Nature photography connects the photographers with the environment and allows them to present the world as it is. Many focus on the unseen or overlooked parts of the world, such as tiny insects or remote locations. Others focus on the damage people make to their planet. However, all nature photographers reveal the beauty of nature, its remarkable strengths, and the capacity to be reborn from the ashes.
Although nature photography comes with great responsibility and practical challenges, there are many reasons to choose it. Learn to take great photos in natural lighting conditions, in all sorts of weather, and on different types of terrain. Have the patience to wait for the best feature of your subject to reveal to you. And, most of all, embrace nature with care and respect.
Plenty of Subjects All Year Long
The first reason to choose nature photography as your preferred genre is the abundance of subjects. Nature photography includes any subject related to the natural world. You can choose to photograph landscapes, stars, wildlife, flowers, insects, rocks, and many other natural elements. There are great subjects all year long, from the delicate spring flowers to the striking autumn colors.
And the good news is that you don’t have to travel far to find them. Nature is everywhere around you. You can start by photographing the plants in your house, the tree on your way to the office, the park, etc.
An Opportunity to Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues
As we said before, choosing nature as your subject comes with a responsibility. You are the eye of the public and have the chance to document environmental issues and raise awareness. By showing people how their actions impact the environment, you can help create a new mindset and grow a more responsible generation.
Art as a means of education, protest, and remembrance is every photographer’s purpose. If you look at the photography awards given by National Geographic, you’ll see that the winning photos don’t just preset beautiful parts of nature. They also act on behalf of a cause, whether it’s about elephants used for entertainment, bushfires in Australia, or rescued chimpanzees.
A Long-Term Subject for Nature Photography Documentaries
Nature is one of the best subjects for long-term projects. It has the patience and willingness required for long photo documentaries. Try revisiting the same place in different seasons or even at other times of the day. Nature is constantly changing, but you can capture its pace and tell its stories. Don’t think that nature is a static subject. It’s not. But it is a discrete one and needs the same discretion, respect, and patience from you.
The Freedom to Use Your Preferred Aesthetic
Another common mistake is to believe nature photography should be a realistic representation and nothing more. Nature photography is an art as much as any other genre. You can use black and white photographs to capture landscapes. You can use fine-art photographs to reveal the unseen underwater world. Macro shots transform flowers into artworks.
There is much more artistic freedom with nature photography than it is with other genres. Nature is an inspiration. Find your comfort zone and focus on what matters to you. A good photo includes the best from the photographer and the subject.
The Best Relationship with the Subject
There is a secret behind good nature photographs: the way you interact with nature. To become a great nature photographer, you have to love it, take care of it, and learn to connect with it. Before pressing the shutter release button, take time to build a strong relationship with the environment. Understand its needs and don’t harm it in any way. Don’t rearrange its elements to look better in your photos; do not cheat with excessive post-processing; don’t kill insects to stay in a convenient position.
Nature photography is a good start for beginners because it gives them the freedom to take great photos with the gear they have. There are plenty of subjects everywhere you look. But remember, you are just an observer. None of us will be here without nature allowing us to be.