My photography passion is landscapes. I'm just one of many, right?
She shared a few images with me the other day of beautiful, unique, and intimate nature scenes, and I just had to share them with you.
Not only are these images fun to look at, but they offer teachable moments as well.
So, have a look at these beautiful examples of nature photography and learn a few tips and tricks for improving your photos at the same time.
Light is Always Key for Nature Photography
No matter if you're taking a photo of a large, sweeping landscape or zeroing in on a small detail like the plant in the image above, good lighting is an absolute must.
In this case, the warm tones of the sunlight filtering into the shot from the background serves a couple of different purposes.
First, it lightens up the background, keeping it from feeling too heavy.
And second, it catches the dew on the plant, creating tiny flickers of light that add visual interest to the shot.
In this example, the sunlight is more obvious and direct.
Again, you can see how the sun brightens up the background and provides gorgeous backlighting that helps make the grasses in the foreground a stronger subject.
When creating photos of nature and landscapes, look for opportunities to backlight the scene to get contrast-filled, dramatic results.
Texture Can Be the Subject
Any type of nature photography will benefit from the inclusion of textures in the image.
That's because textures give the photo extra visual interest that grabs the viewer's attention.
But textures don't have to play a supporting role in the photo - instead, they can be the subject of the shot.
In the image above, the texture of the grasses is the focal point of the shot thanks to the very shallow depth of field that's blurred out everything else in the photo.
Notice how the structure of the plants adds so much depth to the photo as well.
In this image, the texture takes a much different form.
The linear lines created by the plant stems give a verticality to the shot while the tiny leaves created a repeating texture that delights the eye.
Again, you can see how backlighting helps set this scene off, making these lines and textures much more obvious amongst the darker surroundings.
Use a Shallow Depth of Field to Create a Sense of Intimacy
One of the problems that nature and landscape photographers have to get around is that when you photograph large landscapes, sometimes they can feel a little empty, and even overwhelming.
One solution to this issue is to go against the norm and shoot with a very shallow depth of field.
As you can see above, with such a narrow field of focus, you get a much more intimate photo in which this one branch on one plant becomes the star of the photo.
And again, in this shot, Amber has opted for a very narrow depth of field to bring our focus to an even smaller area - the group of leaves on this plant.
By framing this shot with the plant in the foreground out of focus, she's also managed to create a photo with tons of depth, even though the area of focus is so small.
If your large, sweeping landscapes are feeling a little too big and cold, give this more unique view of nature a try.
Find Beauty in the Details
As noted earlier, sometimes nature photography can feel a little cold and impersonal.
But finding the beauty in the very small details in a landscape is how to take nature photos with more visual appeal.
Take the image above as a perfect example of this...
Your eyes are drawn first to the remains of the white, circular flowers because they're the only thing in focus in the shot.
But if you look carefully, notice how the spiderwebs that appear all over this plant add a touch more detail that elevate this shot even more.
In this example, Amber once again utilizes a delightfully shallow depth of field to keep our attention on the gorgeous shape of this single plant.
But in doing so, she created a wonderland of bokeh in the background that provides a delicate richness to the shot.
That bokeh works much like the spiderwebs in the previous image - it's a small detail that makes the image as a whole more successful. This is one of the easiest nature photography tips to implement, and one of the most successful, too!
Find Ways to Incorporate Angles
Perhaps one of the lesser-known nature photography techniques is to incorporate angles into your photos.
We all know about leading lines and how they can help you connect the foreground to the background and lead the viewer's eye through the photo along the way.
But including angles in your photos can help you do the same thing.
In the photo above, the branch creates two (roughly) triangular shapes - one below and to the right and one above and to the left.
This helps our eyes "divide and conquer," and inspect the subject (the branch) as well as the background from corner to corner.
Of course, angles can be used in other ways to create interest.
In this image, the left-leaning grasses form a right triangle with the bottom-left corner of the shot.
This, in turn, makes for a more active scene - we understand that the breeze is moving the grasses to the left, and as a result, the photo has more life and vitality to it.
The moral of the story is that rather than simply snapping photos, take time to consider the composition and how lines, angles, and other shapes can help you compose a more impactful photograph of nature.
About These Photos
Location: Alaska, Washington State
Equipment: Nikon D750, D600, Nikon 50MM 1.4, Nikon 85MM 1.4
From the Photographer: Many photographers see the world in a different light. Things, people, objects, may look one way to the average person, but an artist sees the beauty in the simplest things. For me, I am a lover of light. Good light can make just about anything beautiful. For example, the images that I have taken for this article are the “in between” beauty of nature, the stages of nature between seasons. Most people are in awe over the flowers that are fully bloomed, or the tree that is full and plentiful. What is forgotten is how beautiful nature is during the transitions of season. The grass, the moss, the dead leaves, the ferns, the weeds; many things that people walk right by in search of that beautiful flower.
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