The outdoors is one photo studio everyone can use!
To help you get your best shots while you're out exploring nature, we've asked Nat Geo Young Explorer and wildlife photographer Gabby Salazar to share a few photo secrets.
Check out her photographs and tips below.
Be sure to watch the video too!
Rather than taking a normal landscape photo of this mountain in Yosemite National Park in California, I decided to show it reflected in the river. The image makes you stop and look more closely.
Look for new and exciting ways to photograph your subject. Look up and look down. You can't always move your subject, but you can move around your subject to look at it from a new angle. Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground to get a different perspective!
I composed this image so that the diagonal lines created by the plant lead your eye right to the cute little day gecko.
Use lines in your composition to lead the viewer’s eyes into your image. You could use a road going off into the horizon, a fence that leads up to a deer, or a line of trees that lead your eye to a barn. Move around and look for different elements that create this effect – diagonal lines work particularly well!
This grasshopper was sitting on a leaf about two feet off the ground. Instead of photographing him from above, I kneeled down and photographed it right at eye level. I think it looks pretty friendly from this angle.
Shoot at Eye Level
Instead of photographing a squirrel or your baby brother from above, get down at their eye level so that they're staring directly into the camera. Images are more compelling when the subject is looking directly at you.
I was walking on a canopy walkway high in the rain forest of Borneo and wanted to show how far below the ground was. Instead of photographing off the side of the walkway, I chose to photograph my feet.
Show Yourself in Nature!
For this assignment, we also want to see you and your friends in nature. Think of creative ways to photograph your outdoor adventure. (Remember, we can't publish photos of kids' faces.) You could show your friend silhouetted against the sunset or looking off into a meadow. You could also focus on smaller details, like your friend’s hands planting vegetables in your garden or your sister’s legs running through a field of wildflowers. Show us why you love being out in nature and what that experience is like.
Instead of photographing the entire waterfall, I zoomed in to focus on the rainbow created in the spray of the water. I experimented with many different compositions before choosing this one!
A lot of books and manuals will tell you the rules of photography. Rules can be helpful, but it's OK to break them and experiment. Digital photography allows you to take countless images—this means that you can experiment with different angles, different lighting, and different techniques. Be creative and have fun!