otherNot 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.other


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.My nugget of nature photography wisdom? Be patient. Find four more tips on the blog #photography #selfcare #nature

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.

Become a student of nature if you want to take better photos. Nature photography tips on the blog. #photography #selfcare #art

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!

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your favorite posts from last week!

2. Visit TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!

A bonus for you!

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  1. Anita,
    One of my favorite electives I took in college was photography. There is something so fun and additive about capturing God’s Creation in all its splendor or capturing beautiful architecture with just the right angle and framing. I also find that when I’m focused on being creative, I can’t simultaneously worry or be stewing on other things. It is a great distractor and there’s satisfaction in the creative process. Thanks for these tips in capturing better, more artistic photographs.
    Bev xx

  2. Anita, I have long LOVED your photography! If I may dare share … I have told my husband I so want a camera. I only have and use my phone. I so appreciated your tips and may I say … the owl, oh my gosh! Stunning! You inspired me, and I am sure all of us, this Monday morning.
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Brave In The MomentMy Profile

  3. Thanks for these tips. I love photographing landscapes, and I definitely have noticed what a difference light makes!

    A long time ago, I determined to only use pictures I have taken myself on my blog so that I won’t have to worry about copyright issues. It is so fun to go back in my archives and take a pic – often one that didn’t turn out so well – and edit it and have it work great for my purposes.

    I also use doing so as an excuse for more road trips – I need my photos for my blog!
    Jerralea recently posted…AmaZing Nourishing LoveMy Profile

  4. Love your artistry through these photos, Anita! And the tips are great too! Did you take that one of the owl with a telephoto lens? Amazing detail and perspective. I also love the tip about hummingbirds. My MIL has a hummingbird feeder out her kitchen window, so I’ll have to try that when I’m visiting her. Thanks so much for this and the linkup, my friend!
    Beth recently posted…Comment on 8 Creative and Romantic Gift Ideas for Your Mate by The Unfair Task of Forgiving an Unapologetic SpouseMy Profile

  5. Macro is my favorite medium with insects and flowers my passion. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to broaden my skills and the poor readers of my blog are suffering through my growing pains. 🙂 It hasn’t been easy; but, I’m learning and am determined to persevere. All of the tips you mentions are valid and a wonderful reminder of what makes it all works. Thank you.

    visiting from FMF

  6. Dear Anita, thank you for sharing these photography tips! It’s a skill I’ve always wanted to pursue. Perhaps this will give me a leg up. You’ve certainly given me glorious examples to aspire to!

  7. Beautiful photos…I love that hummingbird! Photography is such a wonderful art and way to express our creativity!! (yes, I’m a tad envious!) 🙂

  8. I love these tips, Anita! It is nice to get up early to catch the sunrise and the waking of the world. But alas, I’m hardly ever up that early. Maybe if I’d get to bed sooner, it would be more doable. And maybe it should depend on how badly I want to experience it, right? Thanks so much for your tips and for this linkup. Blessings to you!

  9. Hi Anita,
    I love these tips, since becoming a blogger I have appreciated the art of photography so much more. I previously did as a scrapbooker but in blogging the quality of the photo becomes a priority.
    And I am excited to find Inspire me Mondays!!

  10. I love this friend! I have been dabbling more and more in photography and what I have learned is trying different things and sometimes that indeed means getting dirty. The other day I had my 35 mil with me as I went for a walk. At one point, I laid on the sidewalk and looked up to get a shot of the branches. Thanks for these tips. I have a feeling they will come in handy! 🙂 Blessed to be your neighbor over at Tell His Story this week.

  11. Anita! I love this. Photography is my art of choice, as well. (Well, and writing, of course.) Great tips, thank you. Your pictures are gorgeous. I hate how rarely I take out my camera these days. I take a lot of pictures with my phone, but there’s just something about a zoom lens that I love. 🙂 Be still my heart. It’s cathartic, isn’t it? You’ve inspired me…perhaps this weekend… 🙂 xoxo
    Brenda recently posted…When Broken Places Become Timely PlacesMy Profile

  12. Anita, I’m back to tell you that I’ve chosen your post for my favorite of the week at the #LMMLinkup and I will feature it on my blog tomorrow. Blessings!

  13. Beautiful photos! I totally agree that sometimes you have to wait a long time to get the photo you’re wanting, and that you sometimes have to be willing to get dirty.
    I don’t think I had thought about getting at eye level.
    Your photos are fabulous! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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