How To Photograph Forests - The Ultimate Guide

21 Apr 202414:35

TLDRIn this engaging video, the host shares expert tips on capturing stunning forest photography. He emphasizes the importance of finding trees with unique character and suggests looking for twisted branches, creeping roots, and even tree faces. The host recommends shooting with a slope or hill behind the tree to create a dramatic background and advises using reflections to double the color in the frame. He also encourages experimenting with different aspect ratios and crops to enhance composition. The video offers practical advice on using framing techniques and incorporating pathways to add depth and interest to the shot. Finally, the host highlights the dramatic effect of fog or long-exposure rain to separate trees from the background, resulting in captivating images.


  • 🌲 Look for trees with character, such as twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, or interesting shapes to engage the audience.
  • 📸 Mentally catalog or note down the locations of interesting trees to return when conditions are right for photography.
  • 🏞️ Shoot with a slope or hill behind the tree to create a dark background that makes the tree stand out against the sky.
  • 🌌 On a clear night, fill the sky with stars or the Milky Way to enhance a lone tree's visual impact.
  • 🔍 Find reflections in water to double the amount of color in the frame and create a more interesting composition.
  • 📐 Experiment with different aspect ratios and crops to remove unwanted gaps in the sky and improve the composition.
  • 🌳 Offset a single tree to one side of the frame rather than centering it for a more dynamic composition.
  • 🍂 In autumn, focus on color over form, as the changing leaves can transform a scene into a colorful spectacle.
  • 🖼️ Use framing techniques, such as partial or full frames, to enhance the visual interest of a tree within a forest scene.
  • 🛤️ Incorporate pathways or trails in your composition to lead the viewer's eye through the forest.
  • 🌫️ On foggy days, take advantage of the atmospheric conditions to create stunning, ethereal images of the forest.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of the video?

    -The main topic of the video is providing an Ultimate Guide to Forest photography, specifically focusing on how to photograph trees effectively.

  • What is the author's new book called?

    -The author's new book is called 'Stories Within Stories'.

  • Why does the author suggest finding a tree with character?

    -The author suggests finding a tree with character because it has interesting shapes and forms that can engage the audience more than a simple, straight tree.

  • What are some features that make a tree interesting for photography?

    -Interesting tree features for photography include twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, burs, faces, and color.

  • What is the author's tip for dealing with a blue sky day?

    -The author suggests filling the sky with stars or the Milky Way to create an interesting backdrop if there's a blue sky day.

  • How can reflections enhance a tree photography composition?

    -Reflections can double the amount of color in the frame and provide a mirror image of the tree, making the composition more visually appealing.

  • What compositional tip does the author give for photographing a single tree?

    -The author advises to offset the tree to one side of the frame rather than centering it, especially if the backdrop has other interesting features.

  • Why is photographing in Autumn beneficial for trees that lack character?

    -In Autumn, the colors of the leaves can transform a scene of straight, characterless trees into a vibrant and colorful composition.

  • What is the author's advice on using framing in tree photography?

    -The author suggests using framing, such as another tree in the foreground or a full circle frame, to make the shot more interesting and to focus on the already interesting tree.

  • How can pathways or trails be used effectively in forest photography?

    -Pathways or trails can be featured in a shot to lead the viewer's eye on a journey through the forest, making the composition more engaging.

  • What is the author's final tip for capturing great forest shots?

    -The author's final tip is to take advantage of foggy days or, if not possible, use long exposure during a heavy rainy day to create a similar effect that can separate the trees from the background.

  • What does the author do when he encounters an unexpected interruption during the tutorial?

    -The author handles the interruption by making friends with the person who interrupted, and they agree to let the author return to the property if there's a foggy day for better photography conditions.



📸 Ultimate Guide to Forest Photography

In this video, the host takes viewers on a tour of their property to share tips on capturing stunning tree and forest photographs. They emphasize the importance of finding trees with character, such as twisted branches or creeping roots, and suggest cataloging these finds for future reference. The host also discusses the benefits of shooting with a sloped background to make the tree stand out against a darker backdrop, as opposed to a bright sky. Additionally, they touch on the value of reflections, experimenting with aspect ratios, and off-center compositions to create more engaging shots. The video also includes a humorous interaction with a neighbor, highlighting the importance of respecting private property while seeking the perfect shot.


🌌 Enhancing Tree Photos with Nature's Elements

The host provides further advice on photographing trees, focusing on techniques to enhance the visual appeal of the shots. They suggest taking advantage of natural elements like slopes to create a contrasting background and utilizing reflections to double the color impact in the frame. The video also covers the use of different aspect ratios and cropping to improve composition, as well as positioning the tree off-center for a more dynamic look. The host recommends exploring the subject from all angles to find the best shot and using framing techniques with other trees or elements in the foreground. They also discuss the impact of seasonal changes, such as autumn, on the color and character of trees, and the use of pathways in compositions to lead the viewer's eye through the scene. The segment concludes with a tip on using fog or long-exposure rain shots to create a mystical atmosphere.


🌲 Foggy Forests and Community Connections

In the final part of the video, the host shares their last piece of advice on forest photography: capturing shots on foggy days for a dramatic effect. They recount a friendly interaction with a neighbor, which led to an invitation for a 'hammock time' and a promise to return for shooting if foggy conditions arise. The host also mentions the alternative of using long exposure during rainy days to simulate the effect of fog. The video concludes with a look at some of the images captured during the shoot, a thank you to the viewers, and a reminder to engage with the content by liking, subscribing, and ringing the notification bell. The host signs off with a playful exchange of names, leaving viewers with a sense of community and camaraderie.



💡Forest Photography

Forest photography refers to the art of capturing images of trees, landscapes, and the natural environment within a forest. In the video, the host discusses various techniques for photographing forests, emphasizing the importance of finding trees with character and using different compositional elements to create engaging images. It is central to the video's theme as it is the primary subject of the tutorial.

💡Character in Trees

Character in trees refers to unique and interesting features that make a tree stand out, such as twisted branches, creeping roots, or even shapes that resemble faces. The host suggests looking for trees with character to engage the audience more effectively. This concept is integral to the video's message as it helps photographers find subjects that can create compelling forest images.


Composition in photography is the arrangement of visual elements within a frame to create a pleasing or meaningful image. The video provides tips on how to compose forest scenes, such as offsetting the main tree to one side of the frame and using pathways to guide the viewer's eye. Composition is a key concept in the video as it directly impacts the aesthetic quality of the photographs.


Reflections in photography can add depth and interest to an image by showing the mirror image of the subject on a surface, such as water. The host mentions finding reflections to double the amount of color in the frame, particularly useful when photographing colorful trees. This technique is highlighted as a way to enhance the visual appeal of forest photography.

💡Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio in photography is the proportional relationship between the width and the height of an image. The host talks about experimenting with different aspect ratios to improve the composition of forest scenes. The aspect ratio is significant in the video as it influences how the scene is cropped and how much of the sky is included in the frame.


Framing in photography involves using an element in the foreground to surround and highlight the main subject. The host discusses using partial frames or other trees to frame a distant tree, which can make the image more interesting. Framing is a technique emphasized in the video as it adds depth and draws attention to the subject.

💡Pathways and Trails

Pathways and trails in forest photography are used to lead the viewer's eye through the image, creating a sense of journey and exploration. The host suggests featuring a trail in the composition to make the image more engaging. This concept is important in the video as it provides a way to add a dynamic element to forest scenes.

💡Autumn Colors

Autumn colors refer to the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow that trees display in the fall season. The video mentions that even boring trees can become visually appealing when their leaves change color in autumn. This seasonal change is discussed as a way to transform a forest scene into a colorful composition.

💡Long Exposure

Long exposure is a photography technique where the shutter of the camera is open for an extended period, allowing more light to enter and creating effects such as blurred movement. The host mentions using long exposure in rainy conditions to mimic the look of fog, which can help separate trees from the background. This technique is presented as a creative solution for challenging weather conditions.


Fog in photography can create a mystical and ethereal atmosphere, enhancing the mood of a forest scene. The host talks about the potential for 'killer shots' when photographing forests with a few trees on a foggy day. Fog is depicted as a desirable natural element that can significantly improve the quality of forest photographs.

💡Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is an astronomical event where the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow that obscures the sun. The host briefly mentions shooting a solar eclipse, indicating an interest in capturing rare and dramatic natural phenomena. This keyword is less central to the video's main theme but represents the host's broader interest in nature photography.


The Ultimate Guide to Forest photography provides tips to improve your skills in capturing trees and forests.

Author thanks pre-order customers of his new book 'Stories within Stories' and shares the process of receiving the printed books.

Discovering interesting trees on your property can be a great alternative to traveling long distances for photography.

Look for trees with character, such as twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, or even faces in the bark, to engage your audience.

Mentally catalog interesting trees you find, noting their locations for future visits when conditions are right.

Shooting up a slope can help the tree stand out against a darker background, rather than a bright sky.

On a blue sky day, consider filling the sky with stars or the Milky Way for a unique nighttime forest shot.

Finding reflections, especially in colorful trees, can double the color impact in your photography frame.

Experiment with different aspect ratios and crops to improve the composition and remove unwanted gaps in the sky.

Offset the main tree to one side of the frame for a less obvious and more interesting composition.

Autumn transforms ordinary trees into colorful subjects, shifting the focus from form to color in your composition.

Using framing techniques, such as partial frames or full circles, can enhance the visual interest of your tree photography.

Incorporating pathways or trails in your shot can lead the viewer on a visual journey through the forest.

Fog or heavy rain can create a unique atmosphere in forest photography, enhancing the separation of trees from the background.

Long exposure during rainy days can mimic the effect of fog, adding depth and interest to your forest scenes.

The video concludes with an invitation to return for a foggy day shoot, emphasizing the value of atmospheric conditions in photography.

The presenter shares a personal anecdote about living in a tiny house, adding a human touch to the tutorial.