A forest is an area with a high density of trees. Forests can be found in all regions capable of sustaining tree growth, at altitudes up to the tree-line, except where rainfall is too low, or natural fire frequency too high. Forests are essential to life on earth. They generate oxygen, store carbon, play host to a vast variety of wildlife and provide us with raw materials.
In addition they offer us beautiful havens of rest & recreation. Each season casts its own special spell from the freshness of spring to the fullness of summer from autumn’s kaleidoscope of colours and full circle to winter’s frosty fingers.
The nature of the forest’s surroundings presents special problems to the photographer. Below are some ways to cope with its demands:
Use a tripod: light levels are likely to be lower in a forest, so a steady tripod and automatic shutter release are good investments.
As with all photography, use your eyes effectively in framing the composition. Forests can look a muddle in photos, but if you take a few steps in one direction or another, you may find things become clearer. You need to identify a focal point for your picture. If nothing stands out, you could consider putting a person into the landscape; this will also have the useful effect of showing the scale of tree trunks and distances. But the focal point should not just be random – it should be a point of interest that you want to draw attention to.
Using a telephoto lens will give the illusion that the trees are closer together than they are. Depth of field is crucial in any nature photography: a wide aperture gives a shallow depth of field, and a small aperture means lots of depth to the focus. Once you know this you can make the main subject stand out from its background, and have the background nice and soft, or choose to show the subject in its context by keeping the background in focus too.