Tips for Finding Nature (among other things) on Instagram

I think that nature photography is a gateway drug to a healthy wildlife watching addiction. With that hypothesis, I’ve been enjoying how many social media sites I frequent daily are now heavily populated with images (cough… Facebook, Google+, & Tumblr). You can’t go anywhere on those sites without bumping into a few words slapped on to a startling picture.

For this reason, I’ve been keeping my eye on Instagram– mostly because this simple site has seen a growth in users and has a healthy number of compelling wildlife and nature photos. It’s a simple concept- upload your photo, add a filter, and share with your friends. I recently read an article that said 40% of brands were also on Instagram.

Now that they’ve added Photo Maps, I’m intrigued by what this means for documenting experiences using Instagram and how this can enrich your experience when you visit the natural world.

I haven’t created a profile for NWF, mostly because we get a lot of user submitted photos but don’t have a steady supply of the wildlife photos that would be most interesting to people. But I do see great examples of Instagram use, and I continue to be curious about the platform.

Web versions of Instagram that let you search:


 

 

  1. Statigram
  2. Pinstagram
  3. Extragr.am
  4. instagrid.me
  5. instadashapp

Recommended Searches for Wildlife Lovers
(remember to tag photos with appropriate key words!)

  • #Nature -over 800.000 photos
  • #Wildlife – over 176,000 photos
  • #Naturelovers – over 84,000 photos
  • #Wildlifephotography – over 4,000 photos

There are also awesome fun things to search like #skyporn, #macromonday, and many many more! So if you’re tagging photos with hashtags and you aren’t being descriptive– try and remember to be just that.

Are you using Instagram? Let me know!

Nature App: Identify Clouds and Predict the Weather

I’m no stranger to writing about mobile applications.  I think your mobile phone can serve as equal parts magnify glass and field guide when used properly. There’s something fascinating about discovering, documenting, and sharing an outdoor experience with handheld technology. Now you can even keep your head in the clouds (and know what types they are!)

Last fall, I took a fascinating class through the Audubon Naturalist Society that focused on weather and climate. Needless to say I’ve been preoccupied with meteorology and looking at the sky ever since.  I care a lot more than I ever have about humidity and high and low pressure systems.

For anyone who is a fan of clouds or sky gazing, this application could be an impressive addition to your nature apps collection for just $1.99. I am not one to gush about a product, but I admire the design and the content. It’s not like every other field guide app, it takes you on a visual cloud journey, and I appreciate that.

Do you look at the clouds? What’s your favorite type? I like altocumulus.

Fantastic Wildlife and Nature iPhone Apps

*Note:  An updated version of this post can be found on Wildlife Promise called 25+ Nature and Wildlife Mobile Apps.

If you managed to wrestle my iPhone away from me, you would see that I collect nature applications, everything from trail-tracking apps to apps that help me identify birds (my weakness).

My goal is to find different ways for people to interact with nature using a mobile phone. Below I’ve written up a few of my favorites. I’d love to hear what apps you are using.

Watching for  Wildlife

WildObs Collection: I use the apps–especially WildObs Mobile and WildObs Lookup–on a regular basis. If you find yourself wanting to record wildlife sightings that include more than birds– it’s definitely my preferred app!

Project Noah – Great application that also allows you to track your wildlife sightings! Definitely worth a download (it’s free!).

Finding Nature


NatureFind
: Love this! (Disclosure–the National Wildlife Federation partners with both Naturefind and WildObs.) Search nature areas and outdoor events near you.

The North Face Trailhead Application is a great (and FREE) application that lets you locate the trails near you. If you like to hike, or simply want to explore or photograph trails, this application can help you do just that.

iBird Explorer Backyard: As an amateur bird explorer, this is a great app that helps you identify bird species and explore them by family, location and more.

Fun with Plants

Florafolio:  This app offers an interactive field guide to native plants of North America. This edition focuses on the stunning variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, vines, and grasses that are indigenous to Eastern Canada and North Eastern United States. Florafolio is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to identify species in the wild or garden with native plants.

Botany Buddy: As a person looking to identify plants and exploring, I’ve truly found this app enjoyable. This app is useful when I know the name of what I’m looking for. You must have a profile, and it does require some basic understanding of plants. It  includes 4,500 full color photos and twenty-five key fields of information on each plant.

I know there are countless I left out and I would LOVE to know your favorite nature apps! Share below and maybe I can review them!