Five Tips For Better Nature Photos – The Low Tech Way

Digital cameras offer so many functions and features, photography can seem way too complex for the beginner. In frustration many new photographers simply switch their digital camera to auto, and never learn how to use it properly.

If you read that and thought “That sounds like me!” read on; I have good news. There are some great ways to take better photos without having to learn the complexities of your camera. That’s right – leave your camera on auto and still learn to take great photos.

Of course I encourage anybody to learn and understand aperture and shutter speed, the settings you will need to understand to really improve as a photographer. However, the best encouragement is to start getting results quickly, so here are five easy tips to help you improve your photography…the low-tech way!

Better Photography Tip#1. Take your photo in the best possible light. You may have heard that the best light for most photography is very early or very late in the day, when the sun is low, and the light is soft and colourful. This is a good rule to follow most of the time. Not only is the light more attractive, you can also avoid the contrast and heavy shadows of midday.

Some subjects actually work better on cloudy days. For animals and people, cloudy weather softens the light and overcomes the problem of your subject squinting into the light. In the forest, overcast skies prevent the heavy contrast that is a problem on sunny days.

Better Photography Tip#2. Landscape photos: create a more interesting composition. Many photos can be made more interesting not by zooming right in on the subject, but by zooming out, or standing further back to capture more of the surroundings. The important thing is to use make sure you use the surroundings to add impact to the picture.

For example, let’s say you are photographing an old rustic farmhouse. You could add even more character by using a line of fence posts, or a gravel driveway, to lead the eye into the picture. Or when photographing a waterfall, you could try going a little further downstream, to shoot the creek with the waterfall in the background for a more interesting angle.

Better Photography Tip#3. Sunset and Sunrise. Everyone loves taking sunset (and sunrise) photos. A brilliant sunset sky can make a great photo, but you can make it even better by looking for a good subject in the foreground. The key is to find something that stands out against the sky, with a an outline people can recognize; a tree, a windmill, even a row of power poles. The subject does not have to dominate the photo; in fact it is probably best if it only takes up about ten percent of the composition so that the sky remains the starring attraction. But if you can create a striking silhouette, you will immediately add character to your sunset photograph.

Better Photography Tip#4. Animals (And People). Portrait style photos are usually spoiled by a distracting background. When you take a photo of a friend, a pet, or an animal, you don’t want the surroundings to take attention away from the subject.

So here’s the trick. Don’t stand close to your subject and take the photo with a regular or wide-angle lens. Try standing further away from the subject, and zoom in with your biggest lens. This will have two results. First, it will reduce the area behind and around the subject that is visible in the photo. Second, it will minimize the depth of field, which means only your subject should be in focus. Anything in front or behind the subject will be out of focus, and will not cause a distraction.

Better Photography Tip#5. Concentrate. Sometimes all it takes to make a photo a success is to move a little to the left or right, or zoom in or out just a little more. If you just point the camera in the general direction of the subject without thinking about what you are doing, your results will not improve. If you slow down and really examine what you can see in the viewfinder before you press the button, your success rate will impove.

Simple things to look out for include; trees and power-poles appearing to grow out of the head of the subject (move yourself or the subject to a better position); litter on the ground (pick it up); aircraft or distracting clouds in the sky (wait for them to pass by); blurry branches on a windy day (wait for conditions to settle for a moment). All these things and more can ruin a photo, and they can all be remedied by taking a good look to make sure your picture has captured everything you want, and nothing you don’t want.

So there you have some easy tips for good photography without getting hung up on technology. Above all, pay attention to tip #5 and slow down to concentrate on what you are doing. The other golden rule: keep practicing, take lots of photos whenever you can. You will learn a lot more from your own experience in the field, than by being told what to do. Remember with digital cameras it doesn’t cost you anything to keep on snapping. With patience and attention to detail, you will be taking better photos in no time – guaranteed!

Great Nature Photography – Tips For Getting The Best Nature Photos

Taking great nature photographs is not only rewarding, but it is challenging as well. You need some special skills with your camera, and, of course, a good camera helps. A digital SLR is just about required, but the equipment that goes with it, namely the lens, is also very important. Many photographers argue about which DSLR is the best for nature photography. There are proponents of both Canon and Nikon who all claim their camera is best. Either way, a Canon telephoto lens or the Nikon counterpart is a key element for taking award winning nature shots.

There are some ways to prepare for the day when you will be shooting your best photos of wild animals and birds. First and foremost, know your camera. Practice taking shots at the settings you will use in the field. If you can’t afford a proper telephoto lens, borrow or rent one. The kit lens that comes with most DSLR cameras just will not get the job done.

Another piece of equipment that is very helpful is a tripod with a good ball head. Some nature photographers specialize in hand-held shooting, but it takes lots of practice to be good at it. A tripod is your best bet to hold your camera steady with that big gun of a telephoto lens on it. The longer the lens, the more likelihood of camera shake, ending up with an unacceptably blurred photo.

As you practice taking your nature shots, aim for the eye of the animal. If the eyes are out of focus, the image will not be acceptable. You can practice in your yard by setting up a blind near your bird feeder. Or you can even take pictures of your own pets when the are in action. Shoot for the eyes.

The best time of day is early mornings. The lighting is awesome before 9AM. Once the sun gets high in the sky, the lighting is too difficult to manage. A high, bright sun causes harsh shadow and far too much dynamic range for digital cameras.

You should also familiarize yourself with the camera settings of your digital SLR camera. You will not have time to think about which settings are best for a particular situation in the field. You should already know which setting you will use and be ready in case there is a change in light.

Before you shoot, check your settings. There is nothing worse than forgetting that you set your camera on ISO 3200 the day before when it was getting dark. You will be disappointed, and you will get a bunch of lousy pictures. It ends up being a waste of time, so take a few minutes even before you leave your house to check the settings. While you are at it, check to make sure you have all your batteries charged and some extra storage discs in your bag.

As rewarding as nature photography can be, it can also be very depressing if you are not ready when that prize photo opportunity is missed simply because of a stupid mistake or oversight on your part.

Be prepared.

How to Capture Soothing, Innocent, and Untouched Nature Photography

Photography anyone? Capturing soothing, innocent, and untouched nature is a relaxing and calming way to spend an evening or a weekend and is easy even for a beginner. Photography as a hobby is something anyone can do, from teens to queens, from young growing boys to men. It’s as if you’re never alone with a camera in hand and ready to capture the natural beauty of life.

Digital cameras give us the benefit of taking many pictures in one shooting, which can simply be done on an evening walk to the park, or the memories we want to capture from our weekend travel or activity. Nature is everywhere. It envelopes us and embraces us with soothing, innocent, and untouched rewards. As with anything, it takes practice to be able to bring a photo to life. A camera is an extension that allows us to cherish our memories, hold close our sight, and continually nurture a love for our surroundings and environment. Nature Photos show us the vulnerability of our land; a Land that loves us unconditionally. Nature photos capture innocence, purity, unprotected serenity. What better way to voice a love and devotion to our environment than capturing it on photo.

Picking up a camera has the ability to fulfill your dreams. Once you take your pictures, you have the ability to be able to download them to your computer using online software or if you purchased a new digital camera it usually comes with all the necessary components to be able to enjoy your photos right away. The market is full of choices that can complicate matters, but there are very functional and easy to use options that beginners can use to get their hobby off the ground. You will even be able to edit photos, crop them, make them black and white, or other unique blends of color schemes. You will be able to print right from your home or you can go to Costco or Sam’s and order them. You may also want to drive over to Target and use the Kodak printing machine there. These are all viable and economic options to being able to print your soothing, innocent, and untouched nature photos.

Then, you can take them to Hobby Lobby and pick mats that compliment the beauty and serenity of each new photo, but doesn’t overwhelm or take away from the picture. You will surprise yourself and may realize you have quite the knack for photography. How hard can it be? Just point and click and amaze yourself. Nature is always at its best. You can be, too, with your camera in hand. Take it everywhere you go.

Once you have your photo and mat, pick a frame that adds character to your nature photo. I typically like to pick a color for the frame that also is in the photo but definitely not the dominant color. This helps to bring out colors that might not stand out on their own, but really add value to the picture. I also contrast the mat with the frame, sometimes, just a light to extreme dark difference in shade. Picking the frame really does add value to your nature photo. It can blend with what the natural environment is of each photo.

Lastly, what you do with your nature photos is, of course, entirely up to you, but if I may suggest, there are so many things to do with them that inspires others to appreciate the perfect land we most certainly take for granted. Each photo you take tells a story. It has a voice all its own. You’ll see what I’m talking about. So capturing soothing, innocent, and untouched nature is one thing, but the other is using it to inspire others. You can give them away as gifts to teachers, co-workers, grandchildren, sons, daughters, etc. Your photo will speak to them, too….as if to say, “Love Life and Enjoy what surrounds us!” “Appreciate me for what I am and what I do for you!”

So, my goal in all this is to enable the photographer in you to stand up to your calling and get moving. Make photography a hobby of yours. As always, actions speak volumes where words don’t and if you’ve ever wondered or had an inclination to use a camera, to take a picture, to become a photographer, to capture soothing, innocent, and untouched nature, then there is no better time than now. Unleash the photographer in you and enjoy! You may decide you have what it takes to turn pro someday!