Tips for Photographing Life in the Forest

Forests always have something mysterious, disconcerting or magical. Because when we get to them it seems that we see them widely, that they are shown at first sight, but in reality they hide a busy and secret life under their leafy trees and their humid corners, with their lights and shadows and their hundreds of different forms of life. look at the angle you look at. From the largest tree to the smallest insect, they are all part of the natural magic of any forest. And although it is impossible not to photograph life in a forest, since everything is life there, the truth is that it is not always easy to find it or know what to do with it. That’s why I hope these tips help you ๐Ÿ˜‰ . And if you want to delve into the landscape Photography, this is our most complete guide, with tips, tricks and lots of inspiration.

1. Lines

A good way to “warm up engines” when arriving at a forest, is from more to less. That is, start with general plans (the lines of the trunks, the lights and shadows that they project, etc.) and go into it little by little and in the details that it offers us. Winding or straight paths, leaks, or low-angle viewpoints to obtain images of the treetops, are some ideas that you can evaluate.

2. Find the differences

Let’s say that you have already entered the forest a little, that you already have your general plans, and that now you are ready to look for images within it. Search elements that contrast among them, for example a fallen tree (horizontal) in opposition to the vertical trunks of the rest of the forest, or a rounded ladybug on the stems of a wheat fieldโ€ฆ Everything that is different in the midst of the similarity, calls our attention, and may be a candidate for being a good image.

3. Macro photography

Macro photography is the culmination of the search for detail, and the forest is a great opportunity to practice with it, since there are thousands of candidates waiting to be discovered by your lens: flowers, leaves, small insects, etc., can be a great photo motif.

4. Take a team suitable for your purposes

It is not the same to go out into nature to hunt for bird photography, than for 1cm insects. so obviously the team should not be the same. Depending on the photographs you want to take, you will need one type of lens or another, the tripod or certain filters. Think about it before you leave so you don’t miss it hopelessly in the middle of the forest.

5. Take care of the composition

It’s a classic, I know. But do not forget to take care of the composition of your images. Forests are very formal, as is nature in general. The straight or twisted lines, the snails with their spirals, the nerves of a leaf, the trunks, the roots… Think about how you place them and why, and what is the best way to give prominence to your center of interest through composition.

6. Color photography

Color is the most obvious way to portray nature because it is what we perceive naturally when we observe it. However, you should pay special attention to it, because it can help you to transmit different sensations, to achieve an image with little or much contrast, happy, mysterious, or โ€œpastedโ€. Remember that color is one more element of the composition. For this reason, I recommend that you refresh concepts such as tone, saturation, brightness, complementary, warm, cold or harmonic colors, before going deep into the forest ๐Ÿ˜‰

7. Black and white photography

Although the variety of colors and shades in nature often makes color the most obvious option, it is by no means the only option. natural forms, chiaroscurothe contrasts, the textures of the details (logs, moss, stone, petals, etc.) are great allies for wonderful images of forest life in monochrome.

8. Discretion above all

If what you want is to photograph something more than trees and flowers, you must be silent, stealthy and respectful of everything around you. Walk calmly, in silence and trying not to disturb what surrounds you. This is the only way to increase the chances of observing the wonderful life that the forests hide.

9. Observe everything and let yourself be surprised

The best images are usually the ones that escape the naked eye. So arm yourself with patience, walk calmly and look around you, letting yourself be surprised by the little ones details, walks with the gaze of an attentive child who is likely to be surprised by “anything” (a red fruit on a mossy green background, an ant carrying a leaf of impossible shapes…); those will surely be the best images ๐Ÿ˜‰

10. Vary the point of view

When you’re short of inspiration, remember to vary your point of view, look up to the treetops, or down to your feet, and even lower. Try to find a high place, stretch out on the ground, or get on the same level as what you are photographing. The new points of view will help you create new perspectives in your image search.

eleven. work the depth

You can create depth through different planes in the same image, through atmospheric phenomena like the mist, or the depth of field (or area in focus) that you will control through the aperture of your lens.

12. Vertically too

In the forest you will find many vertical shapes that will go better with a vertical format. Remember that this format allows you to better “isolate” the center of interest from the background, it is original, and it conveys a greater sense of depth in the images.

13. Don’t forget sunrises and sunsets

The golden hour also colors everything with warmth and incredible tones in the forest, do not miss them. And if it is autumn and on top of that it enhances the orange tones of the deciduous leavesโ€ฆ How wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚

14. Don’t settle for once, repeat

Do several exits if you want to get good images. Luck doesn’t always smile at us, not always the various forms of life that inhabit it want to be seen at the precise moment you would like. The light is not always the best, or you are not always inspired. For all this, and because going out to the forest and being surrounded by nature is always pleasant beyond being photogenic, it is best not to settle for just one time, but to practice with several escapes to the forest. As you get to know them, you will pick up practice, photographic eye and intuition to know in advance what you are looking for, what you want, and what will be likely to be a great image.

How about? Do you dare to make a magnificent excursion in search of surprising natural motifs deep in the forest? I hope so, and that you remember some of these tips when you’re amazed by so much beauty ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if you share it with someone you think might be of interest, I’ll appreciate it (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter). Thank you very much and until next time ๐Ÿ™‚