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Best Ideas for Shooting Nature in Your Backyard

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Are you suffering from photographer’s block? It’s definitely a thing.

After photographing almost anything you can think of, you may be running out of ideas. But just like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look further than my own backyard.”

Let Dorothy inspire you and boldly walk into your own backyard to capture shots. Been there? Done that? Well here are some things you may not have thought of.

Flowers and Leaves

Flowers and leaves are always a terrific subject matter. Even though you’ve probably photographed them thousands of times, you can add a different spin by combining colors or going monochromatic. You can also experiment with lighting. Backlighting creates a three-dimensional effect that will add visual interest.

Fruits, Seeds and Berries

Shoot in my backyard? But it’s winter! Or fall!

During the fall and winter, there will still be plenty of foliage to capture. Even a dandelion can look beautiful. And let’s not forget about those changing leaves in autumn.

But to truly get the most of fall and winter’s fruits (no pun intended) you’ll want to focus in on those seeds and berries. Acorns, pinecones and nuts make terrific subjects.

After the Rain

After the rain is the perfect time to shoot. The droplets provide a reflective surface that’s ideal for capturing the scenery.

Take photos of droplets on leaves while blurring out the background. Catch raindrops hanging off a surface just before they fall. This will make for terrific rainy day subject matter.

Mushrooms, Fungi and Toadstools

Mushrooms and toadstools have a magical, fairy tale look that makes them perfect photography subjects. Some have vibrant colors that are ideal perfect focal points for your photo.

But even those with neutral tones are worth capturing, Many have interesting features and delicate structures that will come out if they are photographed with light behind them.

Look Up and Down

When taking photos, don’t limit yourself to what’s in front of your face. Look up to take pictures of trees and how the sky and lights break through the branches. If there are no trees, look to the clouds for terrific shots.

Then look down to check out what’s beneath your feet. In addition to grass, you may find interesting rocks, insects and so much more.

Try Black and White

The colors of nature are just begging to be captured but you may be surprised to find out how awesome the scenery can look in black and white. A light to dark contrast, such as a white flower against a black rock, will look terrific sans color.

Think of Sun Flare and Haze

The sun accents elements differently at different times of day creating flare and haze that plays off your subjects in unique ways. The nice thing is, since you are right in your backyard, you can run out to capture photos as soon as you see effects happen. In time, you will learn how the sun appears at various times of the day so you can use it to your advantage.

Snails and Bugs and Spiders, Oh My

Don’t forget about the insects, pests and critters in your yard. They can be fascinating photography fodder.

Birds and Wildlife

Birds and wildlife are a completely different element. Once you get into animal photography, you need to think about capturing movement. This is best done with a tripod and shutter release that will minimize camera shake as you are shooting.

Add Portrait Photography

When you shoot in your backyard, you don’t have to limit yourself to nature shots. Feel free to bring humans in. Take their pictures against leafy backgrounds to create portraits that merge various elements together.

Photographer’s block happens. Your backyard may provide more inspiration than you realize. What will you be taking pictures of when you venture behind your home?


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