Natural wonders are the kind of subject landscape photographers are looking for. They can spend weeks trying to reach a peak over 7, 000m, an arid desert, or a very hard to find waterfall. Actually they spend their entire life looking for amazing places, trekking, sleeping in tents, and eating sandwiches. Landscape photographers usually are also climbers, mountaineers, divers, or other nature related sportsmen. Modern life helps us to get to see some natural wonders with just a little effort and determination. Natural parks are accommodating all sorts of tourists. You have access to roads, maps, guides, and equipment. But photographing natural wonders isn’t always easy, even if you find a way to get there. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t miss the chance of a lifetime.
Wide Angles and Panoramas
Landscapes and natural wonders fit best in large frames. You have a vast territory in front of you. Nature worked millions of years to produce it and to perfect it. You simply cannot photograph just a part of it. Use wide lenses, tripods, and a deep depth of field. You want a sharp, crystal clear composition. Don’t forget about the rule of thirds.
If the scenery is larger than your lens possibilities, use a panoramic view. Place the camera on a tripod to give it alignment and slowly move it from right to left. Make sure you keep around 30% from a frame into the next one. This gives you enough space to glue together the images in your image editor.
Find the Best Perspective
Some places look better from a certain point. You can try to get there or you can try to build your composition from a different angle. Even if you have a very interesting subject, to deliver the same image as other photographers may be boring and unattractive. Try to find your unique perspective. Feel the place. Embrace it. Let it talk to you. After all, you photograph one of the best things nature did. Exploration is always a good idea. Maybe a different time of the day (e.g. golden hour or blue hour) will give you an advantage. Maybe a different season will be best. Maybe you can climb some rocks and have a new perspective from above. Or maybe there isn’t anything different you can do and then your creativity may enter the game. Nevertheless, don’t take pictures without using your head, your heart, and your eyes.
Exploration and Discovery
There are some very famous natural wonders. Everybody knows them and to some of them you can easily go due to modern tourism facilities. But there are also countless other natural wonders no one knows about. Explore foreign countries and your own. Talk to people, read books, read maps. Nature is amazing in every part of the world. Mountains, meadows, rivers, oceans, hills, and waterfalls are everywhere around us. They all are a smaller or bigger natural wonder and they all have their beauty. Many say that places where tourism is not very great are the best places to discover.
Natural wonders are great subjects, but they are also very challenging. If you choose to photograph a very well known place, you risk to capture the same image as a lot of other photographers. If you choose to photograph unknown places, you risk not to find anything interesting. Still, in both cases, if you pack a wide lens, a tripod, courage, and a lot of love for nature you will definitely find something worthy. After all, landscape photography is not about having a great portfolio of images, but about having a great portfolio of memories.