How To Take Great Nature Stock Photos

Stock photos can be a great way for any photographer to supplement their income. Taking stock photos is also a good way for budding photographers to gain some practice and experience. Nature photos are always in demand. If you want to take great photos that will have a better chance of being sold, here are a few things you can do.

What You'll Need

  • Good quality digital camera with zoom capabilities
  • Tripod
  • Extra batteries
  • Large space memory card

Step 1: Understand Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in nature photography. Great stock photos will have interesting shades and textures of light. The time of day will affect the look as well. If you are new to nature photography, spend a little bit of time studying light. Once you understand the elements and how they play out with the pictures, you will be able to capture breathtaking photos that will be easy to sell.

Step 2: Use the Tripod

Using a tripod is always a good idea. It can give you steady shots, and allow you to practice patience. Sometimes nature photography requires numerous shots in succession before grabbing one that is unique. The tripod allows you to take the element of stress away from your hands and wrists, and focus more on framing a good shot.

Step 3: Rule of Thirds

Following the rule of thirds will always create interesting photographs. This is especially true when it comes to nature photography. Many digital cameras will have an option to use a grid in the viewfinder when you frame a shot. With the rule of thirds, you want to try to keep the interesting points of the shot in 1/3 of the frame. The focal point of the photo doesn't always have to be centered. You don't have to do this every time, but try to use this technique to capture nature photographs that are sellable.

Step 4: Bad Weather

Many new photographers will cringe if it rains on a day they planned on grabbing some photos. This fear of bad weather can end up limiting a new photographer when it comes to getting great shots. A cloudy sky can add texture to a picture, and can make a great black and white photo. Rain can add a new element to common shots. Wind can make trees and plants move in interesting ways. When shooting in bad weather, it's a good idea to use a very fast shutter speed. Just spend a few minutes snapping photos and use editing software later to clean them up.

Step 5: Have Great Editing Software

Framing the actual photo is only half the battle. A great editing software program can take interesting photos to another level. This will not only allow you to fine tune the picture, but you can play around with different elements and possibly sell several variations of the same shot. If you are looking at selling your photography, investing in a professional level editing system will be vital and can help increase your bottom line.