The Art of Photographing Nature: Outdoor, Wildlife and Landscape

All year long, nature is an awe-inspiring element of our everyday. From its colours to its unpredictability, we remain both appreciative and admirative in front of it. Especially after a year in (partial) lockdown and mostly at home, nature has had a grounding effect as well as has become something that we will take less for granted in the future. Spotlight on photographers who are capturing it, one shot at a time!
Featured image: © Noémie Goudal, Telluris II, Telluris, 2018. Courtesy of Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris)

Nature is almost an umbrella term. It encompasses so much in its broader definition to the extend of becoming everything in the natural, physical and material world – in short, the entire universe. It isn’t just a phenomenon or one single element, and even humans are part of nature to a certain extent. But, on the other hand, we often refer to nature as the great outdoor, the wildlife, the landscapes that capture our senses and our gaze.

Many artists through time have been inspired by nature and attempted to capture its sublime and romantic nature, from Caspar David Friedrich to Edward Burtynsky or Sebastião Salgado, or Georgia O’Keeffe and Ana Mendieta. However, it isn’t only the visual artists that are compelled and attracted by it. Filmmakers, poets, writers, musicians, and dancers find the creative drive from the energy that emerges from the bucolic surroundings.

Edward Burtynsky, Lithium Mines #1, Salt Flats, Atacama Desert, Chile, 2017.

For this article, it is on the art of photographing nature that our gaze will be turned. So here is a brief overview of photography in the great outdoor world! Humans relationship to the earth has harvested the best of what the eye and brain can record. It has made artist engage on a philosophical level, as much as a visual one; capturing the vast terrain has become a tradition that more than one has toyed with. It gave a voice to the beauty as much as the ugliness and photographing nature also means to document its rivers and oceans, its forest but also the deforestation, the conflicts that are transforming the soil and the landscape, it is to tell a story of the untouched and the destructed.

Sebastião Salgado, Iceberg, part of the series Genesis

Photography is also a medium that is slightly less suggestive. The usage of photography, in particular, has a deep impact on our culture, lives, and of course, our understanding of nature. Photography changed many things, from how we read the world to choosing to include one thing and exclude something else. After all, framing is a key aspect of photography.

As Ansel Adams said:

“To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.”

Adams is one of the most influential landscape photographers of the 20th century, his dedication to capturing the High Sierra and pleading for preservation is a well-known fact. His photographs bring you a deep understanding of beauty and, at the same time, make a critical statement of what is to come.

Nature photography has been widely reproduced in cultural, travel as well as scientific magazines. However, the aesthetic value is one of the crucial element that distinguished it from documentary or photojournalism. The aestheticisation of ecological disasters and visually appealing shots of the negative impacts of humans behaviours on nature have been caused for debate. At the end of the day, we hope that most photographs will compel us to the natural beauty we are surrounded by and the importance of preserving it!


This article wouldn’t be complete if we would not highlight some talents of today and especially some that are part of our community! In analogue or digital photography, these visual storytellers keep adding pages to the “book” each time they capture a new piece of nature.

Rebecca Arnold

It is from a perspective of wellness; relaxation, inspiration, mental acuity and happiness that Rebecca Arnold is pioneering her approach to capturing the world of nature. She believes (and we agree) that art impacts psychology and this is supported by scientific evidence. Furthermore, she is also the creative mind behind  Photographic Green Spaces® which offers curate selections of her photography that is aiming to foster productivity, creativity as well as mental and physical health. If her photographic approach wasn’t sufficient enough to inspire us, she is also a consultant to the United Nation’s Harmony With Nature Programme and volunteer to many more causes.

Visit her website naturephoto.art to discover more about her art-making and find her under @rebeccanaturephotos on Instagram. 

Sabrina Demini Photographer Sabrina Demini thinks of the art of photography as a means to link cultures and both external and internal worlds. As she grew up half in Paris and half in Tunisia, she is used to two types of landscapes: the cityscapes and their concrete and the warm colours of the sea. As a result, her art is a way to express this contrast.

You can explore her photography on her .art website aliashade.art and on Instagram under the handle @aliashade. 

Yash GuptaFor Yash Gupta, his cinematic quality photography is a way to show the world through his perspective. Specialising in visual storytelling through pictures and films, each shot from Yash carries a story and deep emotions. Striking colours, deep shadows, perspectives – each series of photographs has its own characteristics and conveys a different atmosphere. 

To see it yourself, pay a visit to Yash’s Instagram @shutterfloyd or .art website shutterfloyd.art.

Madalina MihaiMadalina Mihai is a sea lover: much of her shots on her Instagram account and in her portfolio depict a sea landscape or anything related to this subject, whether it be boats or lighthouses. Madalina describes the art of photography to ” capture moments of meaning” in her own words. The name of her .art website stands for her art tool: her mobile phone. 

Look into her universe by visiting her website blueandi.art, or following her on Instagram @madalina.m.mihai. 


ABOUT THIS SECTION   

.ART Domains are dedicated to connecting, empowering, and supporting our vibrant community. We care about fostering a sense of belonging to the art world, and this new section celebrates creators that have recently joined.ART. This is our way to give back and shine a light on the work of amazing creatives, especially in these testing times! If you would like to be featured, please have a look at our submission guidelines here 

.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.