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2021 Schedule - July Topics

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14 Dec 2020 10:30 #7561 by Bear
2021 Schedule - July Topics was created by Bear
Projected – ‘Forest’
An image that reflects the vast variety of patterns, shapes created by forests and trees. Abstract or as a forest landscape. Capture the lines, shapes, textures, colours and moods as the weather/ light transform the environment.


I hope you don’t mind me saying this and I am sure that some might want to disagree with me, but the Australian Bush (Forest) has a beauty and smells that are unique but I find a beautiful “untidiness” in its beauty, hence forest photography is a difficult genre of photography to get to grips with. The usual ‘rules’ of nature photography don’t seem to apply when under the thick canopy of the woods, and with so much going on it can be very tough to create a compelling image. Shadows, debris and lighting all combine to create a difficulty but at the same time when it comes together the images are compelling and beautiful.


The reason so many photographers continue to head into the forest to shoot is because it’s hugely rewarding when you finally get a shot. That is why lots of people love to display images of forests in their homes. It evokes a calming and soothing ambience.

There are shots to be had everywhere, but none of them are iconic viewpoints that have been capture a million times before. None of them are obvious, and very rarely are they recognisable.
That means it’s very possible to capture a unique image, and with the opportunities being so abundant it’s easy to visit the exact same area dozens of times and find something new.
This twisted tree and low hanging branch is a perfect example of finding order within the chaos, and is paramount to forest photography.

What are the best conditions for forest photography?
One of the biggest advantages of photographing forests is that there are plenty of different conditions that work perfectly to shoot in. Among others, here are the best forests weather conditions to head out in:
Overcast Skies – While the sight of an overcast day can feel like a disappointment to a lot of photographers, it can be the perfect time to head out into the forest for a shoot. A thick blanket of clouds, combined with a canopy of trees, can soften the location and allow you to notice subtle changes in light and luminosity.
Foggy and Sunny Weather – While it doesn’t happen all the time, it is possible to experience fog without any cloud coverage. The result can often light up the forest and help your surroundings feel a little more magical. With this weather, it’s easy for the light to peek through the fog and trees and produce vibrant rays. If you pair this weather with certain times during the day (such as the “golden hour”), you could end up with a shot that looks like you’ve photographed a fantasy-land. Some people might assume you used an effect to get this look, so don’t feel shy about correcting them.
Clear and Sunny Days – For some nature landscapes and forests, trying to shoot on a sunny day without cloud coverage can be almost impossible. However, that isn’t the case with forest photography. During the afternoon or right around noon, the sun is at its highest point in the forests sky, and it might make your surroundings feel flat or dull in comparison. There’s usually a lot of shadows, which can make your image feel “messy” or “unfocused” to most viewers. Getting the contrast you need with a light source is often hard at this time. A much better solution is to head out around sunrise in the forests when the sun is still rising, and the light in the forest is soft. If you can’t get up early, you’ll get the same effect around sunset as well.
Flat and Cloudy Without Fog – Similar to an overcast day, trying to photograph the forest when the conditions are cloudy and flat can be tricky. Since you won’t have much light to work with, it can be difficult to highlight your surroundings and find contrast. If you have to shoot in these conditions, the best time to be out in the forests might be around sunset. When the sun is low in the sky, it heats the ground and creates humidity in there. There’s a higher chance that sun rays will peek through the clouds and let you capture a few bright spots. Not to mention, the light often feels “softer” when the sun is sinking.
Clouds and Fog- Speaking of overcast days, fog is another great condition for a forest photoshoot. Even more than an overcast day, the fog in the trees can make forests appear softer, and give the entire landscape an “eerie” feeling. Pairing plenty of fog with bright autumn trees can be an idyllic combination.
• Light Mist – While mist can work well in many different natural landscapes, it can make your forest photography all that more successful. One of the reasons that many people struggle to adequately capture the forest photography is that there’s so much going on. Mist and even fog can be helpful since it “blurs” or “obscures” part of the landscape, and lets you focus on a specific subject easier in the forests.
Rainy Days - An overcast day or a little rainy weather can put a damper on capturing some scenes, but not when it comes to woodland photography. While the canopy of trees will help shelter you from the rain, the water droplets will illuminate the beautiful greenery and add vibrancy to the scene. As long as you can protect your camera, there’s no reason you can’t shoot in the rain.
Photographers often choose to bundle up, make sure they grab their umbrella, and head for the woods because they know they’ll get a shot that they wouldn’t get otherwise. The rain adds more drama to their environment, and makes the forest feel alive.
NOTE: Keep in mind that, if it’s also storming or thundering out, you should be careful about walking into the woods. If there’s a chance of lightning, you don’t necessarily want to be around a bunch of trees that could easily catch on fire and put you in danger.

If you decide to head out, you’ll want to make sure you protect your camera. Even with the coverage or trees, you’ll need to do more than hide your lens under your jacket. A plastic bag can work well for protecting your lens from water, but a waterproof camera bag is even better. The good news is that a lot of higher-end cameras tend to be watertight, and usually won’t break if a few water droplets hit them. However, foregoing the protective equipment is still not a good idea.
Since you never know whether a sunny day could turn into a rainy one, it’s almost always a good idea to prepare yourself and bring a protective case for your camera along for the day. You never know when you might need it.
Revisiting in Different Seasons – There’s no reason why you have to limit yourself to a season or one time of year with forest photography. Although autumn shows the most dramatic transformations with the trees, the bare bones of winter or the newly-emerging life of spring can offer just as many opportunities for capturing the perfect photo. If you already live near a forest or wooded area, it’s worth seeing how they change throughout the year.

When it comes to what gear to use, I will only like to mention that a if you are dealing with a lot of damp vegetation with your picture of forests. A circular polariser can reduce the glare from damp plants while making your subject pop even more in forests. The rest of the gear is up to your personal preference and the image you wish to capture.

One of the trickiest issues that photographers tend to have with forest photography is creating depth. A good photograph does more than catch a viewer’s attention—it gives them a glimpse into an entirely new world.
With so many different subjects, creating a sense of depth in a forest picture can be more challenging. Without a clear focus, a beautiful image can feel flat. A wide aperture or a long focal length can help blur the background and centre your shot.
There’s nothing orderly about a beautiful and chaotic forest. From brimming wildlife and trees that move with the breeze, it can be difficult to find the right shot in all the chaos. It can complicate your photograph, and make it challenging to find what to focus on.
Try simplifying your beautiful forest pictures or finding order in the chaos. Instead of trying to capture the entire scene, look for tiny details that stick out.
When you’re walking through the woods, it’s always a good idea to head toward the light sources rather than away from them. You’ll probably see that the light looks much different when you walk away.
Since the sun is always moving and filtering through the trees, you’ll see the light hit different spots and areas of the forest.
NOTE: If you do decide to follow the light, don’t forget to carry a map or mark your vehicle with a GPS. It’s all too easy to spend hours following your light source and attempting to get the perfect shot without even realizing it and getting lost.
Leading lines are a photographer’s best friend, and the forest is often full of them. While you shouldn’t rely on leading lines as your only compositional tool, they can be helpful. A road or path, for instance, is a notable leading line that can ground your image as well as create depth.
Unfortunately, amateur photographers or anyone without forest photography experience is likely to have problems finding a great or beautiful composition. Rather than spending hours looking for the “right” composition that fits your formula, just take pictures of details or subjects that catch your eye.
What you capture might not end up being picture-worthy, but it could also end up looking great (or even inspiring something else).
Contrast is another way to focus a beautiful picture and catch the viewer’s eye. Contrasting sun rays or bright spots with the dark woods is one way to engage your audience. Using tools such as complementary colours to contrast certain areas of the shot is another handy technique.
Post Processing
Most photographers know that even the best shots might need a little touch-up when it comes time for processing and editing. What you see as a good shot can easily become a great one with the right effects. However, editing forest photos is not the same touching up a portrait or even a landscape photo. You’ll want to carefully consider every effect and technique that you can add.
If your picture has light rays or sunlight that peeks through the trees, you can make these rays pop by adding a little micro-contrast. Keep in mind that you don’t want to add contrast to the whole images, but only the spots where you see the rays. Micro-contrast is a subtle effect, and it’s important not to overdo it. If you add too much, you can end up drawing attention away from the subject and confusing viewers.
One reason that many people enjoy forest photography is that these images feel magical. That’s rarely an accident—many photographers add a subtle glow effect to their images to help key areas sparkle and catch your eye. See what a little glow adds to your pictures.
If the image or photo feels as if it’s lacking something, don’t be afraid to a little glow to the vegetation, leaves, or the sunlight rays. Like micro-contrasting, adding too much glow can confuse the viewer and make the image feel artificial.
Speaking of colour changes, you can also work to adjust the colour of certain parts of your photo, like the leaves. While you probably don’t want to do anything drastic that could make your image or photo look fake, you can add a little more of a dramatic look.
For example, if the leaves in your photo are already red or yellow but don’t stand out, you can always add a little more colour to help them pop. Even if you aren’t sure what colours you want to change or adjust, don’t hesitate to experiment and play around with different hues. You might end up with a better result than you think.
NOTE: It’s an unspoken rule that, regardless of where you shoot pictures of forests, you always want to be respectful of your surroundings. When you leave the forest, you want to leave it as you’ve found it.
Take whatever for you brought with you, and attempt not to disturb any wildlife or plant life that might be nearby. The forest gave you plenty of great photos, so it’s only fair that you can pick up after yourself and remain ethical.

A few points to remember:
• Spend Time in your location
• Explore the Area
• Get Up Early
• Don’t Rely on the Golden Hour
• Shoot whatever the weather
• Use a range of lenses
• Use a Polarising filter
• Experiment with shutter speed, aperture and ISO
• Go abstract
• Use the natural formations of the area to guide your composition.
• Use a tripod.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chris dB

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30 Jul 2021 08:57 #8017 by Jodie D
Replied by Jodie D on topic 2021 Schedule - July Topics
judge - Jennie Stock (Bridgetown Camera Club)

 

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Bear, Chris dB

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