Not Everyone Can Draw
Not every month has five Sundays, so I’ll take the opportunity to explore the other A in MAPS (you can find more about this series here). Last week, I shared how having a learning mindset helps us conquer things we thought we couldn’t do in our younger years. Today I’ll share some tips for upping your artistic quotient with photography. Next week, I’ll tell you about my latest physical challenge.
Artistic expression baffles me at time. I’ve wandered through art museums and wondered how pieces made it in to the collection. Really? But then I remember that we all interpret beauty differently. What one person considers art, other people may consider a mystery. As in, ‘Someone paid good money for that?’
My actual artistic endeavors (in the traditional sense) are limited to stick figures to explain concepts in history or English and horse heads—which I doodled endlessly in elementary school.
Some people can create art with quilts, clothing, food, paints, a pencil, stone, or clay. Me? I like looking at the world through the lens of a camera. Anyone can snap a photo, but not everyone’s photos turn out the same. I don’t claim master photography skills, but I’ll share a few tips for those who want to create nature art with a camera.
Five Tips to Take Your Nature Photography to the Next Level
1. Get closer. No matter what you shoot, try getting closer. You’ll find all kinds of surprising details. Hairy flowers with bugs buried in their centers. Perfect raindrops sliding off a leaf.
2. Get lower. Try to get eye-level with your subject. This requires a willingness to get wet and dirty sometimes. Or to sit in a field and wait for a butterfly to return to sip nectar from a flower.
3. Patience pays off. I do a lot of standing still when I go out shooting. Sometimes, I wait for hours for a certain bird to show up. Other times I wait for an animal to get used to my presence before inching closer.
4. Study nature. We won’t talk about how many hours I’ve spent on my back porch trying to capture the perfect photo of a hummingbird. But I have learned a lot about hummingbirds from my time. For example, I know that hummingbirds often hover about eight inches away from the feeder for a few seconds before moving back in. Now I know where to focus my camera.
5. Light matters. Early morning and late evening provide the best light for taking nature photographs. If you want truly beautiful photos, you can’t laze around in bed like other people. You’ll need to get up before the sun and get in position.
So, whether you have a point and shoot, a camera phone, or some other, more expensive camera, you CAN improve your artistic ability. I took all of these photos with either a Canon 6D or a Nikon Coolpix. I also get a lot of great shots with my iPhone.Five tips for taking more artistic nature photos. You don't have to draw well to be artistic! #photography #selfcare #art Click To Tweet
If you’d like to see more, I post on Instagram almost every day (@blestbutstrest). Try some of these tips and tag me—I’d love to see your art!
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