Nature Photography – Improve Your Skills Right Now!

To the beginning photographer, nature photography can be quite daunting. To remember everything that needs to be communicated in a picture, and make it look good can be quite difficult at times. There are many things a typical photographer must keep in mind when trying to capture the perfect shot and bring images to life for the layman.

These are lines, shapes, colors, textures, balance, symmetry, depth, perspective, scale and lighting. The two most important questions for the beginning photographer to remember when it comes to nature photography are What is the message of this photo and What is the best way to communicate that particular message.

The best nature photos are of course, the clear and visible photos of the message. If the picture is blurry, weak or has distracting images, it definitely will not grab the viewer’s attention, which is necessary to become a great photographer. The goal of a great photographer is to grab the viewer’s attention with the first look, and to want the viewer to take a second look at the photo.

A great photographer will want their nature photos to convey a powerful message that the viewer cannot mistake for something else. It is important to keep in mind that the photo the beginner photographer captures needs to convey not only a message to the viewer, but to capture the mood of the moment and tell the story with no words needed.

When the beginning photographer prepares to take their nature photo, the best thing to keep in mind is simplicity. The more objects or distractions in the picture are not good, they will take away from the real meaning of the photo. Most professional photographers will look at a potential picture as not what they can add to the shot, but what can be taken away for the most simplicity possible. If the beginning photographer is not sure of their composition, fine tuning the viewfinder of the camera will most likely turn the composition good.

A simple turn of the viewfinder to the left or right or up or down will improve the composition dramatically. Something to keep in mind, is that good composition takes time. It is not something that needs to be hurried. A photo that took five or ten seconds to compose will definitely not look the same as a photo that took five or ten minutes to compose. Of course there do come moments, in the wild when a photographer must point and shoot, otherwise they lose the subject they are trying to photograph. Most nature photos, however, change very slowly, and should be taken advantage of to slow down.

When looking through the viewfinder to find the perfect subject in nature photography, it is important to keep in mind not to leave any part of your potential picture blank. It is important to fill the screen of the viewfinder and make the best use out of the entire canvas of each photo. Something to remember when thinking of ways to fill the viewfinder, is that a painter would never leave a part of their canvas blank. A great photographer is like an artist, and as a photographer, you should think of yourself as the artist trying to grab the audience’s attention with a great photo or picture.

When working with 35mm film, the length of the frame is fifty percent greater than its width, so every photo is rectangular not square. Most people when taking photos, tend to take more horizontal photos than verticals. When looking at landscapes, most landscapes have vertical elements like trees, mountains and waterfalls. Nature photographers often consider taking a vertical shot over a horizontal shot to get that perfect shot to grab the viewer’s attention the most.

When pointing the camera at a subject, a photographer typically sees lines. When composing the perfect picture, the photographer will see diagonal lines, leading lines and curved lines. The correct placement of these lines will create a memorable photo. Horizontal and vertical lines typically frame the scene or create boundaries within the image.

These lines also generally show a static appearance in the perfect nature photo. Diagonal lines, however, are perfect. A certain diagonal line called the leading line, will lead from the four corners of a photo towards the middle of the photo or towards the most important section of the photo. A diagonal line is very important in a photo, because it brings the viewer’s attention to that part of the photo a photographer wants the attention on, the main subject. Examples of these lines would be riverbanks and trees that have fallen.

There are also curved lines that bring special attention to a photo. These lines are typically called S lines and they can include curves in nature such as brooks, vines or even snakes.