a photographer captures a photo of a rhino at close range while on foot in mosi oa tunya national park in Zambia

Photography 101: New Year & New Photo Skills

First of all, wishing everyone out there a very Happy New Year! I’m truly hoping that 2018 is a fantastic year for you. And if your New Year’s resolution has something to do with becoming a better photographer, I’m here to help!

The Natural Photographer is a great resource for all things Nature and Wildlife photography and is a combination of weekly articles as well as permanent, more general photographic tutorials and tips.

Whether you’re a serious hobbyist, brand new to the world of digital photography, or have a travel plans in 2018 for which you’d like to hone your photography skills, this article is a one-stop shop for upping your photo game in big way.

In this article, I’ve compiled the five most helpful tutorials for rapidly improving your photographic skills. Each section has a link to the Full Article on the topic introduced, so please follow the links to dive deeper into each section.

Composition is Key

a perfect composition showcases the beauty of mt. denali in alaska

Composition Full Article HERE

Ask any pro photographer and they’ll tell you – composition is one of the most critical elements in taking show-stopping photos. And this isn’t only true of landscape shots like this one from Denali during one of my Alaska Photo Expeditions…close up shots of big wildlife necessitate excellent composition as well. Follow the link above to learn how to maximize techniques from the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence to more familiar ones like the rule-of-thirds.

Photography is All About Light

angled morning light illuminates mt. hayden at the north rim of the grand canyon

Lighting & Exposure Full Article HERE 

At the same level of importance as composition, the lighting of your photo is a vital component to a great photo. Whether you’re in the Grand Canyon, or your own back yard, lighting is everything. However, this isn’t just about whether there is light, and if there is enough of it. It’s also about the quality, color, angle, evenness, and much more. Read up on lighting & exposure in this section of the website in the link above.

Depth of Field – Learning about Aperture

a birding butterfly is framed nicely against blurred background bokeh

Depth of Field Full Article HERE

If you’ve ever wanted to finally grasp the concept of depth of field and how to use custom aperture settings, and what an f-stop means, this is the article for you. Whether you want to get everything in sharp focus, or isolate the subject and get that beautiful blurred background (aka Bokeh), this simple go-to article has you covered.

Understanding Shutter Speed

a moment frozen in time as a bear attempts to catch a leaping salmon at brooks falls, Katmai, Alaska

Shutter Speed Full Article HERE

Not only is having the “right” shutter speed critical for getting the shot, it’s also a phenomenal way to take your photography to the next level. Probably the most common application of this is when you want to freeze motion, like fast-moving wildlife, as seen in this photo from Brooks Falls in Alaska. However, there is SO much more you can do with this. How about getting that silky waterfall shot you’ve always wanted? Or, maybe a photo of the aurora borealis? Or, maybe it’s something entirely different and getting creative with your photography? Having a solid understanding of shutter speed is one of the best ways to do all of this and much, much more.

Getting the Perfect Focus

a closeup of a galapagos tortoise

Perfect Focus Full Article HERE

If there’s one thing you can fix in photoshop, it’s where you chose to focus when taking the photo. Focus is really an all-encompassing thing, which takes depth of field, composition, and much more into account. But, its tremendous importance is often overlooked. Read more in the link above to learn how to pick the right place to focus on each and every time.


These tutorials should keep you quite busy for a while! However, if you have any questions about Photography 101 topics that aren’t covered here, we’d love to have you leave a question for us on our Facebook Page and we’ll be sure to cover it in a future post!

All the best,