Welcome to the jungle! Wilderness photography, jungle photography, landscape photography, all of these genres have something in common. You’re outdoors.
Perhaps you don’t have a rainforest outside your front door, and that’s okay. The same jungle photography tips for extreme locations translate into basic landscape photography tips that can help you make better images of your outdoors photography adventures.
Let’s get your creativity kick started with some helpful hints and jungle photography tips that include gear choices, techniques, and methods that can used to capture great images and video footage.
Circular Polarizer Filter
Since the earliest days of film photography, a polarizer filter has been a top choice for improving outdoor photographs. A circular polarizer (CPL), as opposed to linear (PL), is a special design of polarizer that will work with modern cameras that have autofocus and advanced metering systems.
Polarizers can be used to darken blue skies which increases the contrast between clouds and sky. You can see the effect in some of your favorite images that incorporate a dramatic sky.
A circular polarizer for your DSLR or mirrorless digital camera can remove reflections from glass or water. In some cases, it may even allow you to see through the glass or water in order to include whatever is beyond it into your image.
You have seen this in images of lakes, rivers, and tidal pools. It’s also useful in the concrete jungle of cityscapes that have so much glass on the skyscrapers.
Golden Ratio / Fibonacci Spiral and Rule of Thirds
As a compositional tip for wilderness and jungle photography, look for natural occurrences of the Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Spiral. It is everywhere in nature and also in a lot of man-made structures you will find in the concrete jungle of urban landscapes.
Once you get used to this amazing gift that natural mathematics has given photographic composition, you will easily find it everywhere.
Much like the Rule of Thirds composition tool, it works because our brains are wired in such a way that this type of composition is comfortable to view in a finished photographic image. These rules are actually more like guidelines we can use or ignore, we can even combine them.
One of the more misunderstood methods and techniques for capturing great landscape images in High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. It’s misunderstood partially because of the way some photography how-to articles have presented it.
HDR photography can result in some very unusual looking, unnatural appearing final images. Which is fine if that’s what you’re trying to do. The technique can also be employed to create a natural view of the scene in front of you.
Our eyes and brain can instantly process a scene with a dynamic range far outside what our cameras can record properly. HDR lets you post process several images shot at different exposures, blending them together for an image that shows what’s in the deep shadows without blowing out the highlights of the scene.
If you have ever viewed a real estate listing online or previewed your next hotel room on the company website, you were viewing an HDR image. It can be one of your most valuable outdoor photography tools, too. Give it a try.
Graduated Neutral Density Filter
Post processing or image manipulation programs and shooting RAW digital files in camera has eliminated the need for many of the basic filters that film photographers used to view as essential landscape photography gear.
Two filter types that can still be seen as basic equipment for modern digital photography are circular polarizer (CPL) and graduated neutral density (GND) filters. These filters are color neutral so they add no color cast to the image file.
The Jungle Is Everywhere
A photographer on a weekend trek to the wildlife refuge, mountain forest, or isolated beach can use the same techniques, methods, and specialty photographic gear that a photographer deep in the Amazon or Congo does.
Combine these simple jungle photography tips into whatever works for your own style of photography. It may require a little more effort and expenditure, but the results will speak for themselves as being worth it.