Photography tips by Barbara Bowen Carr and Trina Turl
Family nature outings provide stress relief during these chaotic times as well as an opportunity to observe and appreciate the science of nature.
So if you're running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained, grab your phone, pack a snack, and head outside to explore. Give those walks a purpose! Let your junior explorers actively seek out and photograph the wildlife around you. Engage their love of nature and appeal to that natural sense of curiosity. Not only will the whole family learn, but those pics you snap can help scientists collect data.
You don’t even need to go very far. You can start with discovering life in your backyard.
We chatted with two amazing photographers -- Barbara Bowen Carr and Tina Turl -- who gave us 7 tips to help you take stunning photos with your phone.
Put the sun behind you.
Lighting plays a massive role in how your photos will turn out. Whenever possible, position yourself, so the sun is behind you.
Take several shots of the same thing.
Take photos of your subject from many different angles, Photography is a beautiful way to explore something, and when we try different angles, we can capture other details or characteristics we might not observe at first.
Wondering what to do with your photos?
To identify species (kinds of animals and plants), check out Seek by iNaturalist
Excerpt from https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app
"Open Your Camera and Start Seeking! Found a mushroom, flower, or bug, and not sure what it is? Open up the Seek camera to see if it knows!
Drawing from millions of wildlife observations on iNaturalist, Seek shows you lists of commonly recorded insects, birds, plants, amphibians, and more in your area. Scan the environment with the Seek Camera to identify organisms using the tree of life. Add different species to your observations and learn all about them in the process! The more observations you make, the more badges you’ll earn!
Kid-Safe and Fun for Families; No registration is involved, and no user data is collected.
Seek will ask permission to turn on location services, but your location is obscured to respect your privacy while still allowing species suggestions from your general area. Your precise location is never stored in the app or sent to iNaturalist.
Image recognition technology is based on observations submitted to iNaturalist.org and partner sites, and identified by the iNaturalist community. This is a great app for families who want to spend more time exploring nature together."
Share & learn
Have fun, and remember, keep practising your smartphone photography skills. Just remember to respect nature. For your safety and to prevent wildlife from getting stressed, keep your distance from wild animals.
About the photographers
Barbara Bowen Carr is a retired school librarian
based in Troy, New York. Before retiring, she worked with students from K-12 in a variety of schools & taught beginning computer skills in addition to library & research skills.
"I try to bring my camera or smartphone with me wherever I go. I like to move slowly, look closely, & notice the small things in nature. Many times, when I take a picture, it's as if I'm saying to a friend, 'Hey, look at that!' After I take pictures, I usually share them on my Flickr page or Facebook. I now have almost 7,000 photos on Flickr &, still, I am finding wonderful things every day!"
Check out Barbara's photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mudder_bbc/albums
Nature Explorer & Story Spinner
Environment, Nature, Earth Day, Children's Books, Nature Activities, Environmental Literacy, Educational Resources,