Introduction: Nature Through Your Lens

About: Although I love all art in general, some of my favorites include photography, constructing practical stuff out of duct tape, and sewing up a storm. Before buying something I think twice about it, then usually …

Is there a way to document the beauty of nature within the limited frame of a camera lens? Although the true essence of nature includes using more than just your sense of sight, you have to create a picture that truly is worth a thousand words. To do this, you must put creativity into your photographs. Whether it is using shadowing, filters, or different angles, the picture shows a different outlook on nature.There are multiple concepts I will discuss with you, but the first is all about angles. 

Step 1: All About Angles

As seen in the picture above, ordinary grass can be shown in a different point of view by putting your camera on the ground at an angle. It will make it look like you are a small animal or an ant, winding through the jungle-like grass.

Step 2: Illusions

Sometimes you can make a picture look like an illusion by using a background with a pattern throughout it, like the natural one in this picture. I waited until the evening when the sun was behind me. I found a natural background, and stepped into the center of it. It looks like I am in the center of a spiral or black hole, and it adds depth. That was what I was getting at in this photo. It was just my shadow in the forest escape of trees, while I stood behind a waist-high wall in front of the trees. Instead of this, it morphed into an illusion before my eyes. This is a concept everyone should try.

Step 3: Shadowing and Lighting

The time of day can really affect the outcome of your photograph. In my first photo, the one I took at the park when the sun was setting, I used something ordinary, which was the long grasses growing there, and made it stand out. It looks as if the fuzzy tips of seed are see through, fuzzy, and glowing. If you photograph in the evening when there are also shadows, you have the advantage of creating cool effects such as the bottle I have in my second picture. The sun was to my left, so I used that to make shadowing on the bottle. I repositioned the bottle and my camera aim a few times and achieved the outcome I wanted.

Step 4: The Paint Effect on Blurry Photos

A blurry photo isn't much fun until you think of your options with it. You can create the paint effect on blurry photos by taking a photo while driving in a car, walking down the street, or just moving your camera a little. The first photo of the train tracks I took out the car window. All I did was take the blurry photo and add an average filter to it to play around with the colors. I did the same with the butterfly photo, and the painting effect was my outcome. The blur looks like paint strokes.

Step 5: Bigger Than Life

You can make objects seem like they are bigger than they actually are by just putting your camera lens right next to and close up to the desired object. One effect you can do is focus on the object, or vise versa, you can focus out on the background. Either way it gives you a different perspective of the photograph. It can make the object appear close up as if you were actually there, looking at the leaf in the forest or the ornament on the evergreen tree, as in my photos.

Step 6: Another Play With Motion

One effect I tried recently is dumping out a handful of leaf crumplets onto the sidewalk and taking an action shot. I wanted to try to capture the essence of scooping up and dumping out something in motion, giving more feeling to a picture. I did exactly that with this picture, and then added a blur around the outside for more effect, as if you were focusing on the leaves dropping one by one to the ground.

Step 7: More Tips

On my tree root picture, and yes, those are tree roots, my tip for you is to take a closer look at your surroundings. You see, I could have just taken a picture of the tree itself. However, try to find subtle characteristics about whatever you are taking a picture of and the outcome will be different. You may not notice the cool aspect of the tree's roots until you look closer, so you should try to focus your lens on them, because they are cooler than meets the eye in a regular photo.

When you add together all of my tips and tricks about photography in nature, you can take a photo like this tree one. The lighting, angle, shadowing, and neat characteristics of the tree all shown together in one gorgeous photograph really adds to the perspective the viewer has. Use these techniques everyday, and you will grow to become a very talented photographer!

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