Taking Photos of the Elements


In Phoenix, Arizona, we’re blessed with so much beauty all around us. Just a few steps outside of your apartment opens up a world of motion and wonder that’s perfect for picture taking. Some of the most beautiful shots are of nature in action, things involving fire, water, wind, and earth. The problem is, these four elements are almost always in motion. The Liv Ahwatukee Blog is sharing a few photography tips to help you out and get you started on capturing clean images of the elements. You don’t have to be the Avatar to manipulate and control the elements. All you need is a camera.



A great trick to taking photos of fire is to make sure you are using a quick enough shutter speed. A quick shutter speed helps freeze motion. If you’re not sure where to begin, a good starting point is 1/250. You can adjust it from there if you’re still not getting a good enough shot. Check your camera’s manual, or search online, if you’re not sure how to adjust the shutter speed.



Photographs of water in motion are some of the most amazing nature shots available. Like with fire, successful water photography can be achieved by setting your shutter speed. Experiment with both fast and slow shutter speeds; a fast shutter speed will freeze the water in place, and a slow shutter speed will make the water look “soft,” blurring parts so that it is almost white. The effect of both is nice. If you want the best image using a slow shutter speed, use a tripod to keep the camera steady. Shooting at a slower shutter speed can take longer, and the slightest bump of the camera can be the difference between a clear image and a blurry mess.



Shooting outside on a windy day can prove to be difficult. Using sandbags for your camera setup or tripod is one solution that, while not perfect, can really help when the wind starts getting really rough. If there’s a person in the shot, have them face the wind; you don’t want their hair getting in the way. As always, try to adjust the shutter speed; you just might freeze those blowing trees in place for a nice clear image.



For landscape or shots with nature, we recommend using different-sized lenses. Try using wide as well as smaller lenses. We suggest the telephoto lens which offers a narrow view but focuses well on beautiful moments like a reflection in a river. Also, try taking shots during different times of the day. Some of the best shots are right after a storm, or when the sun is going down.


We hope you find these tips helpful. If you don’t have a camera, play around with your smartphone’s camera settings. Why don’t you try it out today? Thanks for reading!

panel of four images showing earth, wind, fire, and water