1. Explore the Area You wish to Photograph
A Reconnaissance mission exploring the area in which you are going to shoot. To get an idea of the subjects you can shoot, what they look like, how they interact with other elements, the best view points and how to access them and so on. Carry a compact camera with you take sample shots and review it later in the convenience of your room to improvise get ideas for better angles etc. so that when you are out there you know exactly what you want.
2. Get to know your subject wellFind out as much as possible about what you intend to photograph. Spend a few hours or even a full day, just Know all about your subject. Use what you have learned while shooting and explore various possibilities. If you want to shoot insect life, read about the insect and learn its biology, behaviour patterns, details of its natural habitat etc. This will help you convey the idea of their size, life cycle and its relation to its habitat.
3. Visualize your shots
Once you have explored the area you wish to photograph and have learned about your subject, See the frame in your mind before you actually shoot it. Rehearse the images in your and imagine different possibilities.
4. Vary your framing
A scene looks different every time one looks at it from a different angle, so try different focal lengths and different vantage points in the same scene. Varying your framing results in unique compositions. Always take both vertical and horizontal shots of all scenes, you will never know which one will come out great when viewed on the larger screen.
5. Experiment with Long Exposure Effects
Experiment by varying the shutter speed to freeze motion or to convey a sense of movement in your shots. Instead of freezing a fast moving subject, try long exposures of 10 sec or more with a narrow aperture value such as f/8 or f/16 to see the range of effects possible.
6. Play with colours in compositions
If used creatively in smart compositions, colours can convey visual energy and strong contrasts. The human eye is automatically drawn to brilliant colours like reds, bright yellows and oranges especially when they are set off by darker areas or complementary colours.
7. Use shadows to Add Depth to your Images
Use shadows effectively to create a sense of contrast and depth in your image. Try to shoot during the magical hours to make maximum use of the extending shadows and the golden rays.
8. Create Magical Reflections
If you could include a water body in your frame you can make use of it to add reflections. Both still and flowing water could be used effectively. You may find reflections that create wonderful, glassy abstracts or mirrored illusions in still water. Light playing on the surface of flowing water is also equally appealing.
9. Find Patterns in Colour
In nature colour complement each other, all types of colours in the visual spectrum could be found naturally in pleasing combinations for you to shoot. Bright coloured flowers, and insects against the muted earth tones, Orange and yellow against the blue sky etc.
10. Sharp vs Selective Focus
You may either use a narrow aperture like f/8 or f/16 to keep everything in the frame in sharp focus and draw attention to all the details in the frame. Or you may make use of selective focus and shallow depth of field to throw the background out of focus. This will enhance important details and immediately draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject.
In the next article we will discuss about Photography - Nature and Wildlife Photography - 7 Beach Photography Tips