Nature photography is a very broad term. It sounds super specific, and in some ways it is, but it’s also a very generic way to talk about your photography. So what is nature photography all about?
While researching this I discovered that it will take a lot of time and work to write about it. So, to make it a bit easier on myself I will update this article in phases. So that I can manage the work. Make sure to come back to this page once in a while to see how I am progressing.
What is nature photography?
It’s the photography of nature. Which really isn’t clarifying at all. So let’s talk about the niches in nature photography to clear that up.
Nature photography is a collection of these three photography niches:
All three are obviously related to nature and going outdoors. So, let’s ask the question again.
What is nature photography? It’s the collection of photography niches with a natural object as a subject of the photo.
Nature photography tips
Of course, you are reading all of this to get started with nature photography yourself. For that reason, I will share these tips with you. Practical advice you can use today. I will separate it into the three niches I mention earlier though.
Landscape photography tips
- Try to use sunrise and sunset. This will provide you with nice soft light.
- Make use of foreground and background to create depth in your compositions.
- In general, use a wide-angle lens so you can capture most of the scenes.
- Use long exposures to capture movement by using a long exposure time.
- Using a tripod is always handy, especially when shooting with longer exposures.
- Use a great depth of field so your entire image is as sharp as it can be.
- Shoot RAW. This will give you a lot more editing options afterward.
Macro photography tips
- Get a macro lens as this will help you to make macro photos, duh.
- Increase your aperture, the closer you get to your subject the narrower your DoF will be. So, increase that f-number to a nice f8 or even f11.
- Practice on slow subjects first, like plants or slugs. Keep the bees and wasps for later. Or ask a friend to model for some eye macro photography.
- Be patient. You will screw up focussing at first, you might not find the right insect to photograph… just hang in there!
- Focus manually as the autofocus isn’t always as good when getting up and close with your subject.
- Use a fast shutter speed, especially with insects. This will help you prevent motion blur in your shots.
- Use continuous shooting with insects. They move fast, so capture a few frames so you have at least a good one.
Wildlife photography tips
- Get a telephoto lens because the animals will be far away most of the time.
- Learn about the animals so you know about their behavior.
- Be patient. Animals are not actors you can ask to pose.
- Practise makes perfect. I don’t think this needs an explanation. 😉
- Be frugal with your telezoom. Don’t go too close all the time, leave room for some context.
- Take plenty of shots. Animals move, sometimes even fast, capture more frames to have the exact photo you want.
- Use continuous autofocus so your moving subjects will remain in focus as much as possible.
Ethics in the photography of nature
Nature is a very fragile thing. If we abuse it too much, there won’t be too much left. Especially as a photographer you want to protect what you like to photograph, right? Right! So let’s discuss ethics.
- Don’t alter or destroy habitats. Not even if it provides you with a better view.
- Don’t interrupt in animals’ behavior. Make sure they can do what they want without you being a roadblock.
- Don’t interact with the animals like trying to get their attention.
- Don’t feed animals, don’t even try to lure them to a place with food.
- Follow any possible local laws when doing nature photography in a new place.
- Avoid photographing captured animals, as you might not be aware of their living situations.
- Tell the story about how the photo came about. Especially if there are any special circumstances or editing involved.
- Don’t go near nests and dens as animals might abandon those.
Nature photography hashtags for Instagram
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Hashtags with 500.000+ posts
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