Nature photography is a vast range that consists of many subcategories like wildlife photography, landscape photography, and macro photography. Simply it is shooting fauna and flora. Flora means trees, plants, and flowers. Fauna means animals. This is a challenging photography category because of the variety of subjects. And also because of the movement of those subjects. Nature photography puts a strong emphasis on the aesthetic value of photos rather than their genres. So today, I have got some interesting and important tips which help you to improve your nature photography skills. Without further discussions let’s move on to them!

# Always use Pro mode/ Manual mode

If you are new to nature photography, it may be difficult to find out the beginning point. You might be using the automatic mode all of the time. However, if you are willing to learn photography and get the maximum output from your camera, you have to take a step from automatic mode to manual or pro mode. I know you’ll say it is easy to capture in automatic mode. Yes, that’s true but it will also limit the things you can do with your camera.

                And also it will prevent you from improving your photographic skills. So without using automatic mode always, try to give priority to manual or pro mode in your camera. In this mode, you can manually set the aperture which is a very important fact in nature photography. And also in pro mode, you can manually select the depth of the image to get the most possible focus from the foreground to the background. Then your camera will do the rest for you!

# Select the right lens for photography

There is a famous saying “always be prepared”. This is also valid for nature photography.  Selecting a lens for photography depends on the type of photography and your goals. In my opinion, it is better to use a lens that has a long focal length for nature photography. Usually a zoom lens with a wide aperture. I said it because of two reasons. The first one is when doing nature photography and focusing on fauna and flora, it is better to have sharp images of our subject against a blurred background. To get a better result, you should have a good understanding of background and foreground distances. If you use a zooming lens with a wide aperture like f/1.4 or f/2.8, it will be much easier to make your selected subject pop in the photo.

                The second reason is when doing nature photography you may get chances to capture different animal species. To capture their behavior and observe them without disturbing them, you need to have a long-distance zooming lens.

# Use the RAW format in shooting

Are you familiar with the RAW format? Now I’m going to explain to you about the benefits of using the RAW format. First, let’s see what is this RAW format. Actually, it is an image format that can be used to save shootings in manual mode. They provide the ability to edit photos later while maintaining their quality. And also RAW images contain more data than JPEG images. Many people use the JPEG format in shooting because they are not familiar with the RAW format.

                And also when capturing in JPEG, the camera automatically edits the aperture, iso, focus, and other things in the images. So sometimes it looks better. But when doing nature photography, it is good to use RAW format. When you purchase the camera check the file format at first. Most of the time cameras are factory-set to save files in JPEG format.  If you are uncomfortable with this format you can simply set your camera to save both RAW and JPEG formats. Then you can try editing those RAW copies later and improve your editing skills.

# Always try to use natural light when shooting

When you do nature photography, if you can use direct or indirect light from the sun or moon, it will give an amazing value to your images. Nature photos which take in the morning or evening look so great. Especially the ones which take during golden hours. You cannot reproduce the effect that images get from natural light during a sunrise or sunset by editing images. That light gives an emotional overlay to the image and if you check the images more carefully, you’ll also be able to identify the effectiveness of those images and find a difference between evening and morning captures.

# Try using new equipment

I know it is very expensive to purchase a new, good camera. But you can use new equipment for your existing camera. Some camera shops rent equipment such as lenses. So you can try them at a low cost and that is a good way to do experiments with new techniques.

                For example, if you always use telephoto lenses, try to go with a fisheye lens or a macro lens. Then you’ll find what you can do with them and exceed your limits. When using equipment you normally don’t use, you’ll have a chance to discover amazing new ways of photography!

# Take a photo tour or a workshop

If you want to improve your skills, you must do shooting whenever possible with different situations and different configurations. Then with time, you’ll understand how your photography skills are improving in a significant way. But if you don’t have an idea about where to start, the best thing you can do is take a photo tour or a photography workshop. Most of the popular photographers conduct workshops. You can select a photographer you admire and participate in a workshop or travel to a destination for a photo tour. This will help you to satisfy your traveling desires and also will help you to learn about photography.

                There are many benefits of having a photography workshop or a photo tour. You’ll get sound education from an expert in photography and you’ll be able to learn about the location and the areas you need to improve. And also you’ll get a chance to learn all the things about their workflow from capturing an image to the post-processing stage. Sometimes you may think that participating in a workshop is an expense. Yes, it is an expense in a short time. But in long term, it is an investment to build up your future career!

# You must wait for the right light

Sometimes when you have taken a photo at the same location that somebody took a photo before, you may have felt something is missing in your photo. The thing is you cannot take the same picture that others took while doing nature photography. Most of the time, the reason for that difference is the light. You should always care about the light when doing nature photography. As I mentioned above, the most suitable time to do nature photography is the golden hours during sunrise and sunset. It is also good to do photography during blue hour. So when capturing nature try to wait for the right light to have a better result!

# Having a good tripod is better

If you are willing to start nature photography or to improve your skills, a good sturdy tripod is a must-have thing for you. A good tripod will help you to minimize camera shakes and to have sharp images. If you are willing to take long exposures or time lapses you have to keep your camera steady for a long time. A tripod is necessary to do that. When purchasing a tripod do some research about the products in the market and find the best tripod you can afford other than buying just a normal tripod. It will make you happy in the end!

# Willing to work hard and be patient

You may have seen amazing images on social media. Sometimes you might wonder how those are captured. The thing is, those pictures are captured not by just clicking. They are some valuable results of dedication, hard work, and patient. If you are willing to capture incredible photographs, you have to plan a lot of things.

                First, you must have good knowledge about the destination you are going to shoot. And also sometimes you may have to go there several times and shoot several times to find the best composition and the period. And also you have to be prepared for any kind of climate and should wear appropriate clothes. For example, if you are willing to do nature photography in the rainy season, you must wear suitable clothes for the weather and should bring appropriate gear with you.

                As another example, just think about capturing sun rays coming through a rainy cloud. To capture such kind of photograph you must have to be patient for a long time in a rainy situation. To do that you must have a dedication towards your target. So if you have an image in your mind about what you should take, be patient and you’ll have the perfect moment to capture that in one day!

I'm Dilshan an undergraduate in Lincoln University College Malaysia. As a hobby I observe various categories I like and summarize what I have learnt. Here comes my articles as a freelancer! Hope you'll grab some knowledge reading my articles!!


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