Our woods are full of natural wonders to discover and photograph, from weird and wonderful fungi to stunning wildflowers, tufty-tailed squirrels and magnificent trees. So, grab your camera, head to your nearest wood and get snapping!

digital camera on log in wood

Credit: istockphoto.com / Mir Basar Suhaib

Equipment

You don’t need a fancy camera to get the perfect shot. Whether you have a digital camera, a DSLR or even a smartphone, you’re sure to take some brilliant pictures. If you do want to invest in some equipment, a DSLR is a great option as you have much more control over how your image looks. A tripod and a remote are also really useful, particularly when shooting in low light or if you’re looking to get some self-portraits in the wood.

silhouette of photographer taking photo at sunset

Credit: Alex Sipetyy / Alamy Stock Photo

Use of light

Lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to getting a good picture, and can often be the biggest battle when out and about. It’s really important to plan ahead, as the time of day and the time of year will have a big impact on how your images turn out. Early morning is the ideal time to capture the sunrise, morning dew and long shadows, while midday is great for capturing shots of wildlife. For gorgeous glowing imagery, visit the woods just before sunset. This is known as ‘golden hour’ and is perfect for images with a warm, golden glow.

young woman photographing with camera in field

Credit: Ingimage Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Composition

Creative composition is an easy way of improving your photographs without the need for expensive equipment. Often, it’s not just simply a case of pointing and shooting – you should think about where you want the main focus of the image to be, and that isn’t always in the centre. In fact, a lot of the time images look better when they’re not central. Use the ‘rule of thirds’ when taking pictures to create a more pleasing image. Many digital cameras will give you the option to add grid lines (two vertical lines and two horizontal) and you should place your action where the lines intersect or along a horizontal line for a better image.

grey squirrel behind a camera

Credit: Media Drum World / Alamy Stock Photo

Life through a lens

The type of lens you use is another big thing to think about as it can really make a difference depending on what you’re shooting. If you’re shooting landscape images or want to get lots of the image in focus, a wide angle lens is your best option. Zoom lenses are perfect for wildlife photography as they mean you can get a really sharp image of your subject without having to get too close to it. It also creates a really nice blurred background. For close-up shots of flora, fungi and invertebrates, a macro lens is a great option as it can focus on small subjects at a very close distance.

Some things to remember:
  • Be prepared! Ensure your camera is fully charged and has plenty of free space before you venture out, so that you can take lots of pictures on your visit to the woods.
  • Keep your camera on you and ready to shoot at all times. So, if you stumble across a shy roe deer or a squirrel scurrying along the ground, you can get a snap straight away.
  • When shooting images of people, try and go for candid shots as these look much more natural and often achieve a much better result – but make sure you ask permission first!
  • Be snap happy! Try lots of different angles and compositions, and don’t be afraid to take as many pictures as you want as it means you have a much better idea of which shots work best for you.
  • Enjoy it! Ultimately woodland photography should be fun, so don’t stress too much about getting the perfect shot and instead enjoy being among nature while capturing it, with memories you can treasure forever.