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. 

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How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
Trees are one of the most often seen subjects in photography and you can find them in landscape shots and as part of the scene in other genres such as fashion, wedding, and wildlife photography. Yet, it is surprising that not too much notice is given to trees, especially if they are not the main subject. It is only after you see your shot that has a tree that it can make or break the shot. Trees are, after all, not so small and if the composition is awkward, they can stand out in a very unattractive way. 
Trees come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they have in common is that they are all pretty tall. The branches form large shadowed areas which may be hard to light and they stay in one spot so you have to deal with the outdoor environment they are in. Being quite large, you will have to experiment with various perspectives to capture them in their glory. By going through these tips, you will have a good idea with how to compose great shots with trees in them.
1. One tree – by singling out only one tree in your composition, you can direct the viewer’s attention to its particular beauty, from its shape and form to how it relates to its surroundings. Trees seem to have character and when you focus on a particular one, you can portray this better by highlighting its uniqueness in you photograph.
2. Watch out for the light – sunlight is the most convenient light source for photographing trees. It’s readily available most of the time and it can illuminate the entire setting. One thing about sunlight is that it varies depending on the weather, the time of day, and the atmospheric conditions. The same tree would be lighted much differently at noon compared to at sunset since the sun’s position will have changed. 
3. Look for patterns and textures – you may not need to have the entire tree in your shot, a close up view can show off various patterns and textures. Since a tree is made up of various parts, from leaves to roots, each part looks different from the rest. 
4. Use various angles – a tree can appear different at different angles so do not stick to only one shooting position or angle. Try to walk around the tree to find out its more interesting side. By doing so, you are also changing the background elements.
5. Include the ground – if you are taking a full-length shot of a tree, include the base or the ground instead of cropping it out. Keeping the ground visible in the shot adds context and perspective to the image. Roots, leaves, grass and flowers found at the base of the tree can provide added interest. 
6. Use it to frame the main subject – trees can also be used as a secondary subject to naturally frame the main subject. For instance, if your subject is a structure or a human figure, a tree on one side with its outstretched branches can appear to act as a frame to draw the eye to the subject.

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