Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Rediscovering The Natural World Through Photography

You might think nature photography should be left to Nat Geo, but there’s a lot you can learn through it. Here’s why nature photography is so rewarding.

Why Nature Photography Is So Rewarding

Of all the ways to become better acquainted with your local flora and fauna, none is as rewarding as nature photography. Animals are notoriously elusive, especially in modern industrial countries, so getting an image of a beautiful fox or striking bird of prey always feels like an accomplishment. But nature photography doesn’t have to be limited to the confines of lions and tigers, there’s a whole natural world outside your door.

The natural world is full of gorgeous colours, textures and small scenes that are worth recording. Think of how anthropologists used to make beautiful lithographs of local flora to preserve and document them, with a careful eye you can do the same through photography. The pandemic has made travel difficult as recurring waves destabilize many parts of the world, but there can be so much to see in your own backyard. Let’s look at how nature photography can open your eyes to the world around you.

Macro Photography

Macro photography focuses on small details - the minutiae of the natural world. The dew caught in a spider’s web, a water droplet poised like mercury on a nasturtium leaf, these small scenes are often overlooked. Being mindful of these small moments of beauty around you can open you up to a more appreciative way of looking at the world.

Bird Photography

For many years I thought bird watching was akin to bowls and bingo: an old person’s activity. But recently I’ve begun to appreciate the ear that can recognise what birds are in its vicinity. There’s something about this knowledge that seems precious and in danger of being lost. Photographing these birds will better acquaint you to the world around you and they’re all strikingly beautiful in their own way. A little research on their diets can also tell you what small edible fruits grow in the trees or what rodents you might find in the bushes.

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is a challenge. A view might seem beautiful until you hold your eye to the viewfinder and realise it all seems a bit plain. How do you get both the sky and the land perfectly exposed? If you think landscape photography is boring, go look at the works of Ansel Adams or the frontier photographers of the old American West. There’s something adventurous and exciting about these images - is it because of what they represent or is it because these photographers were in love with the landscapes around them?

If you’re thinking of giving nature photography a try, start off by simply using your mobile phone that you also play the tragamonedas chile on, or DSLR if you have one. See what you gravitate toward. If you want to get up-close shots of animals in the wild, you’ll probably want to invest in a zoom lens that can get you closer to them. If you prefer landscapes, a wide-angle lens will be needed to capture these vistas in all their glory. Become interested in the world around you and you’ll find yourself surrounded by beauty at every turn.