June 15th is the 13th annual Nature Photography Day. It was started by the North American Nature Photography Association to advance the cause of the preservation and conservation of nature. Each year the NANPA encourages people who enjoy getting out in nature to capture their environment and share the photos of the natural world.
Whether you love to hike, swim, or just hang in your own backyard taking the best photos to capture the nature around you is simpler than you think. Use these tips to make the most of your photos:
Make the Most of Wherever You Are
As noted above, you can take great pictures of nature in your own backyard. Take photos of what is unique to your area. My backyard, for example, has a lot of birds thanks to the neighbor’s bird feeder. We also have a family of ducks that like to hang out and annoy my cat. Maybe your backyard has a great view of the sunset. Capture what works for you and don’t worry too much about forcing the best shot.
Use Proper Lighting
Lighting when taking pictures outdoors is key. Finding the right time of the day to capture the image you want will depend on weather factors and times of the year. It can be difficult to take great photos on your phone around late afternoon/early evening when the sun starts to go down. However if you have proper professional equipment it’s not a big deal. So know your limitations and surroundings. Pro tip: cloudy days are great for taking pictures of a large landscape (like a mountain range that usually has rays of sun that sneak through).
Draw Their Eye to the Photo
Capturing the best nature photos is all about drawing the eye to the photo’s subject. The eye is trained to follow water, for example. Capture a river running to a wooden bridge rather than just capturing the single shot of the bridge.
Mix Up the Seasons
Changing landscapes are always the best way to capture nature. If you live near a wooded area capturing a trail in each stages of life, from the rebirth of the leaves in the spring, to the full bloom of the forest in summer, the colors changing in the fall and the bear trees in the winter, showcases several different aspects of the same natural element.
Shoot Different Angles
Sometimes the best pictures some from patience. Don’t settle for just one shot of the natural element you’re looking for. Instead shoot the subject at different angles and find the best one that you enjoy. This works well when taking pictures on a beach, or of other standing subjects, like trees or rocks. It can be more difficult if you’re looking to capture animals who may be scared off by your presence.