Do you secretly wish you could produce photographs that take people’s breath away? There is no better time than now to pursue your dream!
We chatted with Thunder Bay photographer Barry Wojciechowski and our own Discovery program and marketing specialist, Barb Rees, who shared these Five tips for capturing award-winning nature photos.
Tip #1: Buy a camera that suits your needs and budget
There are three basic cameras to choose from: point-and-shoot (compact and portable, but limited zoom), bridge (large zoom capabilities with a fixed lens), and digital single-lens reflex or DLRS (a variety of lens options for different purposes ). They can all produce stunning photographs, if used correctly.
You’ll probably also want to get a tripod or monopod which will help you get sharper images. An extra memory card and battery are also good investments.
Tip #2: Read the manual
This may seem obvious, but many of us skip this step. New photographers often keep the settings on “auto,” but if you want to take exceptional nature photos, you need to know what your camera can do.
Once you’ve read about all the features, start playing with your camera. Really know it and what you can do with it. You can even save your manual digitally on your phone!
Tip #3: Take a class or workshop that focuses on nature photography
Some universities offer photography classes, as do many nature clubs. You can learn a lot from even just a few sessions with an expert and it will help you “focus” on what you want to capture.
Don’t forget to read about your topic. Do you focus on close-ups of flowers and insects? More interested in sunsets and sunrises? Or are you hoping to capture birds and animals on film? The more you know about your subject, the stronger your photographs will be.
Tip #4: Join a photography club
This is a great way to hone your skills. Most clubs have group outings and photography challenges where members review and critique each other’s work, which is very helpful.
Tip #5: Install a few key apps
An increasing number of photography-themed apps help camera enthusiasts capture the best photos at different times of the year. They can help by calculating exposures, depth of field, time lapse, shutter speed, weather forecasts (including northern lights predictions), and much more.
Practice makes perfect, so grab your camera and get out there!