Woodland Photography Tips: How to take a great woodland photo

You don’t need a camera worth thousands of pounds to get that perfect shot.

Any camera, held in the hands of a photography wiz can take great pictures. Our resident filmmaker and photographer is here to give you some tips.

Who is our resident filmmaker and photographer, Phil Formby?

Phil has long enjoyed being behind the lense and couldn't believe his luck when he got the opportunity to work taking film and photos for us.

You chose to take pictures of trees for your living, why?

They provide striking silhouettes, intricate shapes and textures and can even be used to create dappled light on other elements of a scene – I think trees should be a feature of any British landscape. 

For me, that majesty of an established woodland is hard to beat.

What’s the hardest thing about taking woodland images?

It can certainly be difficult to pick out a clear subject or focal point in busy woodland, and many locations can seem chaotic to begin with.

What’s your favourite thing about taking pictures of woodland?

I like being in the woods, slowing down and looking for shots. Sometimes everything falls into place and its easy, other times, when I have a tight brief and deadline, not so much. The important thing is to try to elevate the image from simply being a record of events into something evocative.

When do you know it’s going to be a good shoot day?

Low sun is good, but any sun is better than overcast for the kind of shots I want.

Phil's photography top tips

1. Its all about available light

The golden hour, when the sun is low, is the ideal time to shoot.

2. Don’t think wide-angle all the time

There are so many small details in woodland that makes for great subjects, like the textures of tree bark, the shape of single branches, or fungi and smaller plants growing in the shadows of the trees.

3. Experiment with depth-of-field

Get in close to bring focus to specific details or, depending on the composition, frame the image so they eye has somewhere to sink into.

4. Experiment with long exposures

Leave the shutter of your camera open longer to capture the movement of your subject.

5. Try unexpected angles

Get down on the floor or climb a tree and take a shot that isn't the 'usual' or 'expected' framing of your subject.

Head out into one of our woods and share your woodland images with us on Instagram