How To Photograph Trees - The Ultimate Guide

21 Apr 202414:35

TLDRJoin us on a fascinating journey to mastering forest photography, focusing on capturing the unique beauty of trees. In this tutorial, we explore various techniques, including selecting trees with character, experimenting with aspect ratios, and finding optimal compositions by utilizing reflections and framing. We also cover the use of pathways to add depth to your shots and recommend shooting during foggy or rainy conditions to enhance atmospheric effects. Unexpected encounters and humorous interactions add a personal touch to this comprehensive guide on photographing trees.


  • πŸ“Έ **Find Trees with Character**: Look for trees with interesting shapes, twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, or even faces to engage your audience more.
  • 🌳 **Catalog Interesting Trees**: Mentally or physically note down the locations of trees that catch your eye for future reference when conditions are ideal.
  • πŸ“ˆ **Shoot Up Slope**: Position your camera to have a slope or hill behind the tree to create a darker background that makes the tree stand out.
  • 🌌 **Use the Night Sky**: If you have a tree set against an empty background, use the stars or the Milky Way at night to fill the background for a striking image.
  • πŸ” **Find Reflections**: Look for water or reflective surfaces to double the color and visual interest in your frame.
  • πŸ“ **Experiment with Aspect Ratios**: Try different framing and aspect ratios to avoid unwanted gaps in the sky and improve composition.
  • 🌲 **Offset the Tree**: Instead of centering the tree, try offsetting it to one side of the frame for a less obvious and more interesting composition.
  • πŸ‚ **Embrace Autumn Colors**: Autumn can transform a boring scene into a colorful spectacle, shifting the focus from form to color in your compositions.
  • πŸ–ΌοΈ **Use Framing Techniques**: Frame your tree with another tree or elements in the foreground to add depth and interest to the shot.
  • πŸ›€οΈ **Feature Pathways**: Including a trail or pathway in your composition can lead the viewer's eye through the image, adding an engaging element.
  • 🌫️ **Capture Foggy Scenes**: Fog can create dramatic and enchanting images, separating the trees from the background and adding a mystical quality to the scene.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of the video?

    -The main topic of the video is providing an Ultimate Guide to photographing trees and forests in landscape photography.

  • What does the author guarantee about the tips provided in the video?

    -The author guarantees that if viewers absorb the tips provided, they will become better at photographing trees.

  • What is the title of the author's new book mentioned in the video?

    -The title of the author's new book is 'Stories Within Stories'.

  • What is a good characteristic to look for in a tree when photographing?

    -A good characteristic to look for in a tree when photographing is an interesting shape or form, such as twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, burs, or even faces in the bark.

  • What is a compositional tip the author gives for photographing a single tree?

    -The author suggests not to always take a central shot, but to offset the tree to one side of the frame to make the composition less obvious and more interesting.

  • What can be done if the sky is blue on a day of photography?

    -If the sky is blue, the author suggests filling the sky with stars or the Milky Way during the night to create an interesting backdrop for the tree.

  • Why is finding a reflection useful in tree photography?

    -Finding a reflection can double the amount of color in the frame and enhance the overall aesthetic of the photograph, especially if the tree has a nice shape.

  • What is the author's recommendation regarding aspect ratios and crops?

    -The author recommends experimenting with different aspect ratios and crops to remove unwanted gaps of sky at the top and bottom of the frame.

  • What is the significance of using pathways in forest photography?

    -Using pathways in forest photography can create a sense of journey and depth, making the composition more engaging for viewers.

  • What is the author's opinion on photographing trees during foggy conditions?

    -The author believes that photographing trees on a foggy day can result in absolutely killer shots due to the unique atmosphere and separation of the trees from the background.

  • What alternative can be used to create a similar effect as fog in photography?

    -If fog is not available, a long exposure during a heavy rainy day can make the rain look a lot like fog, helping to separate the trees from the background.

  • How does the author suggest using framing in tree photography?

    -The author suggests using framing by including another tree in the foreground or creating a full circle of a frame to enhance the interest and depth of the photograph.



πŸ“Έ Ultimate Guide to Forest Photography

The video begins with the host expressing gratitude for the pre-orders of his new book 'Stories within Stories', which he mentions will be shipped by the end of May. He then invites viewers to join him on a tour of his property to learn about photographing trees and forests. He emphasizes the importance of finding trees with character and interesting shapes, and suggests cataloging these finds for future reference. The host also shares a humorous interaction with a neighbor, Phil, who initially questions his presence on the property, but then gives permission to continue filming the tutorial.


🌳 Tips for Captivating Tree Photography

The host provides several tips for photographing trees effectively. He suggests shooting against a dark background to make the tree stand out, using reflections to double the color in the frame, and experimenting with different aspect ratios to improve composition. He also recommends offsetting the tree from the center of the frame for a more interesting shot and emphasizes the beauty of photographing trees in the autumn when they are colorful. The host discusses the use of framing with other trees or elements in the foreground and the engaging effect of including pathways in the composition. He also mentions the dramatic impact of foggy days on forest photography and how long exposure can mimic the effect of fog during rainy days.


⛺️ Hammock Time and Final Thoughts

The host is invited to relax in a hammock by his neighbor Phil, which leads to a discussion about the ideal conditions for forest photography, such as foggy days. He also mentions that long exposure photography can make rain appear like fog, enhancing the separation of trees from the background. The host negotiates a deal for firewood in exchange for helping with some chores, and thanks Phil for allowing them to film on his property. The video concludes with a tease of the images they will be viewing, a reminder to like, subscribe, and enable notifications for the channel, and a humorous exchange of names with Phil.



πŸ’‘Forest Photography

Forest photography refers to the art of capturing images of trees, landscapes, and wildlife within a forested environment. It is a specialized form of landscape photography that requires an understanding of natural light, composition, and the unique characteristics of forest scenes. In the video, the host discusses various techniques for photographing trees within a forest setting, emphasizing the importance of finding trees with character and using elements like reflections and pathways to enhance the composition.

πŸ’‘Character in Trees

In the context of the video, 'character in trees' refers to unique and visually appealing features that make a tree stand out, such as twisted branches, creeping roots, knots, and even shapes that resemble faces. These features are important for engaging the viewer and adding interest to a photograph. The host suggests looking for trees with such characteristics and using them as the central subject of the photograph.


A reflection, as mentioned in the video, is a mirror-like image formed by a surface, often water, that can add depth and a doubling effect to the color in a photograph. When photographing trees, finding a reflection can create a more dynamic and colorful image. The host illustrates this by showing how a colorful tree can become even more striking when its reflection is captured in the frame.

πŸ’‘Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio in photography is the proportional relationship between the width and the height of an image. The host recommends experimenting with different aspect ratios and crops to improve the composition of a photograph by removing unwanted gaps of sky or other elements. This can help to focus the viewer's attention on the main subject, such as a tree, and create a more balanced and visually appealing image.


Composition in photography involves arranging the visual elements within a frame to create a harmonious and engaging image. The host provides several compositional tips, such as offsetting the main subject (the tree) to one side of the frame instead of centering it, which can make the image less predictable and more interesting. Composition is key to creating a compelling forest photograph.

πŸ’‘Autumn Colors

Autumn colors refer to the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow that trees display during the fall season as their leaves change before falling. The host suggests that even trees that may appear plain or 'boring sticks' during other seasons can become the focus of a beautiful and colorful composition in autumn. This seasonal change provides a different kind of character to trees, making them suitable subjects for photography.


Framing in photography is the technique of using elements within the image to surround and highlight the main subject. The host discusses using partial or full frames, such as another tree or a natural opening, to create a visual border around the main tree. This technique can add depth and context to the photograph, making it more engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

πŸ’‘Pathways and Trails

Pathways and trails are natural or man-made routes through a forest that can serve as leading lines in a photograph, guiding the viewer's eye through the scene. The host emphasizes the importance of including pathways in the composition as they can add a sense of journey and depth, making the photograph more engaging. They can be positioned to one side or centrally within the frame to enhance the narrative of the image.


Fog is a natural phenomenon where tiny water droplets are suspended in the air, reducing visibility and creating a soft, ethereal atmosphere. The host mentions that photographing trees on a foggy day can produce 'killer shots' due to the way fog can enhance the mood and separate the subject from the background. Fog can add a layer of mystery and intrigue to forest photography.

πŸ’‘Long Exposure

Long exposure is a photography technique where the camera's shutter is open for an extended period, allowing more light to enter the sensor and creating effects that are not visible to the naked eye. The host suggests using long exposure during rainy days to create an effect that can resemble fog, helping to separate the trees from the background and add a unique visual element to the photograph.


A pre-order is a purchase made before the official release or availability of a product. In the video, the host thanks those who pre-ordered his new book 'Stories Within Stories' and mentions that it will be shipped out after the books are received at the end of May. This indicates an aspect of the video host's business model and engagement with his audience.


The video provides an Ultimate Guide to Forest photography focusing on capturing trees.

The presenter guarantees an improvement in tree photography skills by following the given tips.

A new book titled 'Stories Within Stories' is announced, with pre-orders available.

The presenter suggests walking around one's own property to find interesting trees for photography.

Trees with character, such as twisted branches or creeping roots, are more engaging subjects.

Mentally cataloging interesting trees can help photographers be ready to capture them when conditions are ideal.

Shooting up a slope can create a darker background that makes the tree stand out more.

On a blue sky day, the presenter recommends filling the sky with stars or the Milky Way for a more dramatic shot.

Finding reflections can double the color in a frame and enhance the beauty of a tree photograph.

Experimenting with different aspect ratios and crops can improve the composition of a tree photograph.

Offsetting the main tree to one side of the frame can make a photograph less obvious and more interesting.

Waiting for Autumn can transform a scene of straight trees into a colorful composition.

Using framing techniques, such as including another tree in the foreground, can enhance a photograph.

Incorporating pathways in a shot can lead the viewer on a journey through the forest.

Fog or heavy rain can add a dramatic effect to forest photography by separating trees from the background.

The presenter humorously interacts with a neighbor, Phil, during the tutorial.

The video concludes with a look at the final tree photography images captured.

The presenter encourages viewers to like, subscribe, and turn on notifications for more content.