5 Tips on Photographing Nature with a Camera Phone

If you own a phone, you have a camera. So these tips may be just in time for your next hike. Digital cameras are a great invention for the beginner photographer of all ages. Don’t forget to explore what your camera phone has to offer in settings and filters, whether you decide to use them or not. Youtube could be a useful tool to help you figure them out.

The rule of thirds focuses the eye on the most important part of the image. Divide the photograph into nine equal squares (3 x 3). This results in 4 intersections. Simply, by positioning the primary elements on one of these four cross hairs, you are creating a more natural image. That is where cropping comes in, improving the composition.

Lighting can make or break a photograph. Remember to watch for glare from the sun or water.

Shadows in the forest are everywhere. Keeping the sun behind you will make for a better shot. Make sure whatever your are capturing is not half in sun and the other half in shade unless, that is your intention. Be aware the sun and lighting are constantly changing.

Try a another perspective. Shoot from a worms eye view as well as a birds eye view, rather than a straight on view.  A different impression of height, width and depth will be created when seen from another vantage point.

The easiest way to practice diagonal principle, is to photograph trees. Diagonal lines will cause your eye to move around the photograph. A standing tree will result in your eye moving top to bottom or bottom to top. And a fallen tree will sweep your eye left to right. By intersecting a diagonal line, the eye will then focus around that point.

It’s digital, so keep on clicking. You can delete, change brightness, edit… when you get home.  

Zoom in when you can’t walk up close. Using the zoom function verses walking up closer results in a loss of resolution. Then crop close in on your nature subject. You want a more detailed clearer view of the bee, bug, mushroom, moss…  It will make for a more spectacular outcome. 

Below you will find links and free apps. With a clear photograph you can find out about a bird, plant, animal, bug, mushroom or fish that you just captured on camera. This is such a fun way to learn about the names of what is in the area. Next time you see it, you’ll know what it is called. Then use the opportunity to find out more about your subject. 

Learn about birds

Learn about plants

Learn about animals

Also free apps in the apple app store:

Use Bug Identifier for a picture of an insect: bug identifier.

Use Mushroom ID for a picture of a mushroom.

Use Fish ID for a picture of a fish.

Practice, practice, practice: You will find your photographs are improving. Don’t forget your backpack and put in a mini tripod. It will come in handy. If you are looking for us…you’ll find us outside.

Do you have a photography tip or another identifying website/app to share? Let us know.

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