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7 Photography exercises to take your nature photos to the next level

The post 7 photography exercises to take your nature photos to the next level first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

Do you want to improve your nature photography skills? Do you constantly want to take beautiful nature photos?

Do not worry.

In this article you will discover 7 photography exercises that are all designed to allow you to capture incredible images of nature.

(Plus, the exercises are great fun!)

So, if you want to improve your nature photography …

… keep reading.

1. Shoot a single nature subject from 9 different angles

This is your first nature photography exercise (and my favorite):

Choose only one subject from nature photography.

And shoot it from at least nine different angles.

This will force you to push the limits of your creativity. It will force you to look at your subjects in different ways.

The first five corners may be easy enough. But the last four will be a struggle – as it should be!

A few excellent angles to try:

  • Shoot at a level with your subject
  • Shoot directly above your subject (if you can)
  • Stand under your subject and shoot up

When you have finished the exercise, pull up the photos on your computer. Note the different angles and how they have given your subject a slightly different look.

And use those corners the next time you are shooting!

2. Create a subject that you normally avoid

This exercise is about getting out of your comfort zone.

Because if you don't leave your comfort zone, you will never grow like a photographer.

So this is what you do:

Consider the subjects that you normally photograph.

And then…

Choose a topic that is radically different. And shoot at that subject instead.

If you normally photograph birds, you will make flowers one day.

If you normally photograph landscapes, you photograph wildlife.

Just choose something that you would not normally like to photograph.

If you want to make this exercise extra convenient, don't just shoot another subject for one outing. Instead, you do it for a week (or even a month).

You will be amazed by the tricks you learn when you learn a different field of photography.

3. Place only one lens in the field

This is what it's about:

When photographers go out for a photo shoot …

… they tend to take multiple lenses (and even multiple cameras).

And while this will give you a lot of flexibility, it won't force you to think Outside the box.

But I want you to think outside the box. I want you to think in new ways.

So leave your normal lenses behind the next time you go out.

Only take one lens with you instead.

And (if you're adventurous) make sure it's a lens that you don't use often.

This will force you to take nature photos that you have never considered.

4. Create a scene with four types of light

Nature photography is all about light.

That means that you as a nature photographer must learn to master the light.

This exercise is designed to help you with that.

You start by selecting a scene.

Then you photograph that scene with four types of light:

  • Cloudy light
  • Afternoon light
  • Sunrise / sunset light
  • Shadow

This will undoubtedly mean that you will return several days in a row.

But it is worth it.

Because when you're done, you should view all the photos that you have taken.

And watch how the different types of light give you different types of nature photos!

5. Take both photos ' s and action photos ' s of your subject

We often get into the habit of always photographing the same subject.

I have already given you a way to prevent this problem.

But another way …

… is to keep photographing the same subject. But shoot in a different way.

In particular, try taking a combination of photos ' s:

Take photos.

And action photos ' s.

For those of you photographing birds or wildlife, this should not be too difficult.

But for flower and landscape photographers?

This will be difficult.

If you generally photograph still subjects, you may need to become creative. Try to take some intentional camera shake photos. Or see if you can allow some sort of action to take place in the frame (for example, flowers that blow in the wind, waves that break on the beach).

And that's it! This will take you out of your comfort zone. And make sure you take new photos ' s!

6. Edit your favorite nature photo in 5 different ways

One thing you should know:

Post-processing is an important part of taking beautiful nature photos.

Even small adjustments go far.

So for this exercise you should start thinking about different post-processing options. And edit your favorite nature photo in five different ways.

You must experiment with edits in Lightroom, Photoshop or another high-quality editing program. See what happens if you increase saturation. Watch what happens if you drop the contrast.

And try to do some new edits. Things you have not done before.

For example, try some yellow / blue split tones. And try playing with the HSL options.

You will be amazed at what you can do!

7. Take a nature photo for a month every day

This last exercise is a classic – but that doesn't mean it is no less useful!

One of the absolute best ways to improve your nature photography …

… is to constantly photograph.

Because the practice is really perfect.

And if you take a nature photo every day, you will notice that your mind is opening. You are going to see photography opportunities that you didn't even know were there.

Your skills will increase quickly.

And you will constantly take beautiful nature photos.

Nature photography exercises: next steps

You now know 7 great exercises – all designed to quickly improve your photographic skills.

You don't have to do them all at once. But try them out whenever you can.

That way you get better, faster.

You'll soon be taking nature photos like a pro!

Feel free to share some of the photos you take with the DPS community in the comments below.

The post 7 photography exercises to take your nature photos to the next level first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

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