Nature photography refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants, and close-ups of natural scenes and textures. Nature photography tends to put a stronger emphasis on the aesthetic value of the photo than other photography genres, such as photojournalism and documentary photography.
Nature photographs are published in scientific, travel and cultural magazines such as National Geographic Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine and Audubon Magazine or other more specific magazines such as Outdoor Photographer and Nature's Best Photography. Well known nature photographers include Frans Lanting, Galen Rowell, Eliot Porter and Art Wolfe.
Photographing animals, whether your cat at home or a cougar in the great outdoors, requires patience, perseverance and an understanding of animal behaviour so you can predict how they will be likely to act or react, and anticipate the moment for a good photograph.
If you consider an animal's character in the same way you do when photographing people, and try to capture it on film, you won't go far wrong. Make sure you know what you want your images to say about the animal before you start clicking away, and then put your knowledge of composition, lighting and angles to work to get the pictures you want.
Wildlife photography is devoted to capturing interesting animals in action, such as eating, fighting, or in flight. Although usually shot in the wild, game farms are also a frequent location for wildlife photography.
The techniques of wildlife photography differ greatly from those used in landscape photography. For example, in wildlife photography wide apertures are used to achieve a fast shutter speed, freeze the subject's motion, and blur the backgrounds, while landscape photographers prefer small apertures. Wildlife is also usually shot with long telephoto lenses from a great distance; the use of such telephoto lenses frequently necessitates the use of a tripod (since the longer the lens, the harder it is to handhold). Many wildlife photographers use blinds or camouflage.