By Stacy Corneau, CPAWS Manitoba
Fall is just a few short weeks away and with it comes a unique opportunity for stunning nature photography.
From capturing the changing leaves in Manitoba’s vast forests or the fog over its cool waters, there’s many opportunities to combine your passion for photography and the natural environment.
To celebrate World Photography Day on August 19, 2022, we’re sharing seven tips to help you get the best photos possible while keeping yourself and Manitoba’s wilderness safe.
How To Elevate Your Photography in Three Simple Steps
Here are some tips from Ron Gilfillan, head photography instructor at Tec-Voc High School, about composition.
Rule of Thirds
Dividing your frame into three equal parts vertically and horizontally and placing your subject on one of those intersecting points adds visual interest to your photo. Using a point away from the center can elevate it even further.
Using motion in your photography can make the storytelling much more powerful. For example, polar bear cubs playing on the tundra or water rippling across a lake can help bring a photo to life.
Creating depth in your photography can make it feel as though your photos are jumping off the page. You can create this 3D-like effect by including landscape or objects in the foreground and background, playing with height, and framing.
Keep Yourself Safe When Photographing
We also had the opportunity to chat with photographer, educator, and musician Kevin Kash about safety tips when doing nature photography.
Stay Within Your Limits
Although you may want to get “that shot,” knowing your physical limitations is crucial to staying safe while photographing nature.
You don’t need to climb mountains or strain your knees with ongoing hiking if your body finds it challenging. There are many flat terrains and walking trails that offer phenomenal photography opportunities in the region.
Do Your Research
Some areas may have off-limit trails or land, poisonous plants, stinging animals, or other risks you can encounter. Before heading into the wild, do your research on the area to be as prepared as possible.
Respect The Wilderness
Nature photographer Ryan Lucenkiw shared best practices for respecting wildlife and the environment when getting your shot.
Wilderness’ Well-Being Comes First
In an ideal situation, any wildlife you’re photographing shouldn’t know you’re there. Avoid feeding or luring them towards you in some way. Any closed areas in parks should be respected as there are designated, official trails to use that help avoid disturbing the species depending on these lands.
Leave No Trace
Follow the Leave No Trace Principles and avoid leaving any garbage, food, or other items behind in nature. Whenever possible, reusable items such as water bottles and containers for food are great options to use if you’ll be outside for prolonged periods of time.
Help Protect Polar Bears
Photographs of Manitoba’s polar bears are iconic for a reason, but their home in the Hudson Bay Lowlands is at risk.
You can help protect polar bear habitat. Tell Premier Heather Stefanson to support Indigenous Nations working to establish protected areas using our simple letter writing tool.