TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING LIFE IN THE FOREST

Forests always have something mysterious, disconcerting or magical. Because when we get to them it seems to us 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 life forms You look at the angle you look. From the largest tree to the smallest insect, all are 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 or know what to do with it. That’s why I hope these tips help you

1. LINES

A good way to “warm up engines” when arriving in a forest is more or less. That is, start with general plans (the lines of the trunks, the lights and shadows that they project, etc.) and gradually go into it and the details that it holds. Winding or straight roads, leaks, or counter-chopped views to obtain images of treetops are some ideas you can value.

Lines and lights

2. LOOK FOR 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 items that contrast between them, for example a fallen tree (horizontal) in opposition to the vertical trunks of the rest of the forest, or a ladybird rounded on the stalks of a wheat field … Everything that is different in the middle of the similarity, attracts our attention, and can be a candidate to be 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 for your purpose: flowers, leaves, small insects, etc., can be a Great photographic motive.

The magic of macro photography

4. TAKE A SUITABLE EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR PURPOSES

It is not the same to go out in the wild on the 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 leaving 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 don’t 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 the composition.

Take care of the composition

6. COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

The Color is the most obvious way to portray nature because we perceive it naturally when we observe it . However, you should pay special attention, because it can help you to transmit different sensations, to get a little or very contrasted, cheerful, mysterious, or “pasted” image. Remember that color is another element of the composition. Therefore I recommend that you refresh concepts such as hue, saturation, brightness, complementary colors, warm, cold or harmonic, before going deep into the forest

 7. BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Although the variety of colors and tones of nature makes color the most obvious option, it is not the only option. The natural forms, the chiaroscuros , the contrasts, the textures of the details (trunks, moss, stone, petals, etc.) are great allies for wonderful images of the life of the forest in monochrome .

Don’t forget the magic of black and white 

8. DISCRETION FIRST

If what you want is to photograph more than trees and flowers, you must be silent, stealthy and respectful of everything around you. Walk calmly, silently and trying not to disturb what surrounds you. Only then will the chances of observing the wonderful life that forests hide be increased.

9. OBSERVE EVERYTHING AND BE SURPRISED

The best images are usually those that escape us with the naked eye. So arm yourself with patience, walk calmly and observe around you, letting yourself be surprised by the small details , walk with the gaze of an attentive child and likely to be surprised with “anything” (a red fruit on a moss green background, a ant carrying a leaf of impossible forms …); those will surely be the best images

Look around

10. VARY THE POINT OF VIEW

When you are uninspired, remember to vary your point of view, look up at the treetops, or down at your feet, and even below. Try to look for a high place, stretch on the ground, or catch up with what you are photographing. New views will help you create new perspectives in your image search.

11. WORK THE DEPTH

You can create depth through different planes in the same image, through atmospheric phenomena such as fog , or depth of field (or focused area) that you will control through the opening of your target.

12. VERTICAL TOO

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

Dare to compose also vertically 

13. DON’T FORGET SUNRISES AND SUNSETS

The golden hour also stains everything of warmth and incredible tones in the forest, do not miss them. And if it’s autumn and on top it enhances the orange tones of the deciduous leaves… What a wonder!

The magic of the light of the first and last hours of the day

14. DON’T SETTLE FOR ONCE, REPEAT

Make several exits if you want to get good images. Luck does not always smile at us, not always the diverse forms of life that inhabit it want to be seen at the precise moment you would want. The light is not always the best, or you are not always inspired. For all this, and because going out to the forest and surrounding yourself with nature is always pleasant beyond the photogenic, it is best not to settle for a single time, but to practice with several trips to the forest. As you know them, you will be taking practice, photographic eye and intuition to know in advance what you are looking for, what you want, and what will be capable of being a great image.

How about? Do you dare to take a magnificent excursion in search of amazing natural motifs deep in the forest? I hope so, and that you remember some of these tips when you are amazed by such beauty And if you share it with someone who you think might be of interest, I will thank you (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter). Thank you and see you next time

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