How to take great outdoor photos

Little girl taking a photo with a Hello Kitty camera
Start exploring with your camera and practise taking great outdoor photos in your own garden. (Photo: WTML)

Kids love to explore with a camera, and hunting out the best things to photograph encourages them to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes.

Even young children can use a simple camera. You just need to show them how to hold it still and level, and press the shutter gently. They’ll be excited about helping you create a treasured record of your woodland adventure.

Our 7 ways to take great outdoor photos

Add a splash of colour

Woods aren’t just green and brown, so ask kids to hunt for something brightly coloured to add interest to their pictures – it could be a flower, a yellowing leaf, a fungus, or a cluster of berries. You could give them a list of colours and ask them to find and photograph something of each colour.

Remember the rule of thirds

Don’t put that beautifully gnarled tree trunk bang in the middle of the photo. Framing your shot with the main subject roughly a third of the way across makes a much more interesting picture.

Zoom in

Capture the minibeast crawling across a little hand, the textures on the bark of a tree, the intricate patterns on a leaf… Encouraging kids to get up close and personal with their subjects helps them engage with nature.

Find different angles

Look up to see the patterns leaves make against the sky; look down and snap the trees reflected in a pool, or the dappled patterns on the ground made by sunlight filtering through the leaves.

Catch them unawares

When you’re taking pictures of the kids, snap them while they’re absorbed in something – poking around in the mud with a stick, giggling at the antics of a squirrel, or staring up in wonder at a tall tree.

Don’t scare the wildlife

A fox sunning itself in a clearing, a squirrel nibbling a nut, a wary wild deer – woods are full of fascinating wildlife. Remind kids that they’ll need to be quiet, and patient, if they want to get a good picture. If you’re aiming for lots of animal shots, it may be good idea to dress in nature’s colours so you blend in with the surroundings.

Plan a photo quiz

Keep kids interested in the images after your visit. Use books or spotter sheets to identify some of the trees, flowers and bugs you’ve snapped. Close-ups can make a fun family quiz too. Who can be the first to identify the woodland object? Start by zooming in on a tiny detail, and then zoom out until someone guesses it. You may need to set your camera to a higher resolution to capture enough detail for this – around 1Mb should be fine.

Have you taken some great photos? Why not share them with us on Facebook.