Five ways to capture nature

Image courtesy of Sarah Bednar

Whether you have kids back in school, are an empty nester, or still have kiddos at home, nature is always a great option for getting some photography practice.

We’ve spent a couple of months on the theme of Nature in our Members program and this lesson from Sarah Bednar, along with her images, gives a great introduction to shooting nature.

1. Find the interesting details

It can be hard to slow down while hiking on a trail to find neat little details around us, especially if you have little ones with you, but doing so can create gorgeous photo opportunities and a new appreciation for the intricacy of nature.  When you’re outside enjoying the day, spend a few minutes to take in the world from a different view by getting close to a flower or rain droplet, and be amazed by what you can see and photograph!

2. Look for textures, patterns, and symmetry.

Nature is chock full of textures, patterns, and symmetry that you may not notice without intentionally looking for it.  Tune in to how complex and orderly many parts of nature are, and stop to photograph them!

3. Change your perspective

The most interesting pictures are sometimes those that show the viewer something they normally don’t see.  Look up, get down low, peek through foliage, anything to create an interesting perspective in your frame.

4. Find movement

Once you start looking for it, you’ll be surprised by how much nature is moving!  The gentle breeze in the trees and grass, the sun and clouds making their way across the sky, the little critters scurrying beneath the undergrowth – it’s incredible how much motion is going on!

5. Focus on nature, but allow connection and interaction between it and people

Photographing nature can be even more appealing when we capture people enjoying it.  Here is where faceless photos work perfectly, because the focus turns from the person to what he is doing with his surroundings. 

Some of my favorite photos are those where my boys’ faces are not shown, but their interest and excitement with nature is clearly seen from how they are interacting with it. 

Frame your shot so that nature takes center stage, but the supporting role of people helps to make the shot even better.

Even with summer coming to a close, there’s still plenty of time to get out and get in some nature photography!

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