Photography is an art that requires passion, an eye for a detail, a camera, and a subject. Nature Photography is not about taking a picture of a leaf or a waterfall but it is about how detailed the picture is, how beautiful it looks, and what impressions it produces for the observer. It is never as easy as it seems and to take pictures of cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers and snow-clad mountains can require a lot more than a good camera and passion for photography.
Nature photography also known as landscape photography comprises of a number of elements, and how you bring these elements together to present a whole picture is fundamental to this art. A photographic composition includes visual elements comprising of a photographer’s vision and the ability to see, identify, arrange, and frame a finished or complete image. This is definitely a distinct skill and if you think you have such a skill then landscape photography will be a great experience and career for you.
Let’s look at some of the basic elements that will play a major role in defining the final picture. The first element is Scale. If you take into consideration images of nature then you will find that most of them differ by the scale of the scene captured. The three different categories to be kept in mind are:
1.Grand Scenery: This includes huge expanses of landscape
2.Intimate Scenery: This is one of the most elusive of all sceneries, as you will have to isolate a “scene within the scene” and keep only the important part.
3.Macro Scenery: This includes enlarging the elements, which are small in nature and cannot be noticed otherwise.
It is very important to examine and interpret each of these scenes distinctively to get the best picture. The important thing to understand is that you should not block your mind or vision to a particular scale you need to have an open mind so that you can add variations and use the opportunities to your advantage.
The second important element of nature photography is Raw Material and it is further composed of sub-elements like:
1. Light: Very important element, you need to identify and adjust its direction, color, and angle
2. Shape: It consists of the outline as well as the surface of different objects in a particular scene
3. Lines: There can be straight, and curved lines, which may be pointing out or in from the frame towards a given object
4. Textures and patterns
5. Colors and tones
6. Frame boundaries
The third important element that you need to work on is Complexity. In any landscape photograph there is an underlying concept that drives the composition of that particular image. The concept will help the viewer to understand the picture or image with various connotations, and help identify the relationship between them and the image. This is why an image should neither be too simple nor be too complex but at the same time, it should be complex enough for the viewer to delve deeper into the composition to find the hidden meaning – to make him/her think.
The last element in Nature Photography is Perspective and it can be defined as the visual relationship between the scene portrayed and the point from where it is being viewed.
Once you have understood the importance and impact of various elements required of landscape photography, you would be able to create the magic that will hold the viewer spellbound.