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Learn Digital Photography – Nature Photography Techniques For Beginners
Taking photos of nature can be the most exciting form of photography if you learn it carefully and thoroughly. We all want a connection with the great outdoors and nature photography is often this link. So here are some keys to great nature photography.
The basic principle for any nature or wildlife photography is a love for nature and a desire to ensure that it is preserved for future generations. A photographer should not interfere in any way with nature or leave traces of their presence behind a photograph. This conservation practice will keep the invitation open for future generations of photographers.
So where do we start as nature photographers?
1. Prepare yourself
This is really key to any kind of nature photography from landscape on one side right through to close up and macro on the other. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to shoot a subject that you just can’t reach or the inability to get close enough. There are minimum equipment requirements and you should get good advice from other photographers or reputable equipment suppliers. A zoom lens with a macro feature is sufficient for close-up photography and coupled with a dual-lens converter for bird photography. It doesn’t have to be expensive to start with.
2. Be patient and practice
Patience is a virtue and no less so with creative photography. Animals and birds (especially in zoos) do not work on kissing so it becomes necessary to wait for hours and sometimes, as with professionals, even days. Waiting for the right weather conditions, the right animal or the right light conditions takes a lot of patience and effort. If you are not ready to do this then maybe it is not for you. Due to all these factors, exercise becomes an important part of nature photographers life. If you don’t keep practicing you won’t get the shot. it’s 99% effort and 1% luck.
3. Research your topic
A good knowledge of your subject matter is important. Knowing when to eat or what time of day a flower opens or when there is dew on roses will increase the possibilities of a wonderful picture. A good nature photographer is a good ornithologist. There is more to being a nature photographer than just shooting pictures. Try to visit your location or subjects several times before starting your photography and get to know their environment. Read books, join societies and search the internet until you feel you know enough about your chosen field to start shooting pictures.
4. Find the right location
Every wildlife or nature photographer hopes to shoot the big five, the humpback whale or the elusive snow leopard. These are not the places to start unless you live on a game reserve or on the beach. Find a place close to home like your backyard, a local park or even a zoo. Somewhere you can get comfortable and practice without much effort. Try things on a small scale and work your way up as you gain more experience and are up to the challenge. A good position with good subjects will take you to great heights.
5. Special equipment
Once you have gone through all the previous steps with knowledge, skills and experience it is time to decide if this is for you and worth investing in better, more specialized equipment. Once you know what it does and if this is for you, you should consider investing in more expensive equipment. A good tripod, specialized macro lens or long focal length zoom or prime lens is essential to the advanced nature photographer. Unless you know what direction or specialty your photography journey is taking you, don’t specialize and waste money on equipment you can’t afford.
Nature photography can be one of the most rewarding areas of photography and can reap great rewards. It takes a lot of effort and practice so be prepared to dedicate yourself to many hours of waiting and preparation. If you have what you get the results will speak for themselves.
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