5 Tips for Taking Great Nature Photos in the Canadian Wilderness

Lake Minnewanka Banff Alberta Canada

Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur, the Canadian wilderness should be a high priority on your photography bucket list. Boasting scenic delights like alpine mountainsides and marshes teeming with wildlife, there are endless opportunities to take some National Geographic worthy snaps.

If you’re planning your next expedition into the Canadian wilderness, why not check out these five tips to elevate your photos from standard to stunning?

1. Bring the right photography equipment

This might sound obvious, but in the world of smart phones, it can be all too tempting to skimp on equipment and rely on your iPhone’s point-and-click. According to Canadian photographer Lori Janeson, you should always make sure you’re equipped to take memorable photos in “virtually any conditions.” This means packaging the right tools for the job. At the very least, Janeson suggests a waterproof carrying case to protect your equipment and two or three lenses for taking different types of photographic shots. And don’t forget extra batteries or a power-pack to keep your camera full of juice!

2. Plan ahead

Your chances of taking a great photo can be improved dramatically if you plan ahead. For example, if you want to take some truly spectacular photos of nature at its wildest, you may want to line up your trip into the Canadian wilderness with a storm. However, while fog, fierce clouds and ferocious gales are perfect for creating a unique mood and ambiance for your shots, they’re not ideal to shoot in. If you’re shivering and soaked, your mind isn’t going to be focused on taking the perfect picture. So, plan ahead by wearing weather appropriate clothing, like a windbreaker, and carrying a headlamp in foggy conditions.

3. Don’t ignore “Urban Nature” photography

When you hear the words “nature photos,” your local city park probably doesn’t spring to mind. However, Janeson is quick to point out that the Canadian divide between the urban and the rural is anything but stark. If venturing into the deepest forests or braving glacial weather isn’t your thing, you can still take some breathtaking photos closer to home. Looking for inspiration? Don’t ignore your city’s beautiful nature reserves. Even the seemingly urban Vancouver sports a fantastic temperate rainforest just outside its bustling city.

4. Take time to experiment

No matter what kind of photography you’re interested in, experimentation is a key part of improving. Take the time to explore various angles and work with different lenses to capture a wide variety of nature photos. Try returning to the same photographic site at different times of day to see how the changing light and weather impacts on your photos.

5. Familiarize yourself with post-production editing

Getting a near perfect image straight off the camera is a fantastic feeling, but not always realistic. That’s why it’s vital to familiarize yourself with post-production editing. While you shouldn’t rely too heavily on digital editing, a few minor edits can save an otherwise brilliant photo from flaws like underexposure.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, keeping these five tips in mind will ensure you take some truly spectacular nature photos of the Canadian wilderness during your next photographic expedition.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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