need a DSLR camera with a long lens giving high magnification. Also, a great deal of patience is required often sitting in a ‘hide’, a camouflage tent, waiting for the right opportunity.

For those with a real interest in birds and wishing to take up photography in this field seriously it can, of course, be a very interesting and rewarding pastime.

Summary

These are the principal areas of Nature Photography and I would suggest that you now go to the subjects which most interest you to find out more about how to make the most of each subject.