Outdoor photography ideas: how to shoot striking, alternative pictures of nature

Outdoor photography ideas: how to shoot striking, alternative pictures of nature

Shot of the Day

After a picture-packed day in Edzell, it was time to retire for a ‘wee dram’ and to look through the hundreds of pictures that Melanie had shot in the gorge, and for Niall to choose the best shots of the day. Of all of them, it was her sequence of abstract shots of tree trunks that he loved most…

Outdoor photography ideas: shot of the day

Niall says
I love taking close-ups of natural patterns, and have taken thousands of such pictures of bark, lichen, water and the like. But on their own, these pictures fail to impress publishers. Intriguing as they are, they are like a small chunk of chocolate to a ravenous man; alone they just don’t satisfy.

But composite nine or 12 similar shots into a panel, and you have a whole bar of chocolate. Melanie understood the idea as soon as I explained it early on our day, and assiduously shot close-ups of dozens of the trees that we passed. This collage of her best frames is a great example of just how powerful this technique can be.

Mel says
I love modern art, and to me each of these shots is like a beautiful abstract painting. You can keep looking at each one seeing new shapes and patterns – the parts are more than the whole! I shot each of them with a variety of exposures using both my 18-105mm kit lens and my 85mm macro.

They are put together in Photoshop with a black or grey background, which creates lines between the individual frames. I can’t wait to use all of my new techniques when out hiking the Munros in Scotland at a weekend, or when travelling further afield on vacation.

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Outdoor photography ideas you can use anywhere
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day

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