Forces of Nature
As the weather warms and gardens begin to flourish with brilliant colors, it’s impossible not to marvel at the magnificence of Mother Nature. This summer, get in touch with the great outdoors by spending more time in your favorite parks, forests and gardens. Take your camera with you and capture the beautiful scenery so you can enjoy it even after the leaves fall!
1. Inch by Inch
Do you garden? Whether it’s an expertly cultivated yard or a simple window box, take a weekly photograph of your horticultural endeavors to track your plants’ progress and applaud the dexterity of your green thumb.
2. Quality Time
When you think about it, many of our most cherished memories are of spending time with the people we love in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a fishing trip with Dad, camping with your best friends or hiking with your sister, spending time immersed in nature always brings people closer together. Collect any photographs you have of these bonding experiences and display them in a collage in your bedroom or office—it’s guaranteed to lift your mood every time you look at it.
3. Up Close and Personal
When photographing outdoor spaces, many of us tend to take only broad landscape shots, but much of the beauty of the natural world is its intricacies. So don’t forget to narrow in on the fine details—a shimmering spider’s web spun between the leaves of a plant, the delicate petals of a daisy, a setting sun shining through tall blades of grass.
4. Around the World
Looking for a way to spruce up your wall décor? Collect all of the landscape shots you’ve taken on your travels—the breathtaking sunsets, the unique skylines and idyllic ocean scenes—and pin them to a large map over the corresponding countries. Each time you go somewhere new, add another photo—you’ll never get bored staring at this wall!
5. Beyond Green
We often associate the environment with the color green, but there are so many other brilliant hues in the natural world. See how many photographs you can collect of red, yellow, purple, orange and pink flowers and plants, insects and animals—once you start looking, you’ll be surprised at just how colorful our world is!
6. Tree Time
Trees are truly remarkable: they clean our air, provide shade and shelter and they add beauty to our physical environment. Take a photograph of your most treasured tree—maybe it’s the first one you learned to climb, a tree in your yard that yields scrumptious peaches or an old oak you carved your initials into.
7. Flower Power
Next time you want to surprise a loved one with a beautiful bouquet, how about creating it out of photographs of their favorite flowers? Remembering to adjust your camera’s settings, take close-up shots of the blooms. Cut them out and paste them onto thin wooden rods or pipe cleaners, then bunch them together with some decorative ribbon for a unique bouquet that will never wilt!
8. Get in the Picture
A mistake we sometimes make when photographing nature is forgetting to include ourselves in the frame. You can always find expertly shot postcards of the places you visit, so don’t spend too much time trying to get the perfect picture of the Grand Canyon or the Manuel Antonio rainforest—instead, use the scenery as a brilliant backdrop for you, your family and your friends. You’ll enjoy looking back at these photos much more when they include the people you love.
9. Rise and Shine
On the first of each month, get up early and take a photograph of the sky at sunrise. You’ll be surprised at the diversity of stunning scenes as the months pass. At the end of the year collect all the images and make an inspired calendar for yourself or to give as a gift.
10. Junior Explorers
Take photographs of the young children in your life as they discover the natural world—the first time they dip their toes in water, discovering the tickle of an ant crawling on their hand or learning that pollen makes them sneeze or that grass doesn’t taste like candy. These hilarious and touching moments make for wonderfully unique portraits.