Nature photography is, in itself, a versatile art having its peculiar challenges, as well as the potential to convey unique messages. Whether one is trying to capture an animal in motion by trying out different shutter speed, or experimenting on various field depths in close up pictures, the art of nature photography requires a great deal of creativity and patience for a successful capturing of the outdoor environment. Be that as it may, let’s discuss some tips for practicing all types of nature photography.
Learn to plan
You must study the environment you intend to capture and make accurate plans towards your shoot before throwing your gear over your shoulders. Plans should include anything from the strategic decision about the time of day to the lighting and equipment required.
The best lighting for capturing pictures of nature are often found in the mornings and evenings because the light is usually a softer flow rather than the harsh rays of midday. As such, it’s best to be awake by 5 am rather than 8 am to plan your shoot.
The art of planning also involves getting the right equipment together. Nature photography leaves you susceptible to the influence of outdoor elements, and being ill-prepared isn’t advisable. Remember that regardless of the temperature of the day, you’re going to be out for no known duration, so getting the appropriate equipment, gear, and clothing is of the essence.
Ensure that you have a waterproof bag or cover to protect your gear from the elements. Bring a hat along if sunny to shield your camera enough for you to fiddle with the camera display and adjust the exposure.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily require a lot of gear. The principal thing in this kind of photography is getting out there into nature. Also, remember to go with light gear, but don’t forget to come with an extra lens (one with a broader focal length of range), storage cards, and extra batteries. Experts recommend beginning with an 18 to 55 mm lens DSLR camera because it affords users enough variety to capture specific details from a distance, while also capturing other information surrounding the immediate environment.
Understand your environment
The surroundings account for a significant element of the outdoors, and every nature photographer should respect it. The reason is that a good understanding of your surroundings is necessary for the shoot. Thus it holds true regardless of the location of the shoot, be it your lawn or a remote hill on a deserted island.
To shoot in restricted areas, apply for permits as required and stick to the trails allowed for use. Also, ensure to leave the location in the same state you found it in.
You should know that nature photography is threatened by overuse of the environment. Take, for instance, while going through a field of flowers, rather than trudge on the flowers, use a designated route because it could take a long period for the flowers to grow to their current state.
Understanding how plant photography works
Plants are by far one of the most predictable subjects in nature photography. The only tricky aspect of capturing flowers is the depth of the field. The closer you get to a flower, the shallower the depth of field becomes, making it impossible for you to achieve all the details you want to focus on.
Come along with a tripod when attempting to shoot a plant. This way, you can use smaller apertures and longer exposures, both of which will improve your depth of field, making it more in-depth.
And although the plants are easily controlled subjects, the elements still pose potential disruptors that may not be quickly brought under control. For instance, a breeze can disrupt a long exposure. To cope with the details, you could shield the subject or hold them in place using clamps.
Experts suggest that capturing in aperture priority mode lends photographers more significant control over the depth of field.
Understanding how animal photography works
Unlike plants, animals are a more complex subject that may not be easily controlled. As such, being prepared is essential. Animals are quite fast-paced, and a slight delay can result in a missed opportunity. To cope with this, you can use fast shutter speed. Ensure that the shutter is sharp enough to prevent accidental camera movement to freeze the subject early enough.
On their own, animals are challenging to track and find, and while you wouldn’t always see them, they could readily spot you. There are times you would get encounter a rare species or get a good shot; otherwise, you must apply patience. Your subject could surface the moment you start packing up your gear.
Birds make for good photography subjects due to their presence everywhere. Using a mid-range lens will show a bird as nothing short of a blot. Thus it explains why it’s essential to know of the limits of your gear as it can guide your decision at ant one moment and impact your choice of subject.
Having a zoom lens can help improve how you capture animals, although it also constitutes the number of gears you have to work with.
Outdoor exposure: a problem worth knowing
Shooting outdoors has its upsides, but the biggest challenge is by far getting the most appropriate exposure. Take, for instance, the slightest change in the placement of a cloud can leave an image looking under-or overexposed. Since one has no total control over the medium of natural lighting, the best way around this is to check the exposure of images regularly. Also, refrain from deleting any image until you have viewed them indoors.
Another requirement to control outdoor exposure is technical expertise. Nature shooting sure makes for interesting art, so getting distracted is as easy as they come. As such, you are improving your tech skills enough for them to become a habit that can come in handy over time.
Thus we have come across various tips that are both practical and logical and can be useful to both beginners and experts alike in capturing great outdoor photos.