Calling all budding nature photographers! Do you have a favorite plant or tree in your yard, on your block, or in a nearby park? Why not photo document it over the course of a season, or a year, or just for a day? Think about the changes that tell you spring has arrived. After their winter slumber, buds begin to appear as temperatures warm, followed by leaves, flowers, and fruits. Witness a complete life cycle by sketching or taking photos of the same tree or plant throughout the seasons. Become a BudBurst Buddy by keeping a record of your observations.

Rusty patched bumble bee on bee balm.

Here are some tips to help you snap the best shots:

  • Fit the shape- frame your subject
  • Get the light right- do not shoot toward the sun
  • Seek cloudy weather- avoid bright, midday sun
  • Fill the frame- move closer to your object
  • Cut the clutter- zoom in for an uncluttered background
  • Go low- take the photo at subject level
  • Be careful not to step on flowers or other living things!

If you’re taking photos of animals:

  • Catch the moment- be patient!
  • Move slowly and quietly- try not to disturb the animal
  • Watch your shadow so that it doesn’t scare your subject away.

You can observe and enjoy nature through photography in many ways! Try picking a theme for your next photo shoot. You can focus on animals, the color green, flowers, or interesting shapes. You can also have fun making collages with your photos or creating your very own storybook! 

Here are even more tips for nature photography. You can even enter your best shot into a photo contest!

The Minnesota Zoo would love to see examples of how you used this activity at home! Please share pictures or comments via email at [email protected], and take less than 5 minutes of time to provide us feedback by completing this short survey.