David Johnston

Two Most Common Mistakes with Forest Photography

David Johnston
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Duration:   7  mins

In your forest photography adventures, you probably do a lot of hiking through woods and may often find it difficult to capture a superb scene among the trees. The natural lighting can be erratic. In this video lesson Outdoor Photography Guide’s David Johnston takes you through the mistakes many photographers make when trying to shoot forest photography.

David claims that forest photography is the most difficult of any of the genres of outdoor photography. The challenge is that you are trying to make order out of chaos through woods, trees, branches, leaves, and sporadic lighting. The goal in forest photography is to simplify the composition.

There are two challenges that can lead to two common mistakes. The first is erratic lighting. With all the distractions a forest provides, the trick is to simplify your images. David recommends a telephoto lens to eliminate distractions among the visual chaos. For instance, consider the fall colors of the leaves. In order to increase the attraction for your viewers, simply zoom in on the leaf colors only.

In forest photography, a second mistake is not having a cohesive subject. Trees tend to converge, which creates a muddled scene. David suggests eliminating intersecting trees and lines in the background. You need to move around a scene until you find an angle that eliminates intersecting parts. In other words, you are looking for space between the trees to create a photograph of trees living in their own space. Often, it is also a good idea to eliminate the ground cover. In forest photography, you are looking to create a cohesive image. This takes time, but it is well worth it.

When shooting forest photography, the overall goal is to increase attraction and decrease distraction. In this video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s pro David Johnston shows you how to do just that.

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