Still Life: Enjoying Nature Photography

simple tips to help you bring home some great-looking memories
kids photography outdoors tips
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / parinyabinsuk

You may have heard the saying that when in nature, you should “leave only footprints and take only pictures.” It’s a great reminder to respect that we are in other creatures’ habitats and must not leave trash behind or remove natural objects.

But what about that picture part? Photos are a great way to tell the story of your outdoor adventures with your family. Nature photography is also a gentle-on-the-earth way of taking a part of your experience with you.

nature photography
© Pexels / Simon Migaj

Nature photography: 7 ideas to try

Taking pictures is easier and less expensive than ever. No film canisters or bulky cameras are necessary as most phones now take pretty good pictures. Since your photo results are “instant”, you can review the image on the screen to make sure you captured the perfect shot or to improve your technique. So gather your family and head outdoors to snap some photo-memories!

Hold your camera steady

Hold your camera or phone steady, and push the button softly, to keep your subject sharp and in focus. Always keep the eyes of your subject in focus (whether it's a person or animal!).

nature photography
© Pexels / Mali Maeder

Try a new angle

Get down on your belly for a close-up picture of a frog, or up high to capture an interesting overview of a scene. Think about doing something more creative than the default position of taking a photo from your normal standing height.

Rule of thirds

Instead of putting your subject perfectly in the centre of your frame, imagine that invisible lines segment your photo into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Align your subject with one of the lines for a unique composition.

Be candid

Remember, part of the magic of photos are the natural actions, reactions, and emotions of the subject!

Drop or crop

If there is something at the edge of your photo that isn't adding to the story of your picture then try not to include it in the first place or crop it out later.

Snap happy

Don’t be afraid to take lots of photos! Keep the ones you like the most or tell the best story of your adventure. National Geographic photographers only ever have about 10% of their photos published.

nature photography
© Pexels / Fabian Reitmeier

Photo assignment

Pick a favourite location in nature. Visit this spot repeatedly over a year and create a photo journal of this special place. How does it change with the seasons or time of day? Which plants and animals and birds do you see at different times of the year and what activities are they engaged in?

You may also enjoy: Photography Tips for the Camera ChallengedEco-Friendly Travel Activities For Family Road Trips, and Nature Adventures in Your Own Backyard