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We celebrate Nature Photography Day on June 15 to learn more about nature and enjoy capturing it at its very best over the warm summer months. Nature is all around us, and you can take part wherever you are, with whatever equipment. Whether you’re a professional photographer, or you’ve never captured nature before, we have some inspiring ideas and fun facts to make you a happy snapper this Nature Photography Day!
History of Nature Photography Day
Nature has been something to celebrate since the beginning of time! But before the invention of the camera, nature enthusiasts had to document what they observed very differently.
One of the earliest and most significant accounts of natural history was Pliny the Younger’s account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that engulfed the Ancient Roman town of Pompeii in 79 A.D. Two letters penned by Pliny are the only surviving eyewitness accounts of what happened that day and formed important evidence in the study of natural history as well as ancient civilizations.
Early naturalists mainly documented nature for its medicinal purposes, with varying levels of accuracy! There were numerous beliefs in the healing properties of plants and natural cures, some true and some mere superstitious. Nevertheless, naturalists recorded their recipes and documented the properties of plants throughout the Medieval period. And during the Renaissance, their understanding of nature began to improve gradually.
A major breakthrough came in the 1800s when naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin published the landmark text “On the Origin of Species,” outlining his theories of evolution and the evidence he had collected to support them. It was a controversial work due to its contradiction of the Bible’s creation story, and because he argued that man had descended from apes, which many people were uncomfortable with. Around the same time, scientists were developing the camera, which Darwin put to use as part of his studies.
Darwin’s work was the start of great leaps in our understanding of nature, and the foundation of natural history. The North American Nature Photography Association created Nature Photography Day in 2006 to encourage people to learn about and enjoy capturing the beauty of nature.
Nature Photography Day timeline
Pliny the Younger gives an account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which consumes the Ancient Roman town of Pompeii.
Leonhart Fuchs publishes a large book about plants and their uses as medicines, with drawings and diagrams notably more advanced than his predecessors.
Nicéphore Niépce uses a very small camera of his own making and a piece of paper coated with silver chloride to take the first successful photograph.
Charles Darwin publishes “On the Origin of Species,” outlining his new theories and evidence for evolutionary biology.
Nature Photography Day FAQs
Where can I find nature in the city?
Nature is present in all natural things, like the weather, trees, flowers, and insects. Once you start looking, you’ll realize it’s everywhere!
How do I take an amazing photograph?
Take a picture that will make the person looking at it feel something, and that represents how you feel when you look at the scene in front of you.
How to Celebrate Nature Photography Day
Take your own photographs
Whether you’re in the countryside or the middle of a city, nature is everywhere. It’s up to you whether you take a quick picture on your phone or spend the day seeking out the perfect composition.
Make a pinhole camera
With just a sheet of paper and some aluminum foil, you can make your own pinhole camera and understand the basics of the incredible technology we use every day.
Look at pictures from nature
Take some time to go online or to a gallery, or find a book with some inspiring photographs of nature. Professional nature photographers have captured some truly breathtaking things!
5 Facts About Animals That Will Blow Your Mind
Owls have eye tubes not -balls
Ever wondered why owls can turn their heads so far — they developed excellent neck flexibility because their eyes are tube-shaped, meaning their vision can’t swivel like our eyeballs can.
Cows are deadlier than sharks
Sharks may look terrifying, but they only account for approximately 4 human fatalities per year, whereas cows average 22.
Garter snakes form close friendships
Although snakes are often seen as lone predators, research suggests that garter snakes are incredibly social and form human-like friendships, where they can recognize one another and enjoy spending time together.
Goats speak with accents
According to research carried out by Queen Mary University of London, goats pick up accents from one another, despite not having a distinct language of their own.
African buffalo vote
African buffalo are known to make a group decision on their direction of travel — adult females of a herd stand up one by one and indicate their preferred direction of travel, and the one with the most votes wins.
Why We Love Nature Photography Day
It’s easy to take part
You can take a photograph of nature wherever you are using the simplest of cameras and end up with a beautiful photograph to treasure forever.
Nature is amazing!
Nature is all around us, and the most ordinary-seeming things are truly incredible when you understand how they work in nature’s plan.
It opens our eyes
With our busy lives, it can be hard to stop and really look and appreciate our surroundings but Nature Photography Day encourages us to appreciate the beauty and power of nature.
Nature Photography Day dates