How to Capture and Organize Stunning Images
“Actually, it’s nature itself that creates the most beautiful pictures; I’m only choosing the perspective.” – Katja Michael
While I like to help our clients organize their photos, when it comes to photography, I’m not an expert! So I decided to call upon the experts in my family and on my team. Here’s what we came up with for tips on taking nature photos.
Choosing Your Favorite Nature Locations
To capture stunning nature locations, you should first have a clear idea and plan. For example, you may want to know the exact spot where you will take pictures and what time of day offers the best photo opportunity. You should also consider the month or season your favorite destinations are at their peak.
Lighting is Everything
Without the right lighting, even the most breath-taking scenery, like fields of flowers or a mountainous landscape, will not look its best on camera. Do your landscape and wildlife photos justice by capturing their beauty in natural light whenever possible. The “golden hours” are just after dawn and right before dusk. It’s also possible to take advantage of cloudy, overcast days because they help diffuse harsh sunlight and give photos a softer feel. After a light rain is also a great time to take nature photos because it makes your colors look more vibrant.
Using a Tripod
Tripods are terrific for capturing long-exposure nature photos, like moving river water or panoramic shots that require a steady hand. Sitting your camera on a tripod prevents your pictures from blurring. You can also set it up and wait for the perfect wildlife or lighting opportunity.
Keeping Your Photos Sharp
Choosing your depth of field plays an essential role in capturing stunning nature scenes. You will be capturing a larger area and need to focus on your subject to keep your photo sharp. If you take a picture on your smartphone, you can sharpen the focus by tapping the subject or area of the screen you want to capture.
Paying Attention to Composition
How you place the nature subject in your photo can change the look and feel of your image. For example, when taking a horizontal photo, follow the rule of thirds which suggests aligning your subject in one-third of the photo and leaving the other two-thirds open.
Again digital cameras and smartphones have grids on the screen so you don’t have to guess. You can also use the leading lines within your nature subject, like roads, rivers, and fences to draw the viewer into the photo.
If you are cropping your photo into a perfect square, you don’t need to follow the rule of thirds. Instead, center your subject on your screen and move in close to highlight details like the symmetrical patterns of flowers and plants.
How to Organize Nature Photos
You’ll want to store and organize all of your nature photos in the same place. If you take your pictures on different devices, we can help you organize them by file type. You can read more about organizing digital photos on our blog page. We recommend filenames that help you sort them into easy-to-find digital folders. Include the date and gather photos by:
- Type of flower or plant
- Type of wildlife
- Close-up scenes and textures
- Distant landscapes
Quick Smartphone Photography Tips
With your smartphone, you have many tools to edit your flower and nature subject to go from an excellent photo to an incredible one. Here are a just a few:
1. Tap the phone screen to manually focus images to where you want your camera to focus.
- For iOS iPhones, tap once to focus on an image, then hold and drag to adjust the light exposure.
- For Androids, tap once to focus on the subject, then use the slider on the side or top of the screen to adjust light exposure.
2. Turn on High Dynamic Range (HDR) manually or set it automatically in your camera settings. HDR takes two or three photos quickly then combines them to bring out the lightest lights and darkest darks for a better color-balanced photo.
- For iPhones, HDR is on by default. If you want to turn it off, you need to go into your phone settings or find the HDR button at the top of your screen.
- For Android, tap your camera screen, and the HDR feature will appear to turn on or off.
3. Only turn on your flash as a last resort because the flash function tends to distort images.
4. Do not use zoom because it will enlarge the pixels, making the photo seem blurry. Zoom with your feet instead.
5. Both iOS and androids have “burst mode” to take numerous photos by holding down the shutter button when taking your photo. You’ll have many shots to choose from later.
6. Crop out distracting elements after your photo is taken by tapping the edit feature at the right top of your iPhone screen or the bottom left of your Android.
Think about complementary colors and how similar shades or contrasting colors affect your photo. You can use dark-toned backgrounds to make the nature subject in front pop. Also, beauty can be found in black and white images because the contrast shows incredible details on things like plant leaves, centers of flowers, and patterns on rocks and soil.
Flower and Canvas Prints for Walls
All these fabulous photos can be displayed in a variety of ways, but one of our favorites is a gallery wall. You can have your best photos printed on canvas, wrapped or framed, in multiple sizes and:
- Spotlight individual photos
- Create a collage of mixed tiles
- Combine smaller photos with panoramic shots
- Hang canvas prints with bars and string
- Position them horizontally, vertically, or mix them up
- Add other types of artwork and memorabilia that compliment your gallery wall
Getting the Most Out of Your Nature Photos
Let us help you organize your flower and nature photo collections so you can always appreciate the memories of your outdoor adventures. Contact us, and we can help you sort through your nature photos and create a gallery wall to accent other design elements in your home and show your friends and family.