SOURCE: Dreamstime

April 17, 2012 08:46 ET

Dreamstime Unravels the Mysteries of Nature

Stock Photo Site Offers Advice for Capturing High Quality Nature Images, Just in Time for Earth Day

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - Apr 17, 2012) - For many photographers, scenic images are a portfolio staple. In fact, the natural beauty that surrounds us, from sweeping landscapes to details such as tree bark texture, offers inspiration and consistent subject matter for artists of all types. In honor of Earth Day, Dreamstime, a leading stock photography community, has asked its talented contributors to share their tips for capturing natural elements such as plant details, wildlife and landscapes.

The scenery found in our world can certainly take one's breath away when witnessed first hand, but capturing it on film poses a range of challenges. From dishing out unruly weather to requiring the patience to wait for that perfect shot, nature is not always an accommodating subject for photographers. If you've ever felt that your nature photos pale in comparison to the real thing, you're not alone. Here are a few tips to help improve those difficult natural shots, from those in the know.

  • Attention to Detail: The natural detail that surrounds us can be considered art in its own right, but capturing it in a way that does it justice can present challenges. Macro lenses and quality light are two keys to snapping great detail shots. "To highlight texture, look for side lighting and enhance contrast in pots processing," says Afagundes. "You can use a fill flash as well and a reflector to have the light you want when it's not there." Check out all the tips for capturing detail here.

  • Unruly Models: Photographing animals can produce intriguing, beautiful, and at times comical images. It can also produce irritation and frustration. Capturing these ever-popular subjects requires immense patience, regardless of whether you're working with domestic or wild animals. To get good shots of an animal's eyes, BCritchley recommends avoiding autofocus, as it will generally focus on the nearest point, like the animal's nose. For shooting wild animals, Lostarts suggests using a long lens and the fastest glass you can afford in order to snap clear shots from a distance. Keeping silent so as not to disturb your subject and taking numerous shots are also key. For more advice on photographing animals, whether wild or domestic, click here.

  • The Big Picture: If you've ever looked out over the views of Yosemite or another natural wonder, you understand the power, majesty and beauty that sweeping landscapes can hold. Investing in a tripod, particularly one with a panning head, is a recommended step for capturing wide-open landscapes. A high quality lens is also important. According to Bradcalkins, "full manual is key: manual exposure, manual focus, low ISO, set white balance." It's also recommended to have the camera in portrait orientation to get the most vertical pixels possible. More insight on landscape photography can be found here.

Dreamstime would like to thank its contributors for sharing their knowledge and tips! Next month, with graduation season in mind, Dreamstime will help you take great portraits. For more tips and tricks, check out the results from last month's Field of View campaign, which focused on taking pictures of events and models, in honor of award show season.

About Dreamstime
Dreamstime is a distinguished leader in stock photography, a major supplier of high quality digital images to the world's largest advertising agencies, national and international magazines, and film and television production companies. Today, with more than 13.5 million images, Dreamstime is currently the second leading agency in total customers with more than 12 million unique visitors monthly to the site, making it one of the most popular web sites in the world. The acceleration in numbers overall makes it the fastest growing stock photo agency worldwide. In addition to the current 416,869 free images available, Dreamstime's active gallery is updated by the second with photos from the site's 133,500-plus contributors. For more information on Dreamstime, please visit:

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