Landscape Photography Tip: Photographing the Forest

About This Botanical / Nature Photo: Climbing The Tree is a beautiful nature photograph of a vine with green leaves climbing the bark of a large tree in the forest towards the glowing rays of sunlight radiating through the tree tops. This photo was created to capture the calm, dreamlike essence of the hazy evening scene. Title: Climbing the Tree Fine Art Nature Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Botanical / Nature Photography Item ID#: NAT-2143

Photo by Landscape Photographer Melissa Fague

Photographing wooded areas presents a different set of challenges than other landscape scenes. There are a large amount of trees that run up through your location, there are fallen trees that could run through your scene, there are millions of individual leaves with their own unique characteristics and there are branches popping out everywhere. In the forest there are also specks of light that could shine through the trees and there could be deep dark shadows created by the elements too. So as a beginning landscape photographer we wanted to offer a few tips to help you maneuver your way through shooting landscape and nature photos in a wooded area.

First and foremost think about the characteristics of the forest. Once you have selected that characteristic, the next step is to think of how you want to use that characteristic in the photo, meaning do you want that characteristic as the point of interest in the photo or do you want to use it to accent another element in the scene.  Next, think about any special features that will help express how you feel about the scene or characteristic?

Whether you are creating a photo and facing towards a forest or shooting your scene from inside it, look for patterns, lines, and other compositional elements you can use to enhance the scene.

Your lens also makes a difference in how you landscape or nature photograph will turn out. Consider trying both wide angle and telephoto lenses while you are on scene. A wide angle lens can elongate the element depending on your angle and perspective to the subject such as a tree. The wide angle lens (if you are shooting upwards) will stretch the tree and make it appear taller than what it is; just like the photo above. A telephoto lens on the other hand will compress the truck of the tree.

Photo Specks
Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: F7.1
Focal Length: 32mm
ISO: 100
Lens: Wide Angle Telephoto