Anyone with a camera can be a nature photographer, but capturing great photos of plants and animals in their natural habitats takes skill, patience, and knowledge.

Knowing your camera and your accessories well will help. Know and understand technical comparisons such as apsc vs full frame and what the differences mean. Also, be aware of how a camera that has more manual control can sometimes enable you to take better photos in the first instance. Not everything can be dealt with later in the editing process, even with a digital camera.

Here are six tips to help you take your nature photography skills to the next level.

Get Closer

Get closer to your subject. The best way to capture the intricate details of nature is to get close-up. Use a telephoto lens or macro setting on your camera to get close-up shots without disturbing your subject.

This can be easier said than done where animals are concerned. Always keep a safe distance from dangerous animals. However, when it comes to flowers, get in as close as possible to show their inner beauty. Be careful of bees inside the centers of flowers that they will be feeding on the pollen of.

It is better, in many cases, to get closer to an image to take it than to zoom in on it because then you lose quality in the image. However, with a macro facility that is what it is designed for.

Consider the Lighting Outdoors?

Use the light to your advantage. Outdoor lighting can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared. Experiment with different shutter speeds, aperture settings, and ISO levels to get the best results.

Lighting can also be used to create a mood. For example, shooting in low light can give your photos a mysterious quality.

Be aware of where the sun is as you will not want to shoot into it. The sun is best behind you. Also, think about what shadows are being formed around your subject matter. They can add interest or prove to be a distraction from the main image that you are wanting to emphasize in your photo.

Pay Attention to the Background

In nature photography, the background is just as important as the foreground. A busy background can distract from your subject and make it difficult to focus on the photo.

To avoid this, use a shallow depth of field. This will blur the background and make your subject stand out. You can also use a telephoto lens to compress the background and make it less noticeable.

Be patient

One of the most important qualities for a nature photographer is patience. Many great shots are taken after waiting hours, or even days, for the perfect moment. Learn to be comfortable with long periods of waiting and don’t be afraid to take multiple shots of the same subject.

If you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded with photos that are truly unique and special.

Use Props Wisely

Props can be used to add interest to your photos, but beware of using too many or making your subjects look unnatural. A few well-placed leaves or branches can enhance a photo, but too much clutter will only distract from your main subject.

Edit Your Photos Correctly

Edit judiciously. In nature photography, as in all photography, it’s important to edit your photos carefully. Remove any distracting elements and crop your photos to focus on the main subject. With careful editing, you can turn a good photo into a great one.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to taking beautiful nature photos that you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.