Photographing nature allows you to appreciate natural wonders. Nature photography skills help you capture beauty from the smallest leaf to huge, breathtaking landscape. Since nature is unpredictable, you need preparations and skills before starting.
Here are basic tutorials all beginner nature photography must follow.
Basic Nature Photography Techniques
Beginner photographers can rely on basic techniques when trying to get the best images. Examples include:
- Using continuous AF
Autofocus is a useful tool to capture photos of wild animals. AF-Continuous function in a camera helps to capture moving objects in clear images.
- Using RAW format
RAW format is unprocessed, with image quality that comes straight from the filter. The files of this format are larger than JPEG, but there is pixel info you can use to make an adjustment on the next shots.
- Using low ISO
Low ISO format is useful in nature photography to reduce “image noise”. However, you cannot keep using this strategy, because it risks making your pictures blurry.
- Using app
Apps such as PhotoPills is useful for photographing in the wild. This app gives information about sun and moon paths, the heights of terrains, sunrise and sunset times, and such.
Always experiment and learn from every blurred or dull picture you make. Many nature photographers develop personal strategies to get the best images most of the time.
First Gears for Nature Photography
Expert photographers have a wide range of gears to face various conditions. However, beginner nature photographers can focus on the most important first gears. Here are several gears you must prepare to shoot in nature:
- Circular polarizer filter
This filter helps to emphasize things like the hues of water surface and sky. This filter reduces Photoshop works by increasing the lush factor during the actual photography session.
- Wide-angle zoom lens
A wide-angle zoom lens is a must-have gear in nature photography. You need it to take pictures of breathtaking landscapes in their entirety.
- Telephoto zoom lens
Telephoto zoom lens helps you isolating smaller parts of a scene, before putting emphasis on that part. For more versatility, choose 80-400 mm or 100-400 mm range.
- Good tripod
A stable and strong tripod is important for outdoor photography, especially in nature. A stable tripod can withstand wind, dust, and uneven ground. Many modern tripods are made of carbon fiber, reducing weight while maintaining stability.
Ball-head is useful to keep the camera in a stable position on a tripod. Ball-head provides more control and stability, especially in still photography. An ideal ball-head must be able to support the heaviest camera you have.
- Cable release system
Cable release system helps reducing vibration, an effect of hand movements on the camera.
When buying nature photography gears, don’t hesitate to spend money on the best products. They will be your investments, especially if you plan to go pro.
Nature Photography Essentials
Many beginners often just think about which cameras and lenses to buy, but not the non-technical essentials. They only realize the importance of such objects when exploring nature. Here are the essentials to prepare for photographing in nature:
A proper backpack for nature photography must have a rain cover, strong base, water bottle holder, and wide, padded straps. It must also have adequate size and sections to place your gears.
- Hiking shoes
Good hiking shoes are important even in beginner nature photoshoot. Your shoes must protect your feet from the rough ground, splinters, sharp rocks, and bugs. They must also have strong rubber soles that provide good grips.
- Rain cover for the camera
Rain cover camera protects your expensive gear while taking pictures during precipitations. Many covers are designed for specific cameras, such as mirrorless or DSLR.
- Emergency power system and GPS
Depending on where you go, make sure to carry offline GPS mapping tool, USB power bank, and safety beacons. If you travel to extremely cold regions, store batteries in a bag with insulation.
Consider additional comfort for specific body parts, especially if you do nature photography in rough terrains. For example, kneed pads and bottom padding can cushion your knees and buttock when sitting or kneeling in a long time.
Travel Preparations for Nature Photography
Once you have the gears and essentials, it is time to explore the location. Make sure you have proper preparations for the traveling aspects, such as:
- Understanding about permits
If you visit nature reservations or wildlife parks, make sure to understand regulations about photography permits. Find out about time limitations and other constraints beforehand.
- Knowing where to park
Finding good parking space is important because your car is essential for traveling with heavy gears. Avoid parking on an illegal or dangerous spot.
- Reading weather details
Use apps to find out about local weather information. Don’t forget to notice unusual weather patterns if any.
Beginner photographers can ask information about popular landmarks or natural wonders in their destinations. However, don’t be afraid of expanding your exploration zones.
Nature photography requires good preparations and basic skills. While they sound challenging for beginners, they will determine success and comfort on the sites. Make sure to invest in good gears and skill development before exploring objects in nature.