Shooting Nature Photography

Nature Photos are Published in Travel,
Scientific and Cultural Magazines

Shooting photography in nature is typically defined as images things in nature which does not indicate the presence of mankind. Therefore , no buildings, no bridges, no fences, no roads, no power lines, etc. It often features wildlife, flowers and plants, plus assorted scenic's. A few nature photographers never take pictures of animals out in nature, while other photographers specialize in wildlife images and never photograph plants and flowers.

Nature photography is more apt to put a greater weight on the aesthetic importance of the image than other photographic genres, like documentary photography and photojournalism.

Nature photos are published in travel, scientific and cultural magazines like Audubon Magazine, National Geographic Magazine plus other more identifiable magazines like Nature's Best Photography and Outdoor Photographer. Distinguished nature photographers include Galen Rowell, Frans Lanting, and Art Wolfe. 

Red Impatiens
Red Impatiens Flowers by Gene Wright

Wildlife Photography

Giraffe in Kenya
Giraffe in Kenya -
Photo by Dmitri Markine

Male Mallard in Flight
Wildlife photography, such as this midflight shot of a male mallard duck can be very challenging and require a high power telephoto lens
Photo by Alan D. Wilson,

Hoverflies mating in midair
An example of a macro shot - this one showing two Hoverflies

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Wildlife photography is a dedication to capturing photographs of interesting animals on the move, like fighting, eating, hunting, or taking flight. Although typically photographed in the wilderness, game farms have also recurrent spots for photographing wildlife.

The techniques for photographing wildlife vary greatly from those employed for photographing landscapes. For instance, for capturing wildlife wide apertures are most often used to acquire fast shutter speeds, stop the subject's action, plus put bokeh into the backgrounds, however photographers of landscapes lean towards small apertures. Wildlife is also most often photographed using high power telephoto lenses located far away; using telephoto lenses often requires using a tripod (the more length of the lens, the more difficult it becomes to handhold). A great many photographers of wildlife use some type of camouflage or blind.

Macro / Texture

The article on macro photography goes into detail about close-up photography; however, this is a form of nature photography also. While the more typical macro subjects such as dragonflies, bees, and other insects could be typified as wildlife, their minature world makes for interesting photography also.

A number of photographers acquire photos of a texture of a tree bark, a stone, leaf, or lots of other small settings. A great many of these photos are abstract. Small mushrooms and other plants are popular subjects. Acquiring close-up photos in nature doesn't always require a genuine macro lens; although, the settings are so small they're generally thought of as different from typical landscapes.

Using Color

The existence (or nonexistence) of color isn't a necessity for nature photography. Many more black & white images are being created by digital technology today than by film during the 1930s.

Ansel Adams became legendary for his black & white nature depictions, which are still prominent today. Galen Rowell had great praise of Fuji Velvia film over its brilliant, saturated colors, saying no one wants to capture dull images that will last over one hundred years. Both photographers distinguished the difference between the expressive art form of photography and sensitivity to light; a precise reproduction isn't necessary.  See articles on: Black and white, Saturation, Sepia tone, Cyanotype, Color,


Several ethical debates and concerns surround the shooting of nature photography. Typical concerns involve the potential harm or stress to wildlife, the possibility of photographers destroying and overrunning natural landscapes, and manipulating and using game farms in photography.

updated article Dec 16, 2012