Forest Photography Techniques For Beginners

Forest photography is one of the most beautiful forms of photography.

When you capture the light of the sun through the trees just right and the autumn colors are in full swing, it can really feel like you are taking pictures of a scene right out of a fairytale.

Forest Photography Techniques for Beginners

When you are new to photography, getting those fairytale shots can seem like a bit of a challenge.

It can be incredibly frustrating trying to capture the perfect forest image when you have no techniques or tricks to fall back on.

But worry not! We are here to help! With the right tips and tricks under your belt, you can really transform your forest photos into something incredibly beautiful.

We have put together a list of some fantastic forest photography techniques that are perfect for beginners(see also: Galaxy Photography Techniques For Beginners). So read on to find out a bit more about them, and use them in your photos going forward.

1. Low-Angle Shots Looking Up At The Treetops

This is a fantastic way to take photos in the forest and low-angle shots really show just how tall and majestic the trees are.

Using a low angle also places the viewer of the photo in the forest, so it becomes an incredibly immersive experience that the viewer really feels like they are a part of.

You will need to experiment with these shots a bit before you get the right ones, but that’s the beauty of forest photography!

All of the extra effort and trial and error will be worth it to get the fantastic low-angle shots that you are looking for.

2. Black And White Forest Photography

Another great way to capture the mystic feel of the forest is to use black-and-white photography.

Most people love to take pictures of the forest in full color and it’s not hard to see why. The full color feels more immersive and natural, and it allows the viewer to feel more like they are actually there.

But black and white photography shows the forest in a completely different light. It gives them an air of mystery and makes them look classy and elegant. It makes the viewer feel something a little different from the usual forest shots.

If you want to go more alluring and unique in your forest shots, black-and-white photography is going to really add a unique flair to your forest (see also: The Best Locations For Forest Photography)shots and the composition becomes incredibly compelling.

Next time you go to the forest to take some shots, give black-and-white a try and see how much it transforms your shots.

3. Experiment With Different Elements Of The Forest

When you are in the forest taking photos, it can be overwhelming working out what to use as your focal point, and this is why most forest photographers have lots of pictures of just, well, the forest. They are pretty shots, but they aren’t too compelling.

The best way to get really compelling shots is to experiment with the different elements of the forest to really get your shots to the next level.

Find some branches with interesting patterns or mushrooms (see also: How To Photograph Mushrooms?)growing in moss and use them as your focal point.

You will be surprised by how simple changing the focal point and experimenting with different elements in the forest can really transform your forest photography.

You really have to experiment with perspective when you are doing this, and it will take some trial and error, but when you do get the shots you are looking for, you will definitely use this trick a lot more in future photos and photoshoots.

4. Capture The Details Of The Forest

Another big issue photographers have with capturing the forest is that there is just so much going on, and it can be really easy to get lost in the forest and it will show in your photos.

Similar to experimenting with different elements, try focusing more on the details of the forest rather than trying to get all of the trees and background into one shot.

Just focusing on one specific part of the forest can create some really compelling and beautiful shots and it still tells the story of the forest without making the shot cluttered.

The details will still translate to the viewer and they will know that the photo was taken in the forest. Sometimes, the smaller details can capture the forest a lot better than just wide shots of the whole thing.

5. Use Overcast Weather To Your Advantage

Oftentimes, beginner forest photographers will avoid trying to capture overcast weather in their shots, but this is definitely something that you shouldn’t do.

Overcast weather can add a lot of mood to your shots and it can help tell a different story and show a fresher perspective of the forest you are shooting.

Overcast weather can actually soften the harsh light of the clouds and sun on a bright, sunny day.

While you do want good lighting for your shots, if it’s too bright it can make your shots too harsh and what you are trying to capture doesn’t always work in those conditions.

Overcast weather can help you get some beautiful shots that you wouldn’t be able to get on brighter, sunny days, so try experimenting with it the next time you are presented with the opportunity.

6. Golden Hour

Golden hour is a prime time for photographers to take any kind of shot, and in the forest, it is absolutely perfect.

Golden Hour offers you the chance to use low-angle light that is incredibly bright and vibrant on the top of the shot, but the forest floor will be muted and darker, offering you a chance to get some fantastic natural contrast in your shots.

You can really use Golden Hour to get some incredible shots that look completely natural because they are completely natural.

The sunlight is almost sunset but not quite, so you still have the illusion of daytime to play with.

What makes it better is that you won’t have to do as much editing in post-production and if you aren’t a big fan of over-edited shots, then you definitely need to start using Golden Hour to your advantage!

7. Silhouette Of The Forest

Night photography, especially in the forest, can be quite intimidating to beginner photographers.

If you are new to photography, you may not have even started experimenting with night photography yet, but there are some easier ways to do it, and one of them is by using the silhouette of the forest.

This works best when the moon is full, or you have a great light source in front of your subject, and for the most part, you don’t have to mess around with your camera settings.

The very best time to utilize the night, whether you are experienced or a complete beginner, is before dawn or after dusk.

You can get some incredible silhouette shots of the forest when you use this tip and with a little bit of editing (and we mean tiny tweaks) you can make these shots look incredibly crisp and professional!

8. Stars And Night Sky Through The Trees

Everyone loves astrophotography, and you don’t have to be a seasoned photographer to get your own shots of the stars and the night sky!

You may need to learn a little bit about astrophotography and night photography for this trick, but if you live in an area that is full of dark skies, you will be surprised by how much easier it is to capture the stars and the night sky on your camera.

The tops of the trees give the shot a bit more depth as well and it’s almost impossible to mess up taking a good night sky shot when you practice.

The inclusion of the trees also helps you find the focal point on the camera a lot easier, and even if you are a beginner, learning the very basics of astrophotography and night photography is not as hard as you might originally think!

9. Aerial Photography

If you have access to a drone or a better vantage point, this is another great way to play around with perspective photography in the forest.

Getting the top of trees that stretch out as far as the eye can see in the frame makes for some excellent pictures that will really make your viewers feel something when they see them.

The best advice that we can give you is that if you do try aerial photography with a drone, make sure to do it on a clear day when you can capture the detail of the forest.


Each of these tips, tricks, and techniques will elevate your forest and photography, and even if you have just started out with photography, you will be really surprised at the results you end up getting.

When you next take a trip to the forest to get some pictures, give some of these techniques and tricks a try and see which ones work the best for you and your photography!

Laura McNeill
Scroll to Top