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Summer Photo Subjects In The Woods

Here are some ideas for photography subjects in the woods during the summer months.

|  Landscape and Travel
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The summer is an ideal time to take a visit down to your local woodland and get creative with your photography. While it's true that this area has something for every season when it comes to photos, the summer gives you a bounty of life and sunlight streaming through the trees to make the most of. Here, we've put together some creative ideas for shooting in the woodland during summer. 

 

Woodland

Image by David Pritchard

 

Macro texture photos

While this idea could apply to many different subjects in the woodland, the one we had in mind here is tree bark. Be it a large tree, small tree, rough, textured gnarled bark or smooth silvery bark, there are a wealth of abstract macro shots that are waiting to be captured on the trunks of the most iconic part of the forest; the trees. It can help to look at the live screen on your camera when composing your shots to get an idea of what can fit in the frame and what will work best in creating a shat that's pleasing to the eye and holds interest. 

Light should be nice and diffused in amongst the trees but to pay attention the direction of the light and the time of day as this will affect how much shadowing there is and how badly it shows on the more textured trees. This subject can easily be photographed in most circumstances without a tripod. 

 

Beetles, insects and other wildlife

Summer is high time to find a wide variety of insects in the forest. From bees and butterflies to ants and beetles, if you look closely and carefully turn over a few rocks you may find centipedes and other creatures. A macro setting can work best for these subjects and they are more active as the day warms up so ideally you want to head out early and photograph them while they're preparing for the day. It can benefit you to use a tripod if the subject is relatively stationery, to give you wider scope with shutter speeds as the forest or woodland floor can be quite gloomy at times. Of course as well as bugs and beetles there are bigger creatures in the forest, such as squirrels and birds that can quite easily be found,  however are trickier to shoot as branches can spoil your shots and they tend to be quite sporadic and fast movers. 

 

Light streaming through the trees

If heading to the woods as the sun is just rising or starting to get lower in the sky, some great images of light beams streaming through the trees can be achieved. You need to be shooting into the sun and this techniques works especially well in early morning mist, and the beams will show more clearly. You'll need to work quite quickly to capture these as the slightest shift in the lighting conditions can cause them to disappear. It can be in your favour to meter from somewhere out of the sun's rays to ensure a more balanced overall exposure. This can also be adjusted in manual mode.  

 

Leading paths

Often well walked woodlands feature meandering narrow paths that can work brilliantly for leading the eye through an image. Choosing a section of the path that works for your chosen idea is crucial. You should also consider the height at which you are shooting from. Will the shot benefit from a higher perspective? Walking up the verge if there is one may provide the lift you need. Will it look better from a lower perspective? Filling the foreground with the path will make it a stronger feature in the image. 

 

Streams/ rivers

Like the paths, rivers and streams can also be used to lead the eye through busy woodland. But there are other different opportunities to be taken advantage of with water in the landscape. Slow shutter speeds can be used to capture the smooth flow of the water, while faster shutter speeds can be used to freeze the movement of billowing weeds or fish below the surface. Woodland and water sources often go hand in hand so it's a good opportunity to weave the woodland into your water-themed image. 

 

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