It’s getting easier to be a hobby nature photographer these days. I’ve always observed my surroundings with curiosity, but lately these eyes have been accompanied by a smart phone with a built-in camera.
My personal preference when it comes to outdoor photography has always been landscapes, but my friend Lee photographs in an entirely different way. She has a photo album on Facebook called “My Daily Pic.” The world she photographs the most is a zoomed-in view of insects, plants, mushrooms and other living oddities.
“I enjoy the macro, getting in close and looking at the small things; the patterns of the birds, the bugs, to see the fine detail. It’s kind of like looking with a magnifying glass.”
Lee borrowed the idea from a friend, and now loves how the routine helps her discover new things. “Sometimes I take a picture of something, like a plant or a bird, and then spend hours pouring over books to identify it.”
But contrary to what one might think about nature photography, Lee says you really don’t have to go far. “There’s wildlife in your backyard. Or on your balcony.”
Apart from your own backyard, think of all the places you can snap shots: trips to the beach, the lake, parks, picnics, and road-trips to name a few. Taking pictures of nature and wildlife is a fun activity you can do alone, with friends, or with kids.
Just remember to make as little impact as possible. Stay on the trails and don’t go tramping through the bush. To truly appreciate natural habitats, the photographer should avoid interference, says Lee. “If there’s a twig in the way of your perfect photo, you leave it.”
And what do you do once you’ve got a great picture? Why not enter it into a wildlife photography contest! Canadian Geographic will accept photos until early September.
Hover fly (Toxomerus geminatus). Photo courtesy of Lee Roy.
Cheryl Gudz is the Environmental Action Manager at Earth Day Canada
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