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June 15 is Nature Photography Day. This unique holiday celebrates the nature that is all around us and the joy we feel when we capture that beauty in photos. Whether you are a professional photographer, one who clicks pics on your smart phone or you’ve never taken a nature photo before, you can enjoy this day by experiencing the outdoors.
To celebrate Nature Photography Day, I’m sharing seven examples from my own photo collection.
History of Nature Photography Day
In 1994, 100+ nature photography enthusiasts formed The North American Nature Photography Association. The members invested themselves in the future of this particular art form to ensure that nature is protected through environmental conservation and awareness.
The North American Nature Photography Association established Nature Photography Day in 2005 to continue to bring awareness to nature works of art and also to the fragility of the subject of their art. They encourage all photographers to get out in the world, camera or cellphone ready, and capture beautiful nature moments.
How to Celebrate Nature Photography Day
To celebrate, go outdoors and take photos! Visit local parks, wooded trails, bubbling streams, flowering gardens or even your own yard. Nature is found everywhere, from majestic mountains to a single flower growing from a crack in the sidewalk.
Go on nature walks, alone or with a group of photography friends, and capture wildlife, insects, flowers or trees. Take your kids or grandkids to the park, give each one a disposable camera and have fun taking photos.
Plan a camping trip to coincide with Nature Photography Day and capture the whole outdoor experience on film or in your phone.
Share your nature photos on social medium and use the hashtag #NaturePhotographyDay.
My Nature Photos
In honor of the day, I’m sharing some of my favorite nature photos. I captured these pics in places as close as my own backyard and as far away as Italy.
You don’t have to travel far to find beautiful nature subjects. I’ve created a backyard paradise and this meditation corner is one of my favorite sections of the garden. After a long, cool, rainy spring the flowers are showing off their colors now, prompting me to capture their glory.
If you don’t have a flower or herb garden, look for interesting trees, wildflowers, bright yellow dandelions or bees buzzing around. That spider web in the yard or the bird singing in the tree make perfect photography subjects as well.
Walk your neighborhood, with an eye toward natural beauty. You’ll find plenty of photo-worthy moments to capture.
Branching out a bit farther, I snapped this photo last fall at Mercy Park in Joplin. I love the curve of brilliantly hued trees and the solitary bench.
Visit your city or state park. Take along your phone or camera and a picnic lunch. Most parks have trees, water features, creeks, ponds, flowers, bushes or expanses of green grass. Capture fluffy white clouds in a blue sky by lying in the grass and looking up.
And watch for wildlife such as birds, squirrels, chipmunks, lizards, frogs or insects to snap a pic of.
Many of the nature photos that I love include water in some form. I love walking in the woods near a river or catching the sun glinting off of ocean waves or seeing the sky reflected in a still lake.
And waterfalls are so magical to me. The energy surrounding the water cascading over rocks is amazing. This photo is of Missouri’s tallest continually flowing waterfall, Grand Falls just south of Joplin.
Is there a body of water near you? Or is there a river, creek or stream in your area? Take photos from a variety of angles, zooming in closer for some shots, and then select your favorites to post. Use caution when taking photos close to water. Remain aware at all times of where your feet are in relationship to the water, so you don’t accidently fall in!
Walk in the Woods
The benefit of taking nature photos among the trees is the calming effect forests have on the mind and body. And on a hot day, it’s cooler walking in the shade.
One of my favorite nature trails is Tanyard Creek, in Northwest Arkansas. The trail winds through wooded areas and crosses over creeks and bridges. It is a gorgeous natural park to enjoy while capturing amazing photos.
What trails are available in your area? Pull on sturdy walking shoes, dump snacks in a backpack and have your camera ready. Not only will you capture nature at its best, you will emerge from the woods refreshed.
Travel Far, Take Photos
You know how much I love exploring cities, especially historical ones, when I travel. However, I frequently get out into the countryside as well, to capture the beauty found there.
This is one of my favorite nature photos from Scotland, taken on Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands. I’m grateful I can look at photos and remember just how incredibly beautiful it is there.
While it can be difficult to balance exploring a new place and taking photos to capture the memories, I never regret taking hundreds of photos. In fact, I usually wish I had taken more after I return home.
What places are you visiting? Look for the nature shots in those locations and snap as many photos as possible.
Preserving the Unforgettable
Some moments are so magical, that they must be captured. It’s more than the sight. It’s the emotions felt at that moment as well.
Seeing the Mediterranean Sea and Cinque Terre Italy was a dream realized for my grandson, daughter and me. When I look at this beautiful shot of the bay those emotions rise again….joy, gratitude, fulfillment and shared connection with my family.
What nature spots bring forth strong, positive emotions? Capture the beauty and the feelings in a photo.
Celebrate Nature Photography Day, Your Way
I hope you take a moment on this special day to take photos of the natural beauty around you. Whether you sit in the grass in your own yard, hike a trail or travel outside your country, snap a photo to celebrate the day and post it online. Encourage others to take photos and to live with an awareness of how precious nature is.
Most of all, have fun, and while in nature, take a minute to send out ripples of gratitude for the incredible world that we live in and care for.
Happy Nature Photography Day!
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