- Model number: ILCE-6000
- Sensor: 24.3 million APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor
- Focal length conversion: 1.5x
- Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC
- Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder, 0.39 inches, 1,440,000 dots
- Video: 1080p
- ISO range: 100 to 25,600
- Autofocus points: 179 phase detection points, 25 contrast detect points
- Max burst rate: 11fps
- Screen: 3-inch, 921k-dot tilting LCD
- Shutter speeds: 1/4000-30sec plus Bulb
- Weight: 344g (with battery and memory card)
- Dimensions: 120 x 66.9 x 45.1mm
- Power: NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Quick & Simple Nature Photography Tips
- These Examples of Fine Art Nature Photography Show the Beauty of Simplicity
photo by guvendemir via iStock
The great thing about nature photography is that you have ready-made subject matter everywhere you look.
While you might think of incredible vistas like the one in the image above, nature photography can be something as simple as photographing a flower in your backyard. In fact, photographing the natural wonders around you is a great way to get started in nature photography.
Let’s discuss nature photography in more depth and go over a few things you need to know to get started.
What is Nature Photography?
photo by YinYang via iStock
Nature photography is one of the most popular genres of photography, but what exactly is it? Your mind probably goes directly to dramatic landscapes you see on Instagram, but it’s so much more than that!
By official definition, nature photography is any sort of photography taken outdoors that displays nature in its natural environment.
Therefore, nature photography is actually a broad umbrella term that contains many different types of photography, such as wildlife photography, plant photography, nature sunset photography, macro photography, and yes of course nature landscape photography!
People love shooting nature photography for a variety of different reasons, but the underlying reason is always the fact that our earth is a one-of-a-kind place filled with endless natural beauty.
In order to protect that natural beauty and ensure it doesn’t get destroyed, when working in nature you should always try to cause as little disruption and damage as possible. This means never harming any plants, and always keeping a safe distance away from animals.
How to Get Into Nature Photography
photo by SimonSkafar via iStock
Another reason nature photography is extremely popular is the fact that you don’t need tons of fancy and expensive photography gear to get started in it. The most important tools for nature photography are your legs and a little motivation!
Throw on a pair of shoes, head out the front door, and there you have it, you are ready to start your path as a nature photographer. There is no need to start by going to the most remote places on earth when getting into nature photography, in fact it’s quite the opposite, the best place to start is in your neighborhood shooting places and scenes you are familiar with.
But I don’t even have a camera you might be saying to yourself now, that’s no excuse in today’s tech-filled world. Almost all phones today have built-in cameras, and many of them take exceptionally high-quality photos! The best way to get started is by using whatever gear you have available to you right now!
What is a Good Starter Camera for Nature Photography?
photo by Narathip12 via iStock
Ok, you’ve been shooting with your phone or an old point-and-shoot camera for a while now and are ready to advance to a more sophisticated camera, what one should you choose?
As tempting as it may be to splurge on an expensive camera with all the latest features and incredible image quality, I never recommend starting with a high-end camera. For starters, you’ll have no idea how to take advantage of the majority of the features. On top of that, if the camera makes it too easy you’ll always be stuck shooting in automatic mode and never will take the time to properly learn how to manually create a correct exposure.
With that said, for a beginner there’s no doubt in my mind that the best camera for nature photography is the Sony Alpha A6000. It’s a small and lightweight mirrorless camera that takes exquisite photos thanks to the 24.3MP APS-C sensor.
On top of the sensor, the autofocus is lightning-fast, you can shoot in continuous shooting mode at up to 11fps, and you can record video in full HD. Here’s a more complete list of the cameras specs:
Best Lens for Nature Photography
photo by Alex1975K via iStock
When deciding on the best lens for nature photography, you have to first think about exactly what type of nature photography you most like to shoot.
If you want to shoot landscapes, a wide-angle lens will yield the best photography pics of nature. Animals are best shot with a telephoto lens so you can capture them from far away distances. Macro lenses are the best for detailed images of plants and insects. And for sunsets and astrophotography you will want a lens with a low aperture that works well in low light situations.
Unless you know you only want to photograph one specific genre mentioned above, I recommend going with a “normal lens” somewhere in the range of 24-70mm. These zoom lenses are great because they can go wide enough to get fantastic landscape images, but also can zoom in close enough to capture plants and animals. If you can only have one lens, this would be the focal length to go for.
If you end up taking my advice and going with the Sony a6000, my favorite lens to pair with it for nature photography is the Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS. It’s a favorite of Chris Burkard, one of the top nature photographers in the world, and some of the most amazing photography of nature images I have ever seen were shot with this lens!
How to Make Money With Nature Photography
photo by Givaga via iStock
Being a nature photographer and actually making money is a dream for many, but how do you do it? Unfortunately, making money with nature photography is not as easy as it is to get started in it.
The field is super competitive and lots of people never make a penny with nature photography. That doesn’t mean you can’t, I’m just being honest that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work! Let’s take a look at a few different ways to make money as a nature photographer.
The most common way today is through Instagram. Instagram is a terrific tool for photographers because it’s one of the most used apps in the world. On Instagram you can partner with companies and brands to create sponsored posts and make money. The more followers you have, the more money you will likely be offered per post.
A similar way to make money is by creating your own blog/website. If you like writing on top of photography, this is a great option. On your blog you can make money by selling prints, advertising, and by using affiliate links to other large companies such as Amazon.
One final way to earn money is by uploading your photos to stock photography websites. These websites such as iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, or Adobe Stock Images will pay you a small percentage whenever someone buys one of your photos from them. If you want to make real money through stock photography you will either need to upload thousands of high-quality images or get lucky and have one or two images explode and go viral.
photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
I hope you’ve found this beginner’s guide to nature photography useful and now it’s time for you to turn off whatever device you’re reading this on and go out and shoot!
One final tip I’d like to share is to slow down and enjoy your time in nature. We are so often plugged in one way or another it’s never been more important to get outside, breath in fresh air, and relax. Preferably with a camera in hand!