Nature Photography: set the scene, tune the light and direct the subject
Few niches require photographers to have acquired the degree of technical understanding and skill when using their camera as nature photography. Much of this has to do with the fact that nature photography can be unpredictable. With subjects that are unwilling or unable to cooperate, the photographer must be able to utilize the tools directly at her disposal: her camera. Without the ability to set the scene, tune the lighting, or direct her subjects, the photographer must understand what each and every setting on the camera does and how it affects the image’s composition. Moreover, a professional nature photographer must also understand the conventions of the niche such that she can shoot fresh and unique images while still adhering to a sense of familiarity that audience’s will expect. While little nature photography will occur in major metropolitan areas like Paris or London, Photo Agency One has photographers located around the globe who are either within distance to travel by road or able to hop on the next flight to some remote location. If you require a stunning shot of a tiger slinking through the tall grass hunting prey or an exquisite macro close-up of a graceful hummingbird, hovering in mid-flight as it suckles nectar from a vibrant flower, trust in Photo Agency One.
most practiced niche by amateurs is nature/landscape photography
Nature photography is another niche that seems deceptively simple is counter-intuitively complex. A large part of this has to do with the fact that after portrait and food photography, nature and landscape photography is the most practiced by amateurs. Moreover, it is not fundamentally difficult to shoot an adequate nature photograph. Of course, those who seek the services of a professional nature photographer are not merely looking for an “adequate” image but a spectacular one which will allow the audience to see an overexposed style in a fresh light. In this regard, the skills required of a professional photographer are almost exclusively technical and compositional with an eye towards design. Without human subjects to bother with—except for the instances of photographing indigenous peoples—the photographer will have little to no ability in directing or designing the subject, of which most will either be inanimate objects, settings, or wild animals.
Moreover, part of the essence of nature photography is the absence of that controlled artifice. Nature photography is all about capturing the splendor and glory of nature without contrivance. It is arguably the most candid of candid photography. With nature photography that focuses on a living subject, often an animal, the photographer will generally want to ensure that the subject is emphasized. The two most common ways of accomplishing this are controlling the depth of field, such that much of the outer thirds of the image are blurry, or shooting in extreme close-up. The latter of the two is arguably the most difficult to master as it requires precision for most of the camera’s settings and for the subject to cooperate long enough to capture the shot. In this regard, it behooves the photographer to have a complete idea of the photo desired to be taken ahead of time, choose the appropriate settings, and simply wait for the subject to enter the desired space.
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