Nature photography is undoubtedly exhilarating forms of photography. Anybody who’s outgoing and love to adventure besides being a photography enthusiast would love to embrace nature photography.
Just as fast reflexes and the right pulse for sporting action helps in sports photography – love for nature and zest to adventure turn out to be an asset for a nature photographer. Often times one has to be very patient and prepare mentally to be away from home and family for long stretches of time to become an acclaimed nature photographer. The diversity of landscapes you will encounter and the medley of experiences you will have as a nature photographer are very rich; having captured nature or wildlife in its naturality at the end of a gruelling shooting session is what satiates a passionate nature photographer.
A never ending love to photograph nature, a penchant for adventure; along with a good grip on the technique are essential for nature photography. Besides, it will be very useful to have good knowledge of geography, biology and cultures – these are not strictly essential, but having them will give you a special identity out of the rest.
A point of note here is nature photography is a generic term and there exist a lot of nature photographers who specialize in diverse domains like wildlife, bird, insects and aquatic photography to name a few. Now let us have an elaboration on the useful tips and techniques that will help you in nature photography,
Reconnaissance – if the patch of nature you wish to shoot is anywhere near you it’s better to go around and get acquainted with the area; if not it would be wise on your part to study or know about the area online or through any other source. This will help you later when you are on the field for a long stretch of time, if not an exaggeration nature photography sometimes can be compared to a wild adventure and you never go unprepared for an adventure – right? If your nature photography session is not that adventurous and is a typical pond, lake, beach or lagoon nearby your area, your reconnaissance will help you understand the flora and fauna so that you can have life like shots of those beautiful birds and creatures.
Study the subject – subject here refers to the photographic subject, if wildlife is your subject, a specific animal for that matter – study it in detail, its habitat, biological rhythm, patterns of aggressiveness and everything. This will help you catch your animal subject at the right moment and take some life-like shots. Bird photography is much more challenging as birds are very agile and can disappear at just the blink of an eye, so study basic ornithology or the bird of your interest. If you are into trees and flowers do have a little understanding of them too, as every plant species has its own blooming season and periodicity. Any sort of homework about your subject will tremendously help you on the field.
Have a perspective – do have a perspective before you go on field for nature photography. You have to be clear of your intention to shoot your subject and about the moods you would like to capture. Have these few questions in mind – Is it the aggressiveness you want to capture of an animal? Or is it the life and migration patterns? Be clear with these questions within yourself, this clarity will help you translate your ideas better into photos.
The Gear – nature photography is gear intensive too, get ready with your backpack and your backpack should essentially have all the paraphernalia like – your camera, lenses, tripod, power cells, a map of the place, magnetic compass or a GPS system, first-aid kit, a makeshift tent and any of your important requirements. As mentioned earlier venturing into far off lands for nature photography is challenging and you might at times land up in unforeseen circumstances, so get ready! You are no less to an adventurer or an explorer being a nature photographer, depending on the subject of your nature photography.
On the field – take a few sample shots of your subject and spend studying the pattern of your subject for a while depending on the duration of your stay.
Be creative – if you are shooting landscapes, mountains or rivers. Do experiment shooting at different angles and lighting conditions; each angle gives a different meaning to your photo. Do not conform to any rules or norms, be yourself and try to be as creative as you can.
Think out of the box – it’s a general perception that a subject should be in the center of the frame, which is not always true. There’s something called as ‘the rule of thirds’, and composing your shots following the rule of thirds will give more meaning to your photos better than always placing your subject in the center. In simple terms rule of thirds proposes to place your subject slightly towards the edges rather than the center bringing into picture the other elements surrounding your subject, there by imparting more meaning to the picture.
Experiment with exposure time – do experiment with exposure time, don’t always click pictures with the same shutter speed or exposure times even if you find them good. And experimenting with exposure times too can help a lot in rendering a different meaning to your photo, especially when you do landscape nature photography.
Color and Depth – bright colors like red, yellow and green are naturally pleasing to the human eye, so try to capture the best of these colors when you find a nice stretch of meadow or a garden.
Reflections – reflections offer a serene look to the photos especially reflections of mountains on water bodies just look majestic, do try to catch a couple of shots with reflections on still water or running streams.
There is still a lot that can be mentioned or suggested about nature photography – in short your creativity is the major determinant of how good your nature photographs are going to be.
How has your nature photography experience been so far? Would you like to suggest any other tips or techniques?
Nature Photography | 10 Simple Techniques Shared by Photographers