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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Backyard Nature Photography

You don't have to travel very far to get some great nature photography shots. There are many opportunities for nature photography right in your own backyard. There is an abundance of nature if you know "how" to look for it.

If you have flowerbeds, trees, bushes or just wildflowers, you have many opportunities for some good nature pictures. I am going to give you a few ideas on how and what to look for. Go back to things that you have taken pictures of before but this time, look at them from a different perspective.

· Try to get down low to the flowers and shoot upwards. Sometimes not always easy to do but can give you some really great results. Look under the petals and leaves of the flowers. You may find a praying mantis or a ladybug, which can make a good nature picture also. Lie down on your back in a stand of trees and shoot upwards. This gives a great deal of depth to your photograph and makes very interesting shot. Don't forget to look up in the tops of trees. There may be a hawk, crow or a blue jay just sitting there, watching you.

· Try shooting some "profiles" of flowers. Some flowers have very pretty profiles. Even pictures of your flowerbeds can be shot from a different angle and will give you a completely different feeling. Many people want to take pictures of butterflies with wings open and taken from high looking down. Profile pictures of butterflies and great shots also.

· Most amateurs want to fill their frame with the subject, such as a flower, and have it centered right in the middle. Use the "rule of thirds". Position the subject just to the right or left of center and about a third of the way up horizontally. This composition is much more pleasing to the eye.

· Try taking some of your pictures in the morning light and then again in the evening light. Mid-day light is very bright and can create a shadow problem for you. Early morning or late afternoon light is not near as harsh and actually gives you kind of a "warm glow". Anytime there is a little cloud cover is a great time to take pictures. Your colors will be a little more subdued and your background will not be too bright.

· If you have a bird feeder in your yard, you probably have tons of pictures of birds, but I will guess that the bird feeder is also in most of your shots. Try adding a perch near your bird feeder where the birds can land and "jump over" to the feeder. Use something that is going to look natural. You don't want to use metal or a piece of lumber. Find a broken tree limb that is a couple of feet taller or shorter than your feeder. Dig a hole about 6 feet away from the feeder and bury it. Now when you catch that good shot of your birds, it is going to look natural and the feeder will not detract from your subject.

Challenge yourself to try something new. Go back to some of the pictures you have already taken and take them from different perspectives. You may surprise yourself!

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