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Thread: What constitutes nature photography?

  1. #1

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    What constitutes nature photography?

    OK there was another thread arguing the definition of wildlife. So as not to discriminate against landscape photographers, it only seems fair that we also discuss the definition of nature photogaphy in a broader context. So I'll kick it off with a couple of photos.

    Based on appearance which one of these moving water photos is "more natural".

    #1.

    What constitutes nature photography?

    #2.

    What constitutes nature photography?

  2. #2
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Regarding the water, the first is "more natural" looking.
    However it is still too "silky" for me to call it natural.

    Having said that I will try it some time!

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Yes, too silky to be natural looking. For more natural looking flowing water I normally shoot around 1/8th or 1/15th of sec but it will also depend upon how fast the water is flowing but generally these two setting work pretty well - for me.

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    I should have been more clear. What I meant was, which image looks like it was taken in a more natural location?

    However, regarding ss, IMO every situation is different. I set shutter speed to try to give an appearance that elicits a certain feeling. I try to let the person who views the photo hear the stream through their eyes.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    I am a little confused by the question - both look natural environments to me but one could have been set up in a private garden or something I suppose. Over time nature takes over and they become natural.

    I await the answer.

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    I promise....I will behave

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
    I promise....I will behave
    We all realize due to another thread the restraint and sacrifice you will be making to fulfill this promise. Can we place bets?

    P.S. Maybe I should do the same.

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
    I promise....I will behave
    Based on my limited experience on the site here, I won't be holding my breath

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    O.K. It is probably a trick question but I will opt for #1 being the more natural - the scale and lichens on the rocks look just a bit more aged. #2 Shot is just to pretty and perfect.
    I am usually wrong so perhaps I should switch my pick - maybe I won't because it says Post Quick Reply.

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    That's like asking what is art. What constitutes Nature photography is different for each of us. Ask five for detailed descriptions and you will get 5 different answers. They will be close but I suspect you are looking for a definitive answer. There isn't one.

    PS. To me your original question is in conflict. Looking natural does not constitute Nature. If you mean which look right or normal I'd personally have to say neither. It's an artful effect some may like but water doesn't look like milk.
    Last edited by Andrew1; 14th January 2013 at 04:43 AM.

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    No tricks. Just wondering what others impressions might be. Neither one of them is set up or man made. Just exploring the "Norway rat" theory a bit. I think sometime we confuse the effort involved in capturing the image with how natural it is. If someone takes an awesome closeup of a lupine bloom alongside a highway in Texas and I take one on the slope of a mountain in the Brooks Range, I (naturally) think mine is more natural. But if no one tells those who view the two photos, they're probably going to like the shot with better colors and supporting elements elsewhere in the frame.

    I intentionally picked one stream with a lot of green and one without for this thread. It seems like most people equate greenery to nature. L.Paul you must have picked the first shot because you are inherintly drawn to it. It was taken just below the highest pass along the Routeburn Track, a good day's walk from the nearest road. The second shot is a stream that drains into a culvert that runs under a road near Cordova,AK (OK some will argue that Cordova is harder to get to). I had the tripod set up on the shoulder of the road.

    Most people who have seen these two photos prefer the second one. I clearly have an affinity for the first one due to the memories of the trip etc. I took the second one while I was killing time waiting for low tide when the shorebirds come in.

    I agree, there are as many answers to this question as there are people to whom it is posed. Trick is it's human nature for us all to think that we are right and therefore others are wrong.

  12. #12
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    I agree, there are as many answers to this question as there are people to whom it is posed. Trick is it's human nature for us all to think that we are right and therefore others are wrong.
    Hi Dan

    Not sure I agree with the second statement above. I hope we can appreciate that this is not an "objective" issue, but that what I like and look for is what I like. Others like other stuff, no right or wrong.

    I'm sure your first statement above is true.

    You see when I read your first post I was drawn to the sentence:
    Based on appearance which one of these moving water photos is "more natural".

    I thought you were asking about the water flow, maybe because I have a particular "look" like that I am looking for in water.

    Rbn

    And I should have said, since you confessed where the photos were taken I will have to vote for the first one.

    I have similar reasons for liking photos we took while we were in Italy, Croatia and the Czech Republic in 2010.

    I hope your time was all you hoped it would be, and that you might be inspired to come back.

  13. #13
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    No tricks. Just wondering what others impressions might be. Neither one of them is set up or man made. Just exploring the "Norway rat" theory a bit. I think sometime we confuse the effort involved in capturing the image with how natural it is. If someone takes an awesome closeup of a lupine bloom alongside a highway in Texas and I take one on the slope of a mountain in the Brooks Range, I (naturally) think mine is more natural. But if no one tells those who view the two photos, they're probably going to like the shot with better colors and supporting elements elsewhere in the frame.

    I intentionally picked one stream with a lot of green and one without for this thread. It seems like most people equate greenery to nature. L.Paul you must have picked the first shot because you are inherintly drawn to it. It was taken just below the highest pass along the Routeburn Track, a good day's walk from the nearest road. The second shot is a stream that drains into a culvert that runs under a road near Cordova,AK (OK some will argue that Cordova is harder to get to). I had the tripod set up on the shoulder of the road.

    Most people who have seen these two photos prefer the second one. I clearly have an affinity for the first one due to the memories of the trip etc. I took the second one while I was killing time waiting for low tide when the shorebirds come in.

    I agree, there are as many answers to this question as there are people to whom it is posed. Trick is it's human nature for us all to think that we are right and therefore others are wrong.
    Interesting that I picked good old NZ. I was basing my decision that if one was false it would be the second one because with the sudden burst of high rainfall we can get the moss on top of rocks is usually swept away before it gets as luxurious as that in your second photo - I knew right from the start you would change the answer so I could not get it right. (I can't remember the last time I trusted a fellow photographer)

  14. #14
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Can I call it nature when nature is winning?

    What constitutes nature photography?

  15. #15
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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    Or is it man battling against the elements, and who wins.

    Great shot.

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    Re: What constitutes nature photography?

    I like this, aside from the ongoing conversation in this thread. This picture says to me, a line has been drawn, still debating, is mother nature saying "you have gone too far?" or has man said "you have gone too far?" Clearly the foolish man has built his road upon the sand. Pardon my babbling

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