5 Nature Challenges For Outdoor Photographers

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Outdoors photography offers a unique challenge that can create true works of art whether you are a professional or an amateur photographer. There’s something hugely energizing about using a natural setting and direct sunlight for your photos. Taking a photo in a natural environment adds a unique depth to the image, which isn’t something you can reproduce in a studio. It is a combination of natural light, breathtaking backdrops that change with the weather, external elements that can’t be tamed, which together elevate your photo to an artsy portrait. 

Unfortunately, outdoors photography is not without challenges. 

#1. Don’t let the backdrop take over

A great photo makes the most of the backdrop to tell a story that emphasizes all the attention on the subject. In a studio, it’s easy for the photographer to balance the background and the foreground, bringing the subject into perspective without letting the backdrop take over. However, in a natural environment, it can be tricky to harmonize the colors of the landscape without letting the subject disappear within the colors and shapes of the surroundings. The outdoor photographer needs to pay close attention to the detail within the landscape to frame without obscuring and emphasize without taking over. 

#2. It’s a bug’s life

There can be no outdoor photoshoot without bug management. Flies, mosquitos, and other insects are attracted to the camera. Depending on the time of the day and night, their presence could be inevitable. A sunset photo, for instance, is likely to attract mosquitos. Therefore, it‘s in the best interest of the photographer to learn some tricks on how to avoid pesky bugs in the middle of a natural portrait. 

#3. Keeping the gear in check

Outdoor activities tend to include a variety of gears that can be impossible to hide. Whether you’re going camping or fishing, your subject is likely to be carrying special equipment. However, this can be made part of the frame and depth of the photo to add a new layer of interest. An avid angler, for instance, could create a portrait that uses the spinning reel as a focal point to guide the eye toward the main action – it pays off to pick full metal body gear that’s durable and looks great on camera, more info on those here. If you can’t hide the outdoor gear, use it to frame or part the shot instead. 

#4. Unpredictable weather

The weather can change rapidly. An outdoor photographer can’t afford to be caught unexpectedly. Sudden rain, snow, or strong winds could not only affect the quality of the shot but also damage your equipment if you’re not careful. Ideally, you should pack rain covers for your camera gear as these can prevent water damage and ruined photos. Photographers can find waterproof fabric that can extend to rain, sleet, snow, and unexpected animal droppings. 

#5. The danger spot

Nothing beats the thrill of a cliff portrait, except perhaps for the unfortunate news report on the next day. Photoshoots in a dangerous setting are to be banned. The photographer should not encourage the subject to take unnecessary risks for the camera. Slippery surfaces, cliff edges, tree climbs, and other hazardous surroundings are to be avoided at all costs. 

Outdoor photography can be hugely rewarding as it creates a unique and constantly changing landscape for your photos. Learning how to manage natural challenges, from backdrop settings to changing weather, can elevate your skills and bring the photo to the next level. 

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