The breathtaking beauty of nature is insurmountable. The best way to capture its beauty is for you to immerse yourself in its entirety.
Capturing it through your camera’s lens is the next best thing that you can do to immortalize nature’s beauty.
However, with an abundance of picturesque scenes that you can capture, you may feel overwhelmed, especially if you are a beginner.
As a solid piece of advice, allow yourself to understand how the elements in the woods work so you can easily navigate your way and find good compositions.
Engaging in woodland landscape photography entails a lot of trial and error, imagination and visualization, and scouting for the perfect shot. This guide aims to help you with that.
What Is Woodland Landscaping Photography?
Woodland photography is basically about taking photographs of land that are covered with trees. Sometimes it is referred to as forest photography.
Woodland photography is not just about trees. It is also about seeing nature in its reality where animals and plants co-exist in harmony.
Several people who are fascinated with woodland photography primarily because the woodland is a special place.
Woodland photography is special because in what seems to be a chaotic and disorganized place, you can find beauty.
Being a woodland photographer challenges you in a good way. You become more familiar with your camera and how to maximize its use.
You are also more conscious of the changes in the weather and you become more resourceful.
How hard can it be to take photos of a bunch of trees? Well, it may seem easy but in reality, taking the excellent composition of the woodland can be a struggle.
As challenging as it may seem, woodland landscape photography is possible to do with a few tips and tricks to get started.
10 Tips on How to Capture Woodland Landscapes
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed and out of focus when taking woodland landscape photographs.
There are tips and tricks that you do to easily capture amazing woodland photographs. Here are some guides and tips on how to start:
1. Spend Time and Explore Your Location
As a photographer, it is important that you give enough time in studying your subject.
In this case, the woodland is your subject. Spend enough time in the woods and observe your surroundings as much as you can.
If possible, you may bring your mobile phone and try taking some shots which you can review when you get home. Immerse yourself in the sight and sounds of the woods.
Notice the different colors, shapes, and patterns you see around. The wood is alive and it reacts and changes differently throughout the day.
Come back with your camera and take the road less traveled. You may find something interesting and unexpected this time around. There are several parts of the woods that have yet to be explored.
You may find odd but intriguing foliages and tree formations. This is your chance to capture the wood’s uniqueness through your camera.
2. Take Photos During Sunrise or Sunset
Have you heard of the “golden hour”? The golden hour is the hour after sunrise as well as the hour before sunset.
Most landscape photographers would recommend that the golden hour is the best time to take as many pictures as you can.
It is during the golden hour when the sky and the woods blend well together.
It is during this time that the landscape looks ethereal and beautiful. You can capture gorgeous sunbeams peeping through the trees.
You can also capture amazing backlit images as well as images showing wonderful color contrasts.
3. Take Photos Regardless of the Weather
Aside from taking landscape pictures during the golden hour, you may also consider taking pictures during the other hours of the day and other weather conditions.
The other hours of the day can also give you another perspective of life in the equally magnificent woods.
You can try taking pictures during midday. The sun may shine the strongest during this time but when your location is full of trees the sun’s light diffuses in the canopy. The light coming from above will make the forest floor look like it’s dancing.
Whatever the weather is, it is still a good chance to take pictures. Different weather conditions pose different photographic effects that are beautiful to look at.
Whether it is raining,misty, or snowing, the woods will give you amazing compositions which your camera can capture.
4. Use Your Telephoto Lens
It is about time you take out your telephoto lens to the woodlands. A telephoto lens is a long-focus lens that allows you to capture an object from afar while giving it an enlarged look in your photograph.
A telephoto lens is a good choice if you want to focus on a particular subject and you want to make this element seem a lot closer.
This is a great lens to use for making lighting compositions that can easily fill up your frame.
5. Shoot with Your Wide-angle Lens
If you want to see more scenery in a single frame, then use a wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens is ideal to use for capturing landscapes.
You can try pointing your camera upward and capture the tree canopies. You will see the converging lines and it would give an illusion that the treetops are far away.
6. Use a Circular Polarizer in Your Lens
The woodland is full of vibrant colors. If you want the colors in your frame to stand out, you should attach a circular polarizer to your lens.
If you are shooting in autumn, all the colors will be emphasized in your frame. A circular polarizer also removes the reflection from water or glass material.
7. Take a Tripod with You
Going around the woodland with all your gear can be tiring. The camera’s weight may be strenuous on your hands.
A handy and sturdy tripod can be very helpful during these times. A tripod comes in handy when you need to adjust your camera’s settings.
It is advisable to use a tripod with a geared head. Using a tripod can help you fine-tune your composition, and ensure that the image you want to capture is within the frame.
With a tripod, you can take your time and even have a short break while choosing the appropriate camera settings for your next composition.
8. Try Abstract Photography
If you are feeling a bit artistic, you can try abstract photography.
Abstract photography is when the photographer uses the natural recurring elements to present a certain landscape instead of using the image of the landscape itself.
The woodland is filled with different textures, forms, and colors which you can use to create ambiguous images.
9. Appreciate Natural Formations
The woodland in itself is photogenic. You will see consistent patterns and formations. Nature itself will dictate which of its features will look good on your camera.
Nature will be generous to you if you would take more time to enjoy and appreciate its natural beauty.
Woodlands mainly consist of a series of lines. You can see trees lining up in nearly straight lines. You can even see the balance in the stack of rocks or boulders.
You can use these as your guide in making your composition. You can also make use of strong foreground elements such as grasslands and a bed of flowers.
10. Keep the Woodlands as It Is
You visited the woodlands as it is. You should leave it as it is as well.
You are merely a visitor of nature and you have to respect it by not leaving behind your trash. Be mindful and do not disturb the animals living in the woods.
Make sure that you watch your step so as not to break any branch or destroy any flower beds. You are a landscape photographer.
You must be an ethical and respectful visitor of nature. Be generous towards nature so it, in turn, can be generous towards you by giving you an abundance of amazing scenes to capture.
Falling in love with woodland landscape photography is not surprising. Aside from its beauty, you will definitely fall in love with the fresh breeze, the stillness of the surroundings, and the peace of mind it offers.
Highlighting your subject in woodland photography can be difficult because of the abundance of distracting elements.
If you are starting, don’t pressure yourself, for landscaping photography is a niche that needs constant exposure and practice.
Be patient and take some time to be with nature. Remember, it takes seeds years to grow into tall and large trees. It also took years for trees and plants to create woodland.
Don’t rush and just take your time. In the stillness of your mind, creative ideas and inspiration blossom.