I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
In this poem, William Wordsworth (Known as the Nature poet) has described the daffodils so vividly, that we can visualize them in the mind’s eye, as they flutter and dance beside the lake.
NATURE has always fascinated mankind. Painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, and all artists including photographers have tried to emulate nature in their art forms. However closely the art forms resemble natural beauty, nature is unique and art has its own place. The art form that comes closest to nature is photography. A good camera has the technology to depict true colours of nature, to copy the realistic image and present it from vantage angles to enhance and heighten its impact. A photographer can make use of light, brightness, darkness, shadows and Photoshop tools to add effects to a natural picture and present it the way he wants to. There is an essay about a man who went to a photographer who found so many errors in the man’s face, that he ‘corrected’ the shape of the nose, the eyebrows, and the mouth etc. until the photograph no longer resembled the original man. Thus, although photography begins by drawing on nature, it can work wonders and sometimes, surpass nature.
Nature photography essentially refers to outdoor photography and is devoted to capturing natural elements like flora and fauna, wildlife, natural scenes and landscapes. The emphasis is on the aesthetic value of photographs rather than commercial value. Nature photographs find place in travel magazines, geographical and scientific journals, wildlife magazines and of course, photography magazines. Another commercial portal for nature photographers is participation in photography competitions. However, nature photography is pursued primarily as a passion by most practitioners.
Nature and landscape photography styles are far different from normal photography. You have no choice of colours; you have to capture those that exist in nature. You cannot plan nature photography. You cannot ask a butterfly to be ready at a particular time and pose for a shot; if you are lucky, you can capture it at an opportune moment. You cannot stand in front of wild beasts and photograph them; you may invite danger. You will have to wait for the setting sun to spread its orange glow in the sky. You will have to traverse dark and thick forests to click green foliage, birds in their nests and crawling reptiles.
Do’s and Don’t’s
While you are engaged in nature and landscape photography, stick to the natural and realistic. Don’t meddle too much with techniques and compromise with reality. Try out different angles and distances for taking the photographs. See if you can add aesthetic value to the image. Instead of insisting on originality, see the appeal that your photograph has for the viewer. Click what you feel like. Sort and arrange later.
Don’t insist on regularity, symmetry, uniformity and sharpness; the charm of nature lies in irregularity. Don’t tamper too much using your technical tools. It is foolishness to overpower nature. An ornithologist once saw an owl in a glass window of a shop. Thinking that it was a stuffed bird, he pointed out the flaws to the shopkeeper. The latter listened quietly, and after a while, the owl flapped its wings and flew away!!! Don’t be like the ornithologist.
Robert Frost wrote, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep”. In just seven words he has described both, nature and landscape. The skill of the photographer lies in retaining the loveliness, darkness and depth of the woods.
Inderphotography.com specializes in nature and landscape photography with a natural passion for nature!! Contact for services…