How to Take Nature Photos
Step 1: GET A CAMERA
Step 2: FIT THE SHAPE
- Think of your camera’s viewfinder as a picture frame. Try to match the frame to the shape of your subject.
- If you have an up-and-down subject, don’t hold the camera in the “normal” way (like the smaller photo on the left). Turn your camera sideways to fit the shape of your subject.
Step 3: GET THE LIGHT RIGHT
- If you shoot toward the sun, your subject may come out too dark.
- Shoot with the sun behind you or to the side and the subject will come out just right.
Step 4: SEEK CLOUDY WEATHER
- If you shoot in bright, midday sun, your photo may have lots of glare and dark shadows.
- Wait for a cloud to come along, or shoot early or late in the day. That will “soften” the glare and shadows for a more pleasing photo.
Step 5: FILL THE FRAME
- Small things can “disappear” if you shoot from too far away.
- “Supersize” your subject by using your camera’s zoom or by moving closer.
Step 6: CUT THE CLUTTER
- Check all parts of your frame before you shoot. Watch for stuff that doesn’t belong and takes attention away from your subject.
- Move your subject (or yourself) or zoom in to get a simpler, uncluttered background.
Step 7: GO LOW
- Got a subject at ground level? Aiming down might be OK, but it’s usually better to get down on your knees or even your belly and go eye to eye with your subject.
Step 8: CATCH THE MOMENT
- Think you have a good shot lined up? Go ahead and shoot. But then wait a moment. With patience, you may turn a good shot into a great one! Try to catch that magical moment!
Meet wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas and learn how she photographs cheetahs, chimpanzees, and mountain gorillas.
MORE TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER PICS:
- Move slowly and quietly.
- Watch your shadow—it can scare your subject.
- Be careful where you walk—don’t step on flowers or other delicate living things.
- Never disturb an animal you’re shooting.
Send Us Your Best Shots!
Ready to try these tips? Head outside with your phone, tablet, or camera. Then enter your best photos in the Ranger Rick Photo Contest!