More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

When photographing scenes that include trees, one should keep in mind how to present trees in an interesting manner since they can make or break the shot. It is not easy to ignore trees in photos due to their huge size. We had previously given you several tips on how to photograph trees, and these are some more to help you when composing trees in your images:

1. Check the weather – the weather directly affects the outcome of outdoor photos and it is best to know beforehand what to expect. Mist, rain, snowfall, wind, heat and such would give your image a certain atmosphere and you can take advantage of it or wait until the skies clear up.  Extreme weather can damage the camera gear so always make sure these are always protected. Of course, your own personal safety is more important than the shot so dress appropriately.

2. Use it as foreground or background interest – in landscape photography, trees are often used to add interest to a certain area in the image frame. They can be in the foreground with a majestic mountain or a house in the distance, and they can also appear in the background of the main subject. When using it as a secondary subject, keep in mind that it should not steal attention away from the main point of interest.

3. Shoot its color – with the change of seasons come the change of leaves and trees that look vivid green and brown in the summer may have fiery red leaves in the fall. Also, the bark of trees also differ in color compared to other varieties. Why not focus on the color of trees to further enhance your shot.

4. Try different lenses – wide-angle lenses take in more of the scene and make the distance between objects seem longer. Telephoto lenses, however, magnify the subject and decrease or compress the distance between objects. These also offer a shallower depth of field compared to the wide-angle. You can stand in the same spot and take photos of the same trees but the results would look different if you used different kinds of lenses. 

5. Shoot variations – trees not only come in all sizes and shapes but they can also grow all alone without any other tree nearby or clumped together into a dense forest. Shoot as much as you can of the trees while trying as various compositions. Step away or go closer, angle your camera upwards or climb up the tree and shoot downwards, shoot the trees as a group or single one out.

6. Experiment with both vertical and horizontal framing – the horizontal or landscape format is ideal for subjects that are wider than they are taller. For instance, this would be ideal if the subject were a row of trees. On the other hand, the vertical or portrait format would be great for the lone tree where you might want to include it all in the frame. Of course, these are simply guidelines and you can try switching formats to see which works best for the scene.

7. Have the model interact with the tree – when doing a fashion shoot or portraiture, try to have the model acknowledge the tree instead of simply standing beside it. By having the model lean on it, look at it or touch it, there is an apparent connection between these two subjects which can give greater visual impact, as well as send the message across more clearly. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 10:00 am and is filed under Articles, Miscellaneous, Photo Inspiration, Photography Basics, Photography Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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