Earth Day is upon us so, I wanted to share some ideas for getting outside and enjoying this great earth we all share. I love being outside, enjoying as many places as I can. Whether you are totally comfortable or not at all an outdoorsy type, there is something out there for all of us to enjoy. Grab a camera or two, get some plans made, or just go right out the front door and see what you can find! Here are some ideas for where to go, but create your own adventure and get outside!

Find Your National, State, and Local Parks

Fujifilm XT1 with 35mm

My first recommendation for someone looking to get outside and explore is to send them to any National Park they can get to. I live around several National Parks, and am always expanding my list to visit more. These protected places offer an opportunity to see nature in an honest way. I frequently cross paths with plants and wildlife that I would never see in any other place. The big spaces that are contained within these parks offer amazing scenery, and beautiful things to photograph. More importantly, they give us space to explore, to find our own adventures, and to get away from the bustle of everyday life and the busy and crowded places we live. Go visit the National Parks that you can, and check out the State Park system around you, too.

Discover Your Local Neighborhood

Nikon D750 with 105mm Macro

Sometimes planning a trip can be too much time and money, so staying local is the option for the moment. Sometimes I just enjoy taking a walk around my local neighborhood. I tend to find interesting scenes just around the corner, and enjoy the time outside getting some fresh air. I love visiting a local garden area to see what flowers are blooming, and typically pack along my macro lens for more fun. Just head out the front door and take a walk… it can help clear the mind, as well as provide an opportunity to find creative things your own backyard!

Explore A Forest Or Mountain

Nikon D750 with 35mm

Mountains can give a breath of fresh air not found in many places. Something about that high altitude and those green trees! The forests are sometimes so green that is just amazing. Get deeper into those forests, and the world turns magical. The moss and ground, the smells and sounds… these places always get the imagination to work!

Have A Desert Adventure

Nikon D750 with 35mm

Deserts are also stunning places to visit. Timing is important – most people won’t want to land in Death Valley in the peak of summer – but the sweeping views of open land can be breathtaking. The life that is found in these dry places is surprising – sometimes colorful, often strange, and always beautiful.

Relax On A Beach

Holga 120 on Kodak E100, cross processed as C41

I know it may not be easy from some places, but given the opportunity, head to a beach! The ocean is an amazing place to photograph and has a lot of opportunities to get creative. The calmness at sunrise, the colors at sunset, and the constant movement of the water are all beautiful. Try an ND filter to change things up, or wait for the colors to start really popping at sunset. Or, pack along some expired film and a plastic camera and go for something very different!

Busy City Centers

Fujifilm X100T

A bustling city may not be what you first think of when thinking of nature photography, but an urban adventure can be fun, too! Cities tend to give an interesting twist to photos. Full of activity and color, big buildings and interesting people. Street photography is a common style, but you can also take a bigger picture approach to these places, and get some very interesting shots! Nature hides in big cities, but it is always there and ready to be captured!

Always respect the places (and wildlife) that you visit. Take care of our Earth, we all call it home! Remember to share your photos and tag #KEHSpotlight so we can see what you create!


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