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Tips and Ideas for Winning Nature Photography Contests

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 4/25/2011

Nature photography contests focus on photo quality and the amount of detail contained in a single photo. It’s all about showing everybody the beauty of nature the best way you can.

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    There are a lot of nature photography contests out there. Nature groups, camera clubs and other entities host several contests constantly, giving nature photographers both amateur and professional a lot of chances to show off their photography skills and beautiful photos. Of course, the star of these contests is nature itself and its legion of members such as trees and animals. If you want to join one of these contests, here are a few tips to help you trump every other contestant and win the grand prize.

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    New Perspectives

    Nature Photography Most of the subjects in nature out there are already familiar subjects to the public, so how can you produce a photo that show these subjects in a brand new light? That is the challenge you have to conquer. You have to bring a fresh perspective into a subject whether it is an exotic animal or an everyday insect that most people see on a regular basis. Animals can give you different poses, sure, but showing them in imagery that is new and fresh will make the shot even more beautiful. Plants, trees and flowers do not move as animals do so you have to use different perspectives to bring a different side of them into the public’s eyes. You can use location and lighting techniques to enhance your perspective, but always remember that the most important thing is that you capture nature in a way that has never been seen before to make your entries stand out.

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    Travel

    The more you travel, the more you will meet animals and plant life that are not familiar to you. This will give you the inspiration to present them in a brand new light. Capturing rare and exotic plant life or animals will also give you the chance not just to capture beautiful images but to show the public things that they have not seen before.

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    Get Close

    Get as close to your subject as you can to get as much detail that you can capture. The beauty of nature can come in wide shots of expressive landscapes scene or the fine details and features of a critter or a flower. It is easy to get close to elements that do not move like plants and rocks, but animals are a different story. There are subjects that you just have to capture from a distance like dangerous animals, so take your position at a safe distance but get as close as possible without endangering yourself.

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    Practice, Practice, Practice

    Nature photography contests, like all contests that involve a person shooting a camera, requires a great eye and excellent execution. This is why you should practice a lot and take a lot of pictures. Develop your skills and your taste in subject before entering these contests. Concentrate on your strengths. If you think you excel in taking pictures of snakes, then concentrate on that. Explore all kinds of subjects and techniques to find your groove and once you find it, concentrate on perfecting your style. Do this and you will find your way into grabbing that grand prize.

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    References

    Ethan Meleg, http://www.ethanmeleg.com/tips.htm

    Nature.org, http://my.nature.org/photography/rules.html

    Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; Creative Commons Attribution / Supplied by Ramesh Meda