on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Know thy Subject

Why have you chosen to photograph nature?

Eric Bennett

Eric Bennett

As a full-time nature photographer, author, and conservationist, I hope to share the value that wilderness has in its pure, unaltered state. In a world where we are disconnecting from nature more and more every day, I can’t think of another pursuit more worthy of my time and energy. I believe that if I can capture a scene in the right way, my photographs will inspire others to protect the last few wild places we still have left.

I currently live just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife and three children. While much of my photography is focused on the incredible scenery near my home, I have traveled to over thirty countries to capture the diverse and remarkable beauty of all different environments.


Photography might be the most practised craft that exists today. Especially with how popular smartphones have become, nearly every person on this planet takes photographs in some capacity. 3.2 billion images are uploaded to the internet. Every. Single. Day. When using a camera, we have so many choices for potential subjects of our photographs: people, animals, buildings, cars, trees. The entire physical world can be photographed. But every time we take a photograph, we have to start by making this first important choice; what will we photograph?

The subject of our photography—the things we choose to make photographs about—is vastly more important than the kind of camera or lens we use to do so. In fact, I have come to believe that the relationship you have with your subject is the greatest determining factor of the quality of the photographs you make of it. As a photographer myself, I have found very little to no interest in making photographs of people, cityscapes, automobiles, man-made structures, weddings and events, or anything else besides natural things and places. This is why nature is the sole subject of my photography because I have a strong interest in it, and why I do not photograph anything else. My love for nature is what got me into photography, as I feel it is the best medium I can use to portray the natural subjects and scenes that I find meaningful. I didn’t become interested in nature because I loved photography and needed to find something to photograph. My love for nature got me interested in making photographs of nature. That’s why it’s called “nature photography” instead of “photography of nature”—nature first, photography second. My main genre is nature, the sub-genre is photography.

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