Rainforest Photography: Tips and Techniques

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For the outdoor photographer, shooting in the dense woods can be a challenge, especially when it comes to rainforest photography. In this series of videos, outdoor photographer, Doug Gardner, takes you to Washington’s Olympic National Park for tips and techniques on rainforest photography.

Doug says, “When you first encounter a photo opportunity, go ahead and capture the image, but also walk around to the other side.” Why? Because the other side could make a better photograph. The light angles and compositional elements may be different, sparking your imagination with a new visual idea.

Doug sets up his tripod in front of a stand of huge maple trees. He is looking to capture the texture of the moss, lichen, and bark. He focuses one-third into the frame to hold focus from front to back. He is careful to include a foreground element, in this case, a fern growth below the towering trees. The final composition is a rich assortment of rainforest growth.

Nature photographer, Aaron Baggenstos, Doug’s hiking mate, suggests another rainforest photography idea, shooting in HDR, High Dynamic Range. The best HDR shots work in a composition with a wide range between light and shadow. To cover the total lighting range, Aaron brackets five images, with exposures that are point-seven stops in between each. He recommends manual focus because auto-focus might change the focal point from image to image. In post production, he will combine the five images into a single photograph.

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MORE IN THIS COURSE:

Capturing Olympic National Park Rainforest – Course Preview
Shooting in Low Light: How to Photograph a Rainforest
Shooting in Contrasting Light
Rainforest Photography: Tips and Techniques
Photographing a Coastline