Natural history photography is one of the most demanding types of taking pictures. As a natural history photographer you will need a lot of patience but you will also need a lot of photographic equipment.
First of all you will need good digital cameras that can record the fine details of animals and plants and catch the mood of the light and the location.
Then you need a lot of lenses depending on your focus in nature:
High quality long lenses are needed to draw in the animals so you can get pictures of shy animals in their natural surroundings. You have probably seen wildlife photographers carrying big and heavy super telephoto lenses on their shoulders when they search for animals in the bush.
Some wildlife photographers will prefer super zoom lenses as they give more flexibility for the changing scene of wildlife. Unfortunately only a handful of such high quality super zoom lenses are available at the moment, depending on the brand of camera you are using (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Leica, Panasonic, Sony etc.).
On the opposite side of the very long telephoto lenses come the macro lenses.
Macro lenses are allowing you to come very close your object of study, like being able to take a picture 1:1 on the file, that means giving the object the same size on the camera like in nature.
For convenience we still use the analogy from the days of taking pictures with film for this information, even it is another technical matter with digital sensors and their different formats. Often you will find the note: 35 mm film equivalent. Macro photography is the most used kind of taking pictures of insects and other small animals in this area.
Larger small animals will have to be recorded like close-ups as they are too long to be recorded one to one. Take for example a small lizard with a long tail. You will need to get quite close to such a small animal but you also need to keep a distance not to scare it away. Lenses for such photographic challenges can be long macro lenses or shorter telephoto lenses with good macro abilities.
Landscape pictures are mainly taken with wide-angle lenses.
To catch the landscape in the most rewarding way a nature photographer will often use a wide-angle lens and include an interesting object very near and use that and the other picture elements to display an impressive depth of the landscape and in that way make it an interesting landscape picture.
Whatever kind of outdoor photography you are going for you will benefit from using a sturdy tripod for many of your wildlife shots and landscape pictures. Experience shows us that when we use a tripod we make more perfect wildlife pictures from a technical point of view and we also produce better composed pictures of the natural phenomena.
Add to this list of extensive photographic equipment for natural history photography of cameras and lenses, different kinds of flash equipment to compensate for missing daylight.
In the outdoors your flash will never be too strong as the distance to your animals will often be quite far, and much light will so to speak disappear in the outdoors, opposite to taking pictures with a flash indoors in a small room.
But the natural history photographer will also need artificial light to help lighting when taking pictures of insects and other small animals.
All in all there is a reason for the fact that wildlife photographers and other people enjoying taking pictures in nature are among the most loved customers among the camera and lens dealers – you will always be in need of more and better photographic equipment for your photography in nature.