Popular Types Of Nature Photography

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The world is a beautiful place with many ways to see and appreciate it. This article explores popular types of nature photography and how to find nature without leaving the city.

What Is Nature Photography

Nature photography is a wide range of subjects that capture earth’s natural beauty; whether it be landscapes with mountains and trees, shooting up at the clouds; macro images showing off textures like moss under your fingers or bugs caught mid-flight. The photos in this genre have stronger emphasis on aesthetics rather than story telling seen in photojournalism capturing emotion seen in wedding and family photography.


Make Natural Light Work For You

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of nature photography because it highlights true nature and moods of their subjects, which can range from a gentle sunrise to a full moon. Many photographers advise to only shoot in the early morning or evening during golden hour, but golden hour is only one type of light. To create stunning images, you’ll need to learn how each type of lighting affects your subject and embrace all of them.

Equipment For Nature Images

The best camera for nature photography depends on the subject and typical environment you shoot in. Perfect camera gear isn’t the only requirement for great photography, but it helps to have equipment best suited for your primary shooting style; below is a list of recommendations based on different types of nature photography.

Great Nature Photography Cameras

Why You Should Use it

The increased megapixels give more flexibility for cropping and 7 frames per second is good for using burst mode.

The 45 megapixel high resolution camera captures extraordinary detail.

It’s an affordable DLSR and one of the few with a touch screen, which allows for precise focusing. It also has good weather sealing for shooting in any weather condition.

More important than a camera body is a good lens; without a proper lens, your desired results may be much harder or even impossible to achieve. It’s an unlikely possibility to capture a closeup of birds with a macro lens, so you want to make sure you use the right equipment. I firmly believe in having 3 types of lenses; telephoto, macro, and wide-angle lenses. 

Most Popular Lenses

Type of Outdoor Photography

Why You Should Use it

Wildlife, landscape, and cloud photography

Telephoto lenes are versatile lenes that gives the appearance of bringing far focal point closer. 

Abstract Nature and Macro and flower photography

Macro lenses have a small minimum focusing distance and allow you to get closer to your subject than with other lenses.

Landscape and seascape

Landscape lenses fit more into a single frame, allowing you to capture more of a scene in one frame.

Photography accessories are cheap additions that make your job easier and enhance the output, although not always necessary.

Essential Equipment

Why You Should Use It

Use a tripod to help stabilize the camera in low-light situations, long exposure shots, or to rest your arm during long days of shooting.

Monopods are great for landscape photographers who need a tripod but also need to carry light

Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light that reaches the sensor, allowing photographers to use longer shutter speeds for creative effects.

*make sure you get the right size for the lens you are using; they are not universal across lenses.

Polarizing filters remove glare from reflective surfaces, produce a more realistic depiction of colors, and enhance contrast.

*make sure you get the right size for the lens you are using; they are not universal across lenses.

Six Types of Nature Photos

Landscape Photography

Scenic View At Palo Duro Canyon
Morning fog in the Great Smoky Mountains

Landscape photos encompass a variety of scenery, from aerial photography, shorelines, mountains, deserts, forests and other wilderness areas. What defines landscape photography from nature photography is the emphasis of the entire scene and showcases the changing terrain and beautiful vistas rather than focusing on the details.

Macro Photography

prairie grasses at sunset

Macro photographers capture the tiny world right before our eyes with close-ups showing us remarkable detail not always visible with the naked eye. They’re drawn insects, flowers, tree bark, or anything else that make up our natural world but go unobserved by most people.

Wildlife Photography

White Longhorn

Wildlife photography is a unique form of nature photography that documents wild animals in their natural habitats. A lot of wildlife photographers like to capture action shots such as birds in flight or a bear fishing, but it also includes tiny creatures like lizards and frogs, common city animals like squirrels, and even sea creatures. The key to taking stunning wildlife photos is patience and a good telephoto lens to get close-up shots from afar.

Cloudscape Photography

Red Sky In The Morning

Clouds are usually a backdrop to landscape images, but they can be the primary subject too. Cloudscape photographs showcase the different shapes, colors, and textures of clouds that may not be as prominent when clouds aren’t the subject.

Clouds come in many shapes and sizes – puffy white cumulus clouds; cirrus cloud strings that seem to stretch for miles; dramatic lightning storms raging; or the vibrant colors of sunrises and sunsets.

Flower And Plant Photography

Orange Leaves Lost Maples State Park
Pink Waterlilies and Green Lily Pads

Nature photography has endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the great outdoors. Flowers can be the primary subject with a closeup of a single flower or the focus of a landscape scene, such as a field of flowers with mountains as a backdrop. Capturing nature is more than just pretty flowers; every plant, from the tallest trees to the smallest blades of grass, creates striking and unique photos.

Water In Outdoor Photography

Abrams Falls - Townsend Tennessee

There isn’t a formal term for this type of nature photography, but it encompasses everything from sandy beaches, lakeside views, and waterfalls. You can create beautiful nature images with earth’s most majestic element, showing off water’s power and beauty as a waterfall cascades down onto rocks or tranquil streams in a forest.

Tips for taking beautiful Pictures of Nature In The City

Nature is all around us; you don’t need panoramic mountain ranges or vast forests to take beautiful nature images, there are many nature photography opportunities everywhere, even the city.

zoos and aquariums

The local zoo or aquarium is a great place to take pictures of the stunning animal kingdom. Some of the photography opportunities that await you may surprise you.

parks and gardens

You may live in a concrete jungle, but don’t worry, plant and flower photography opportunities are plentiful in any city. Many of your neighbors may have thriving picture perfect gardens accessible from the sidewalk or you can go to a local garden. Neighborhood parks are also a great place to find stunning pockets of flowers, trees, and streams, and lakes even in the busiest of cities.

close up abstracts

Abstracts are images with no obvious subject; instead, they focus on capturing light, color contrasts, and texture. Taking macro images to create abstracts is a great way to hide man-made objects and still create beautiful nature images.


No matter where in the world you are, there will be clouds. Just point the camera straight up and you’ll avoid most, if not all, evidence of the city.

Nature photography is a great option for people who want to capture their favorite vacation spot, the beauty of nature in all it’s glory. If you’re looking for some inspiration or ideas about how to take your own perfect photo, check out my gallery.

Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a Business Analyst by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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