Friday, July 1, 2016

How to Photograph Trees.

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.”
                                                                                  Alice Walker

Many photographers include trees in their photos as a part of the whole scene. Not so often we photograph trees for their own sake. You might be surprised to discover that each tree is as unique as every person.
 You might want to move from a documentary photograph of a tree to a creative one.

Taking a good photo of trees could sometimes be a challenge, but with a little help you’ll start to see every tree as a great photo opportunity.

You need to answer several questions before you begin shooting.

1). What is your main subject?
Is it the lonely tree or a small group of trees, or a forest?
2). What is the most interesting part of the subject?
Is it the vivid colors of the leaves, or the play of shadows and light, or the texture of the bark?
3). Do you prefer to receive a large composition or to focus on details?
4). What mood do you prefer – cheerful and bright or mysterious and gloomy?

Answering these questions will help you to decide what type of photography you need.

4 tips for tree photography.

1. Photograph a lone tree.

An empty landscape with a lone tree can give a feeling of calmness or a feeling of loneliness. It depends upon what mood do you prefer, is the light in your image cheerful or dramatic.
Take a wide shot to include the entire tree in your image.
Use a small aperture (like f/11 or f/16) if you want to include the entire tree in the frame. Using a wide aperture (like f/4) will blur the background and emphasize the tree itself as your main subject.

2. Take the detail shot.

Even small pieces of trees, such as their branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, could be very interesting.

 Try using a long lens to zoom in on the detail of the tree – your central focal point.
Fill the frame with detail to create an abstract image of a magic world that most people never look at.
 If you want to be sure that camera movement doesn’t throw the focus off once its set, use a tripod.

3. Change the perspective.

To portray the awe-inspiring feeling of the height of the trees take a low point of view and looking upwards toward the top of the tree.

4. Play with composition.

Peer through the branches of one tree while photographing another. Use the leaves or branches in the foreground to frame your shot.
Separate the tree from its background, either by using a shallow depth of field or by your perspective.


The same tree will give you a new photo opportunity with each new season, because trees change so much throughout the year. That’s why you’ll never get tired of photographing trees.

Aside from the evergreen trees, most trees will eventually lose all their leaves and become bare during winter.
Because of the strong forms and relatively little color in many winter scenes, these types of photos often look really good in black and white.
Making your photo in black and white further emphasizes the contrast, shape and form of the image.
In snowy weather the trees will stand out really wonderful against the white foreground and background.

Spring is the season of hope and new life. Focus on the details of the first buds, leaves and flowers.  Use a shallow depth of field for creating compositions that feel gentle and full of joy.
The colors of spring are very soft, with a pastel-like palette.

The lack of contrast happens when everything is green.
Try to include differing shades of green that are found in different species of trees.  Use other background elements such as mountains or the sky.
The best contrast is to be found in the flowers and fruits.

 This is my favorite tree season.
The leaves will change in colors from their normal green to a wide array of oranges and yellows, browns and reds, depending on the type of tree. 
This is the most popular season to photograph trees, as the colors speak for themselves.
You can create an interesting abstract image, filling the frame with colors.
You can use color as just one element of your composition.

Create a series of tree photos from each season.
Find an interesting tree, and take a shot of it as soon as the season changes.
 You’ll have a set of photos of the tree’s transformation through the seasons.

Trees make excellent photography subjects at any time of year.
 Experiment and enjoy the beauty of nature!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned!
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