The term Nature Photography refers to a large genre of photography that deals with natural occurring elements and the great outdoors.
Some subjects of Nature Photography would be wildlife and animals, flowers, trees or plants, spiders, snakes and insects, landscapes, seascapes and other land formations. Photographic views can range from extreme macro photography or closeups to large panoramic triptych style photographs. Unlike documentary photography and Fine Art Photography which deal with a subject matter or artist point of view, Nature Photography usually aim to be more aesthetically pleasing. Nature Photography tries to express the beauty of its subject through color, depth and perspective.
Nature Photography is a very broad term and so contains many subcategories. Some of the more popular categories and subjects are Wildlife, Landscapes, Seascapes, Plants and many more.
Wildlife photography deals with the animal kingdom, from elephants to dung beetles, Salmon to Sharks, Penguins to Pot Bellied Pigs. Wildlife photographers try to catch their subjects in their natural habitats and normal behavior.
Landscape Photography attempts to capture the grand nature of our surrounding. The subjects of landscape photographers are usually land masses, mountains and mountain ranges, sunsets and cloud formations, waterfalls and coastal vistas. The presence of humans are usually void from landscape photos in attempt to capture the raw beauty of a scene unhampered by mans hand.
Seascape Photography looks to capture the sea and its many faces. The presence of humans or animals in seascape photography is neither required nor prohibited. There are many beautiful panoramic views of the ocean with a whale or a boat present. Seascapes also are related to the beach scene category which would include beaches, water, coastline, tropical scenes and maybe a sunset.
Plant photography deals with all forms of plant life, from flowers to vegetables, from trees to moss. Plant photography usually deals with closeups, still shots and macro photography. Flowers and extreme closeups are a popular theme of plant photography.
Nature Photography is a large category unto its self as all the many sub categories could technically be termed Nature Photography as they clearly fall under the umbrella of Nature.
Some of the most famous Nature Photographers would be Ansel Adams who pioneered Landscape Photography with his amazing black and white photos of beautiful vistas around the United States. Another would be Galen Rowell who was a photojournalist and became famous for his beautiful landscape photography. Other names would include William Henry Jackson, Eliot Porter, David Muench and Philip Hyde to name a few.
Nature is still the most popular category of photography today. Whether Nature pictures are taken professionally or by the vacationing amateur, the category of Nature Photography goes on strong and is here to stay.