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Confessions of an Amateur Nature Photographer

Updated on June 9, 2013

Where Nature Meets the Eye

Great Falls, Maryland. Copyright Tia D. Peterson.
Great Falls, Maryland. Copyright Tia D. Peterson.

Choosing a Camera

I didn't choose the camera, the camera chose me. :)

For all of the images you see here, I used the Olympus C765 4MP Digital Camera with 10X Optical Zoom, and I paid almost $500 for it brand new. You can't even buy them anymore new. I was originally turned onto this camera in advertising class in college. We had to shoot a scene somewhere for an advertisement. We were supplied with digital camera for the shoot, and the Olympus C765 was it. It was love at first snap shot for me.

What to Look For

Back then (this was 2003), the 4MP was good enough but it's not any more if you want to sell your photography on stock photo websites like istockphotos. You will need at least 5MP.

I look for digital cameras that feel like an SLR, even if they aren't. I don't know; I just can't get in the mood to take good pictures with a tiny little thin thing in my hand. I like the substance of a weighted piece of equipment.

If you're into nature photography, you need a camera with amazing optical zoom. If you take a look at the picture above, it may look like I'm standing right behind the bird, but in reality I am more than 100 feet away from it.

Landscapes and Wildlife

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Cococay Island (Royal Caribbean Private), Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Great Falls, Maryland. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Rye Beach, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Cococay Island (Royal Caribbean Private), Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Cococay Island (Royal Caribbean Private), Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Point Dume, Malibu, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Caribbean. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Great Falls, Maryland. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Great Falls, Maryland. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Niagara Falls, New York. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Rye Beach, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Rye Beach, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.

Nature is My First Photography Love, But I Have Many Seconds

While I love shooting nature primarily, I'm a city girl at heart and find myself whipping out my camera when the moment is right.

I also love to shoot people and things. People are much, much more difficult to shoot well than objects found in nature or cityscapes. Timing and lighting are never more important than they are when shooting portraits or even candid moments. I suppose that's why wedding photographers are paid so much?

Cityscapes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Seattle, Washington. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.From Bellagio, looking out at Hotel Paris, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Hollywood, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Seattle, Washington. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Seattle, Washington. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
From Bellagio, looking out at Hotel Paris, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
From Bellagio, looking out at Hotel Paris, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Hollywood, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Hollywood, California. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.

Choosing Subjects

Whether you're shooting inanimate objects like the cityscapes above, or nature and wildlife, you'll discover that the right subjects simply seem to call to you. They scream, "take a picture of me!" and when that happens, it's so much more satisfying than if you are forced to take a picture of something you would rather not.

I've photographed:

  • Seattle's Public Market Center sign (a must if you visit Seattle)
  • The Jefferson Memorial, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and National Monument in Washington, DC
  • Many hotels in Las Vegas, but primarily Paris from the Bellagio (so I could get the fountains), and Caesar's Palace
  • Many flowers, trees, and mountains
  • Oceans and rivers
  • One squirrel and one deer in their natural habitats

Have a Good Eye? You Can Be a Photographer.

Okay so it may be awhile and take some training before you might be able to convince someone to buy your shots, but not necessarily!

Take a look at the Concord, New Hampshire shots below. Often times, people writing books on travel locations need to find exclusive, great photos of landmarks. While the above shot isn't for sale (I don't sell any images right now), if you find yourself drawn to things like that, there is money in it.

How to Sell Your Images

  • Stock photo sites like istockphotos.com
  • On your own website
  • Shop them to local newspapers and magazines
  • On photography sites

People and Things

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ground Zero, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Daddy Long Legs. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Wall Street, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Ground Zero, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Ground Zero, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Daddy Long Legs. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Daddy Long Legs. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Concord, New Hampshire. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Wall Street, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Wall Street, New York City. Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.
Copyright Tia D. Peterson. May not be re-used without permission.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Nissan 

      6 years ago

      Hi great Article thank you for time and effot ;) I have question?

      I found a new website today It's called www.illustrationsstock.com

      selling Vector Art and Illustrations and allow you to upload and sell

      your Vector Art and Illustrations, i wonder if anyone tried to buy or

      sell from this website?

    • bizchickblogs profile imageAUTHOR

      T Peterson 

      7 years ago from Tucson

      Thanks everyone!

    • Eric Saville profile image

      Eric Saville 

      7 years ago from London, England

      Thanks for posting this info, rare to find really useful content!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Great article with very practical advice. I wish you could help me with my photography. I have been an amateur for a very long time. I have a Minolta xg1. I don't use it right now because the flash isn't working. I use one of those small digital cameras in hopes that I will get great party shots for my hub pages. It is a pretty good camera, but the shots are not so great when I try to get the entire room in it. What camera would you suggest I use? Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • NatureStory profile image

      NatureStory 

      8 years ago from Norway

      Very good info you have here, thanks for sharing that.

      Greetings from Norway!

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