Taking environmental photographs is often done by photographers who have a passion for showcasing their environment for several good causes such as tourism or climate change.
If you are interested in doing so but not sure how to do it, read these basic tips before you get started.
Expand the context of your visual
Identify the message that you want to tell. This can help you focus on how to take photographs in your environment. Environmental photographs can aid the audience in fully understanding the context of any natural occurrence. Pictures are not only a documentary of the past but also a record of what is happening now.
Find the right photography lighting kits
There are many photography lighting kits that can help improve the quality of your photos since the light outside can be unpredictable, and choosing the right one is important. There is plenty of available information online on how to choose one. It is highly suggested to read unsponsored blogs from photographers though to avoid bias.
Take photographs of your local area
Local areas are just as picture-perfect as other widely known areas. You only have to open your eyes to the many possibilities that your local area has to offer. Remember that what might look plain to you may be interesting to others.
What should I photograph?
Your aim as a photographer is to show both sides of the stories. That’s why you have to meticulously think about the background, impact, and frame of your shots.
You don’t have to take headline-worthy photos. Sometimes, the things that are overlooked in your environment can get a bigger spotlight.
Conventional Documentary Approach
Take relatable photographs to connect with your audience. You can’t do that if your photos seem obscure. The best way to connect is through emotions.
However, you have to be careful since negative feelings can drive away your audience from the message you want to share.
Contemporary Documentary Approach
Switching to the new techniques widens your audience’s perspective about their environment. New techniques include balloon and kite mapping, drone footage, and Geographic Information Systems.
These approaches are perfect for already known issues. It gives the issue a new light, thus making it more appealing to the audience’s emotions. Just present this information moderately to avoid overwhelming them.
Start with attainable issues
Choose any manageable local environmental issues as a starting point. Photography can emphasize the problem and it can even heighten their awareness about it.
Some small issues that you can photograph are the aftermath of a forest fire and the ridiculous amount of litter that is present in a known public place.
Be a responsible photographer
You can’t expect people to take action on certain environmental issues when you as a photographer are not responsible while documenting all these issues. Educate yourself about the rules and follow them to avoid future problems.
Also, be patient and quiet, especially if the subjects like animals are sensitive to noise. Wear comfortable clothing and use accessories that don’t attract attention. When it comes to footwear, make sure to wear ones that are comfortable and offer enough support.
Just like any type of photography, environmental photography has its stories to tell. Make sure to make your photos relatable to your audience so that your message or story is well-received. Although not everyone will get inspired by your photos, what matters most is that there are a few who do.