Photographing a Forest

A forest or woodlands to most of us might just be just a cluster of trees and plants but from a photographer’s perspective it is a wealth of visual beauty from every conceivable angle. However, photographing a forest is not simply a plain photo shoot; there are a lot of fine nuances to it. Here are a few tips that will set you on your way.

  • Angle of the photo – If you are bang in the middle of a forest or standing on a meandering path that runs through the trees, crouch down with the lens pointing up. You will be able to capture the majestic look of tall trees and the extent of foliage. Again if you are in the midst of a mountain range and looking down a valley, shooting from a high point and zooming in on thick green cover makes for a dramatic frame.
  • Focal length – to capture the grandeur of the forest always opt for a wide-angle focal length of 28mm or more. Anything less than that will give a flat dull look and you have to take in an object like a rock or a single tree in the foreground for effect. Again always take a forest shot in the landscape format only.
  • Action photos – This might sound bizarre as a forest is a collection of inanimate trees and plants. But have you ever seen a large wooded area being cleared for new construction projects? Shots after a few trees have been cut down and before tree stump removal can bring out the stark essence in typical “save the environment” campaigns and ad blitzkriegs.

A fine mix of colour, composition, framing and optimum lighting all go to produce excellent forest pictures. The need of the hour is an artist’s outlook and an eye for detail.