Nature Photography – How to Make Unique Shots

This article explains how to take amazing nature photographs. It covers the following information: choosing an object to photograph, learning how to get to an appropriate location, and choosing the right shot.

The information in this article is written for either the beginner or intermediate photographer. The author assumes that you have taken photographs before and are familiar with GPS navigation systems, Internet research and Google Earth software.

Taking great photographs begins with research and consists of three steps. The first step is to choose an object: a waterfall, a mountain, or anything that you think will make an attractive photograph. The second step is to get to the location using either your car or bike along with a reliable GPS system. The final step is to take a picture using your favorite camera. When choosing the place or landmark at which to take your picture, you can start by conducting online research on interesting places in your area. There are many opportunities for nice shots or objects for your photos in national parks or landmarks such as Yosemite National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Arches National Park, or Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You can learn about places by downloading Google Earth software and installing it on your computer. Google Earth software will help you visit locations virtually and obtain an approximate view of the shot; it will also supply you with exact data for your GPS to aid in efficient travel. Another good idea is to visit the visitor center of a particular attraction online; it could be useful in gathering additional information and downloads that you can print out later, such as parking information, rules and trails information. The next step is to learn how to get to your destination. In this case, the best approach would be to use a car and a good GPS system so that you don’t get lost in an unfamiliar location. The last step is to set up your camera and take a few shots for selection, thereby guaranteeing that your photograph will stand out from others and represent your unique vision of the place.

Some things to consider:

Process. The dynamic range of nature, including sunny spots and surrounding shade, can easily overwhelm your camera’s capturing capability. Use exposure bracketing and combine the photographs on your computer to extend your dynamic range accordingly. Since you will need to underexpose your shot for most nature pictures, make sure your exposure time is long enough. (Tip: this is extremely difficult during the day and much easier at dawn.)

Time needed. The hike around a recreational park could take about 2 – 3 hours round-trip. Once you’ve reached your destination, it takes about 30 minutes to one hour to photograph every possible angle of an object.

Fees. The entrance fee to the entire recreational park could be as much as $25. If you possess a National Park Pass, you usually do not need to pay a fee, but you will need to display the pass in your vehicle (such as on your dashboard or windshield) while you are gone.

Difficulty getting to the place. The trails at national parks and similar locations can be difficult to maneuver, so do not make the mistake of carrying your entire arsenal of equipment; you can leave your heavy photo equipment in your car. Also, make sure to dress appropriately to protect yourself from thorns, branches, and other obstructions that are frequently found on trails.

This article taught you how to create unique nature photos. You first select an object by researching your area, then find out how to travel to its location and find a spot, and finally how to take a series of photographs.