Go Green – Photographing Trees
Published: March 01 2014
Shooting trees has been one of the most favored topics of interest for photographers over the ages. Trees add gravitas and depth to myriad photo shoots, whether it is infusing rich texture to landscape portraits, enhancing the background of a fashion shoot, or beautifying nature photography. In fact nature photographers love capturing trees be it zooming in rather close or moving in within proximity of the subject themselves, because of several rare species of insects and tiny animals that live in barks, branches, leaves, and roots. If you are a novice in the world of tree photography, here are few useful tips that should assist and inspire you along the way.
Include The Foreground
Head into the center of the forest. Initially what you need to do is observe the region along the forest’s periphery and select a good shooting spot from where you could take a few pictures that exhibit ample foreground significance. Start by attempting to capture a single tree at a time and aim to place this solitary piece of flora towards the left or right of the third frame. Besides employing a field in your foreground – a method which makes all the more sense during winter when the snow is falling in abundance – also attempt to bring a lake or huge water pool into the foreground, as it could bring about a whole other dimension to your photos with a large section of the forest reflecting from the water.
Photo credits - The saint tree - Gilad Benari
Take a Look at the Roots
Stay on the lookout for specific patterns formed by roots, particularly the ones from beech trees which are usually unearthed by soil displacement caused by weather changes. You could capture these patterns in a more idiosyncratic manner by utilizing a wide-angle lens that is sure to add a wonderful curve to the background. If a tree is present besides the canopy, you could fill the frame with all the contorted and overlying patterns formed by the roots. There’s a good chance that you could also come upon bustling insect life and activity among these roots, which could provide you with a special opportunity to include them in your pictures along with the tree life.
Get in Among the Trees
A long lens could show the stumps of trees in a manner that they were piled atop one another. Employing a telephoto lens to make the trees appear more compact could give them some remarkable patterns. The best seasons to capture these effects are during dull, damp days when soft light is available and during mist-filled morning towards the later part of the year. Especially when the wooded region is extremely dense, the above methods produce spectacular results.
Take a Look at the Leaves
Try capturing the trunk first, and then maneuver your camera towards the branches and finally photograph the leaves. To shoot the leaves, you could apply the same tricks that were discussed for shooting the roots. Once again you could zoom in or move in really close to the leaves yourself, and form patterns with the veins, after which you can take a couple of steps back and capture the whole set of leaves. Sycamore trees with their maple leaves present the most conducive shooting possibilities with their five-tip patterns.The best position for capturing the leaves in all their beauty, is with the sun behind them, so that they radiate a mesmerizing luminance. While doing so, ensure that your camera is shielded from the sunlight by a thick branch or by your own hand or a lens hood, in order to prevent any signs of flare. Such kind of backlit leaves appear even more gorgeous in autumn, because of the yellow and orange hues of the leaves.
Photo credits - Yein
Look for a Single Tree
Always remember that you can utilize trees as interest points while capturing sprawling landscapes or humongous field photos. Trees suffice to break up lengthy, flat horizons, thus infusing significance and providing scale to a photograph. All you need to keep in mind is that the area around the tree should be unsoiled and bare. If you wish to capture vibrant shots, verdant and lush fields of bright flowers and golden colored crops should be among the prime ingredients of your pictures. On the other hand, if your desire is to present a melancholic, bleak, and segregated shot, then capturing a solitary tree before a stormy setting would seem like the right way of achieving this.
For anybody who harbors a desire of becoming an accomplished nature photographer, trees would always form a vital part of your repertoire of pictures. Along with improving your dexterity and technical know-how about using cameras and their accessories, following the above useful tips would also go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
Featured Image Photo Credits - Koert