How to make beautiful outdoor photos
When it comes to photography, few subjects are as inspiring as nature. Varied landscapes, flora, and wildlife offer endless possibilities and an unparalleled playground for photography enthusiasts. If you’re a fan of outdoor photography several challenges await you: managing changing light, selecting the right photo equipment, preparing for your nature outing, or defining your composition... By focusing on organizing your photo session, shooting techniques, and the print quality of your shots, you can take and display stunning outdoor photos. Discover our best tips to take great outdoor pictures.
Preparing for your outdoor photo session
The challenges of outdoor photography
Outdoor photography can be more complex than one might think. Taking photos outdoors means dealing with the whims of the sun and the weather. Natural elements such as wind and rain can greatly influence the quality of your shots.
To take a landscape photo or a portrait photo outdoors, keep an eye on the ambient light. Working in nature means adapting to an ever-changing light. Bad weather or a lack of light won’t stop you. By selecting the appropriate equipment, you can take beautiful outdoor photos regardless of your shooting conditions.
The right equipment for an outdoor photo session
In wildlife photography and for beautiful landscape photos (for which you can discover our 5 best tips), selecting and preparing your photo equipment is crucial.
Always choose a camera that suits your needs and preferences, whether it’s a DSLR camera, a mirrorless camera, or a high-end smartphone. What truly matters isn’t to have a sophisticated camera, but to master its settings.
Don’t forget to bring the necessary accessories, such as a tripod to stabilize your camera (especially in case of wind, long low-exposure shots, or for night photography). Filters for light management and a sun visor to avoid unwanted reflections are useful accessories for your nature photo reports. Don’t forget to check your camera’s battery before heading out for outdoor shoots.
Choosing the right time of the day
The season and moment of the day you choose for your nature photo outings have a huge impact on the quality of your outdoor photos. With summer the days are getting longer, a good thing for outdoor photography.
Natural light varies throughout the day. Some hours are particularly awaited by photographers, such as the blue hour or golden hour just before sunrise, and sunset.
Plan your photo session accordingly, considering the time and exposure conditions that best suit your subject. For this, scouting your environment is key.
Our tips and tricks for great outdoor photography
Playing with light
Whether you have professional photo equipment or just a simple smartphone, what will make a real difference is the light. Light is essential for a good picture, and even more so for outdoor photography.
Learn to play with light to get exceptional photos. The warm and soft light of late afternoon can give a magical atmosphere to your photos and is flattering for great outdoor portrait photography. If you want to take advantage of the blue hour and use its shadows to create dramatic effects, you will need to get up early to capture those 15 to 30 minutes out of time.
Experiment with different angles and positions to achieve unique results. Adjust aperture settings and ISO accordingly. Light reflectors, off-camera flash, lens filters, and a tripod can be useful to play with the exposure conditions of your photo shoot.
Focus is key
It’s essential to know where to focus your lens to get sharp and precise photos. You can opt for manual focus for more control or use the autofocus of your camera, a fast and easy automatic focus. Whatever the technique, make sure to take a flattering picture of your subject.
You can focus on a specific point, such as the gaze of a person or animal, or focus on an insect or a flower in the foreground of your image. Otherwise, prefer a more extended focus, for more classic landscape shots.
The composition of your photograph
In a studio or in nature, your composition is another essential element for beautiful photos. Think about the area of the image where you want to guide the viewer’s gaze. Use the natural lines of the landscape as perspectives and leading lines, and don’t forget the rule of thirds to create a balanced and harmonious composition. Blurred background, bokeh effect … be creative!
You can carefully stage your composition or opt for a more spontaneous and authentic effect. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to include interesting elements in your framing to add depth and visual interest to your photo.
Quality prints to enhance your outdoor shots
Whether your photo is natural or retouched, your most beautiful natural creations can be displayed on your walls with a gallery-quality art print.
The print quality of your photos is just as important as their composition. To magnify your outdoor photos, we have selected luxurious professional photo paper for a natural color rendering and perfectly emphasized contrasts.
Our photographic laboratory offers several finishes and formats. Mounted on a rigid support (a Dibond© aluminum plate), your artwork is embellished and durably protected.
Choose a print with a texture and finish that suits the atmosphere of your photo: a glossy finish for a stunning landscape photo or a matte effect for a soft and artistic picture:
- Fine Art finish, a minimalist rendering to frame or display in its natural state
- Aluminum finish, this lightweight and durable rigid support accommodates your nature photo illuminated with the addition of a glossy film
- Glossy Plexiglass print, a custom finish for your most beautiful outdoor photos or for aerial photography: contrasts, colors, and depth of field are perfectly highlighted for an immersive rendering
- Matte Plexi finish, a matte finish that allows you to appreciate your photos without reflections, wherever you display them, indoors or outdoors.
Minimalist, framed or integrated into a shadow gap frame: create the photo that truly reflects your vision thanks to our customization options. Print your most beautiful outdoor photos !
© 2023, Justine Grosset for Zeinberg