Tag Archives: nature photography tips for beginners

Large Apertures What Does It Do For Your Nature Photographs?

Mystical Tiger Lily is a tranquil close-up nature photograph of the stigmas of a fully opened Tiger Lily Bloom with a softened colorized effect applied. Title: Mystical Tiger Lily Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography Item ID#: NAT-2152

Large Aperture, What does it do for your Nature Photographs?

Large apertures do several things for your photographs. The two main factors a large aperture effects is your depth of field and the amount of light that hits your camera sensor.  Think of depth of field as a grid that extends from the front of your camera past the point of visibly. Somewhere in that grid is your subject. When you have a large aperture, elements in front of your subject as well as elements behind the subject will appear less sharp; blurry. By reducing the depth of field (aperture), you can make your subject the most noticeable element in your scene (photograph) and keep your viewers eyes focused on it. Take these flower photographs as an example, it is the same flower photographed using two different aperture and shutter speed settings. The first is shot at an aperture setting of F/3 and the second is photographed at a F/8.

Tiger Lily 1:
Aperture Setting F/3 Shutter Speed 1/200
Nature photo Tiger Lily F3

Tiger Lily 2:
Aperture Setting F/8 Shutter Speed 1/8Nature photo Tiger Lily F16

Do you notice that your eyes follow the lines created by the leaves of the background more in photograph #2. This is because our brains naturally seek out details. The F/8 photograph has a lot more background details than the F/3 photograph which creates more distractions and reduces the focus of the subject dramatically.

 

ApertureChart

The second factor of a large aperture is the amount of light. With a large aperture your lens is open more, which allows more light into your cameras sensor. It is the equivalent to the pupils of your own eyes opening to allow more light to hit your retina, which allows you to see in low quality light. When you decrease your aperture to a smaller F/stop setting (number) it allows you to increase your shutter speed. This is extremely helpful when you are creating your nature photographs on a day the wind is blowing. Even a slight breeze could move elements of your subject; which would cause a blur with a slow shutter speed setting.

The best way to see and learn the effects of your aperture is to go out and shoot. Use the same subject and take shots of it at different settings. Start at the smallest F/stop and work your way up the highest F/stop setting your lens allows; adjust your shutter speed as you go to keep a balanced exposure. This will help you learn how aperture effects your depth of field. Then do the same exercise to see how it effects light but this time only adjust your aperture setting.

Share with me your thoughts and experiences about this topic, I would really like to see the results of your shoots. Simply create a post and pingback to this post.

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About the Author and Photographer:

MeMelissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.

Join our VIP List for exclusive offers, notification for upcoming events and more. To read Melissa’s full story on how she became a nature and landscape photographer please visit: In the Beginning.

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Nature Photo Tip Quickies: What is Composition

Delicate Rose is a dramatic black and white nature photograph of the delicate petals of a rose bloom with dew droplets resting on them. This photograph was created in the beautiful, award winning Rose Garden in Brandywine Park located in Wilmington, Delaware. Title: Delicate Rose B and W Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature PhotographyPhoto Quickie: What is Composition

A composition of a photograph effective conveys the intended meaning of the photographer while the image was begin created. The composition could be of a variety of thing for placement to mood, as well as depth and subject matter. A good composition or strong composition in a photograph is easy for the viewer to spot the intended subject or reason the the photograph was created.

Image Info:

Title: Delicate Rose
Nature Photographer: Melissa Fague
Genre: Floral Nature Photography (Black and White)

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Nature Photography Quickie: Background Info

Daydreams on the Shore is a beautiful nature photograph of a dark grey, almost black Whelk seashell resting on a sandy beach and broken but smoothed seashells. In the distance is a beautiful picturesque inlet and ocean shining in the early morning sun. This photograph has color effects added to enhance the dreamy mood of the image. Main colors of this photograph are tan, teal and black.Photo Quickie: Background Info

Pay close attention to what is behind your subject before snapping the first shot, they cause distractions. This is especially true with reflective surfaces that could bounce light from the flash or other light sources back to the camera and cause a distraction from your subject.

Photo Info:

Title: Daydreams on the Shore
Fine Art Nature Photographer: Melissa Fague
Genre: Coastal / Nature Photography

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Creating Your Own Subject Matter in Nature Photography

Close-up Sunflower is a studio created nature photograph of a sunflower with blue specks of light in the background. Title: Close-up Sunflower Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography

Subject matter is more than just the physical content that will be appearing in your photograph. Subject matter is also a mood, timing, context, and juxtaposition. The first thing I try to do is ask myself why am I taking this picture? The answer may be a portrait of my friends or family, capturing the spontaneity of a child’s activity, a reminder of a place, document wildlife, or in most cases for me it is to create a piece of artwork with natural elements.

Asking this question about my landscape and nature photography shoots allows me to focus on the end result of each shoot rather than shooting a thousand photos of the scene or element. If I’m out photographing a planned shoot, my idea has already been worked over in my mind, I have researched the area, and have calculations based on the weather conditions of that day before I even arrive on site. Once I’m there I evaluate the site and work my plan to the best of my ability to capture my “vision” of that nature or landscape photo. Once I have what I think I need to complete the final photograph, I then explore the area for other things that may catch my eye or for a better position of the subject. If I find nothing else, which is rare, I know I can walk away from the scene with at least one salable landscape or nature photo.

As I grew stronger with my creative eye for composition I was able to foresee scenes that I would like to convert to Black and White, or add color processing to enhance the mood or atmosphere of the photograph. Another skill that I have noticed that has matured through practice is the ability to anticipate what is going to happen next and being ready to capture that moment.

I once read that “great subject matter is often the matter of noticing something that others don’t within a familiar setting”.

Leave me some feedback below on how each image makes you feel when you view them.

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About the Author and Photographer:

Me

Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.

Join our VIP List for exclusive offers, notification for upcoming events and more. To read Melissa’s full story on how she became a nature and landscape photographer please visit: In the Beginning.

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Photography 101: Have Something to Say

If you want your nature and landscape photographs to be more powerful then you must have something to say. Photography is a visual form of storytelling. The difference between writing a story and a photograph is you only get one page to tell your story with photography and several to several hundred pages for a book. So inside that one photograph you must have something meaningful to communicate to your audience.

Landscape Photography: Abandoned House on Adams Dam Rd by Nature and landscape Photographer Melissa Fague

In order to capture the right essence of the scene you will have to study it. You’ll have to stand still and “see” the way light changes the contours and shapes of your scene or subject. As the sun moves across the sky, it light will dramatically change the features of your subject; revealing some features and hiding others. It took me some time to see that the light gives the landscapes and natural elements of the world their voices, moods and emotions. This voice is one of the key factors that separate photography into two parts; snapshots to document an object or scene and art that speaks to the viewer.

 

Abandoned House Snapshot

Example 1
Title: Abandoned House on Adams Dam Rd
Studied and worked the scene for 30 – 45 minutes.

Example 2
Snapshot: Abandoned House in Virginia
Taken in passing at 60 miles an hour on a road trip.

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