Social Links Search User Login Menu

Woodland Photography

Woodland Photography
TrueToad 4302

Woodland Photography

Forest for the Trees

Getting out with your equipment for some woodland photography can be very rewarding, in fact might just be one of the best activities you can do.  Hiking a few miles through a forest is not only healthy for your heart it also lowers your blood pressure leaving you rewarded with as sense of serenity and calmness.  Get your camera and head out.

Different Lines
The forest offers many opportunities for photographers, especially those who appreciates a nice woodland forest. The most challenging thing today is actually finding un-disturbed tree groves.  Once you get past that hurdle, photographic opportunities are bountiful. 

Tips & Tricks for photographing Woodlands and the forest interior:  I start with a simple philosophy - keep it simple and carry just "enough", this simply means I normally carry a wide angle and normal lens.  Something around 24mm and a 45 or 50mm and of course I never leave my three-legged friend behind - my tripod always goes out with me to ensure my images have a good chance of not being blurry, as the interior of the forest does restrict light. + you might just find a nice waterfall and wish to use a longer exposure to smooth out the water.

  • Finding compositions: Sounds simple. but in reality, it may be a bit more difficult to get the exact composition you are looking for.  When you come to the trail and find a good spot thinking this is it!  but then get frustrated due to the light is coming from the wrong side or a tree is simply blocking your perfect shot.  When I am faced with those situations I simply take my time, walk around the area and normally find a good composition.  Something with foreground, mid-ground and a distance framed just right to draw the viewer into the shot.
  • Fallen Commrade
     Dealing with Extremes:
    One of the most challenging things about woodland photography is the extreme differences between highlights and shadows.  So, unless I specifically need to include the treetops in my image I try to avoid the sky and compose a tighter image.  This reduces the dynamic range and your camera has a better chance of getting an image you can tweak in your post-processing workflow.  I use a Sekonic 858 light meter to acquire a good starting point, once you learn how to use the Sekonic 858 you can simply dial in the settings it shows and take the photo.I have an article on the 858 as well, link below.
  • May Ferns
    Composing your Shot:
    I don't have too much advice here as this aspect comes from experience and your perspective and the lens angle you are using.  General advice and you heard it before, try to include a foreground, midground, and distance, this help draw the viewer into your shot. Use nature lines, like the edge of a creek leading the viewer's eye to a point, or the angles of the trees. I enjoy the wide angle lenses but sometimes a normal lens angle works best as it forces you to concentrate on the main point/subject.
  • All Else Fails:  Sometimes things don't work out. but the shot can be used in other ways - I have had situations when I simply blew the exposure, but I processed it as a black and white and added the shot to my creative files. What I am trying to say, even when the light or situation may not render a perfect photo - you can use the opportunity to get a good image through alternate processing.
  • Drive-In
    White Balance:
    This is a challenge. Allowing your camera to decide the white balance when you are inside a forest lit by either overcast or sunlight can cause you lots of editing during post. The only thing I can say is to get your self an X-Rite Color Checker - this will save you many hours of guessing. Otherwise be prepared to manually determine the best White Balance for each session of shooting.  Sure, you can use Lightroom or Photoshop to autocorrect, but guess what? An x-rite color checker profile shot on location is rock solid and can be imported into Lightroom and used as the default.  Using it can be as simple as holding it out and taking a photo of the color checker in the environment you are shooting in.  Lightroom has built-in support for ColorChecker.
  • Get out and go shoot, sometimes getting started is the hardest part but once you are there - it is all worth it.

Rate article

Rate this article:

True Toad


Other posts by TrueToad

I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

Contact author


Photographer's Notes

Thanks for looking through the blog post and the Woodland photographs, best part is I had a wonderful time taking these.

  • Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E
  • Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED PC-E
Camera Body
  • Nikon D810


Collapse Expand Comments (0)

You are replaying to

Your comment was added, but it must be approved first.

Please enter your name
Please enter your email adressPlease enter valid email adress
Please enter a comment
Please solve Captcha.
Add Comment

Theme picker

Contact author


Nikon D850


Great Gear

Nikkor 400mm ED FL Lens

FujiFilm XT-3 On Sale

X-T3 26.1MP Mirrorless Camera with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens, Black - Bundle With 3X-T3 26.1MP Mirrorless Camera with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens, Black - Bundle With 3$1699BUY NOWAdorama

More Reviews Here

DJI Ronin SC Review

After buying my Nikon Z6 and discovered the very good video capabilities this mirrorless has I wanted to take advantage. After some research I decided to pick up the Ronin... Read more

DJI OSMO Pocket Review

There are a ton of videos and reviews of the DJI OSMO Pocket out there on the internet.  Many were published days after the OSMO Pocket initial release.  This... Read more

Nikon FTZ Hack

Did you move to a Nikon Mirrorless Camera and discovered some of your favorite lenses are no longer working?  Here is a hack that may at least bring some life back to... Read more

Nikon FTZ & Macro Lens Gap

As an avid Macro enthusiast I have enjoyed Macro Photography over the years.  Now that I have converted to the Nikon Z system I realize the FTZ adapter has limits and... Read more

Theme picker

Back To Top