Obviously the answer has to be “A Camera”, right?
Sure, a camera is pretty useful (for obvious reasons) but it’s certainly not the most important ingredient. I believe we first have to answer another question.
“Why are we photographing the Natural World?”
If you want a piccy of what everyone else sees then charge on out there with your camera, grab your snaps of what you see on the way and head back home before the rush hour.
But that’s not really how you experience nature or, for that matter, get the most out of life.
If you really want to experience and photograph nature then the most important thing to have available is “Time”.
Without spending Time you’re simply experiencing an unreal snapshot of the Natural World as you rush through and scatter all living creatures to the four winds, that’s not exactly natural now is it?
Stop by that brook that you have walked past dozens of times or under your favourite tree or off the beaten track of a popular bush walk though a National Park. Sit on the grass or set up a chair then grab a book or just sit and meditate, but make sure you take Time and use lots of it.
You’ll be amazed at what happens around you when you just sit quietly and relax.
The birds get used to you being there and stop by for a visit, you start to notice their behaviour and patterns, you even get to predict when they will give you a great photo opportunity.
You’ll also start to notice things around you that never stood out before, the patterns in the branches above you, the subtle textures of the leaves and how the light shines through them, or maybe just that enormous Soldier Ant that is out scouting the forest floor for some sinister reason!
This is a good time to grab your camera and start experimenting, some of your best photos will come at a time you least expect it.
Everyone has their own answer to my second question “Why Photograph the Natural World?”, my answer is “Because of how it makes me feel”. I want to share those amazing moments in time when we are surrounded by nature and observe some of the most wondrous events that we never expected.
I would love to hear why you “Photograph the Natural World?”
And don’t forget that spending Time in nature is a great way to de-stress from the hectic world man has made.