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More trees and more mist :) (pic heavy)

H1ghlander

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Misty trees aren't everyone's bag but these are the sort of shots I find more satisfying to take if not the most difficult. Over a few days last month I massed a few hundred shots when the conditions were excellent, not perfect, but close. I'd picked off what I thought were the best but now keep finding these sleepers which were initially overlooked.
Thanks for looking and have a good weekend.

Woodland.JPG



Woodland-2.JPG


Not so keen on this, can't quite seem to get the toning right.

Woodland-3.JPG



Woodland-4.JPG



Woodland-5.JPG
 

Phill104

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You are a talented chap. When it comes to trees I find it really hard to come up with a composition.
 

H1ghlander

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You are a talented chap. When it comes to trees I find it really hard to come up with a composition.
Cheers Phill.
You're not alone, this is a frequent comment often made with regards to woodland compositions. Recently a highly accomplished landscape photographer of other landscape genres (coastal, mountains) made a similar comment which got me thinking as to why so many people struggle with woodland.
I'm no expert, far from it, but my thoughts on the subject are this. The key to woodland is location, not all wooded areas lend themselves well to photography. Wistman's Wood for example seems like the kind of location you could turn up, point the camera anywhere and you'd have a decent enough shot. Secondly, and more importantly in my opinion, successful pleasing woodland shots rely heavily on atmospheric conditions. Without mist all these shots above would undoubtedly hold no interest to me.
In dense wooded areas my approach is to focus on smaller details shooting long focal lengths to limit the clutter concentrating on tree separation, textures, colour, odd or interesting details. In less dense open areas shoot wider focussing for relationships between neighbouring or groups of trees looking for human aspects like something which resembles a family gathering, or a couple fallen out with each other, one tree ostracised from a group, an odd one out, that sort of thing. But the key ingredient to them all is mist and light, without it it's going to be a struggle otherwise.
Mist does the perfect job of simplifying an often chaotic scene by obscuring distracting backgrounds, it also adds great mood, mystery and atmosphere. Shooting long focal lengths will emphasise the misty effect as you're obviously shooting through more of it. I've forgotten the amount of times I've been fooled in to thinking it's right misty over there only to find when I get there it's not. Looking from afar through lightly misted air gives the impression it's much thicker in the distance than it actually is.
Being on the edge of the mist or just as it begins to burn off is when you'll most likely experience soft dreamy light filtering through, also be aware that mist can ebb and flow.
A perception online resources and photography magazines will have you believe is front to back sharpness is paramount, utter twaddle. A soft background gives a feeling of depth and the impression of mystery. Using a shallow depth of field to throw a background out will pop the area you want to draw most attention to drawing the viewer in. Most of the recent pictures I've uploaded were shot between f/2.8 and f/5.6. I rarely carry a tripod either, they only weigh you down slowing your progress, get caught up in the undergrowth and very often conditions can be fleeting so there's no time to faff.
It's my opinion folks quickly become disheartened with woodland often due to expectations or preconceived ideas not being met because they may be venturing out when the conditions aren't suitable already hampering their efforts before they begin.
In a nutshell, it's not necessarily lack of skill or experience limiting peoples woodland shots but rather a lack of decent conditions and/or decent subjects to photograph. Stick at it, woodland shots are relatively easy under the right conditions.

Sorry for the babble.
 

Phill104

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Thanks for your thoughts, very interesting. Many thanks for taking the time to share.
 

Pteranadon

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All are great. Even the one you aren't keen on.
I'll second the talent.
And talent with the post.
If i get a little color here and fog- it'll be my attempt.
...with a little luck...i'd be extatic if i could "match" any one of yours.
 

Taboo

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Lovely. Great atmosphere!
 

SC PHOTO

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number 2 does it for me.
Lovely set
 

the voyager

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I like the last one... Makes me feel like an angel visiting earth to bring everlasting peace. Serious.
 

Sundar Amartur

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Shot some images in the past of the same genre myself. I have some ways to go to get to this quality. Great set.
 

H1ghlander

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Thank you folks.

Shot some images in the past of the same genre myself. I have some ways to go to get to this quality. Great set.
Much like all genres of landscape photography conditions are everything Sundar.
 

Dotty.c

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loving these
 

David_MC

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Excellent work! Definitely a genre that is extremely difficult, but when everything lines up can be so satisfying.
 

chingts

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Lovely images.
 

Minor Problem

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I can turn up at Wistmans wood, spend two hours walking about and come away with absolutely nothing. I've never had the fortune of mist there though which I think may have helped even me. I'm another duffer with woodland, I think I have maybe two decent woodland images to my name after thousands of tries.

Nice set Scott.
 

H1ghlander

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Cheers Barry.
A little bit of mist and you'd have nailed it. Have to say, my woodland hit rate is much less than when doing traditional type landscapes, I've got thousands of duffers too.
I'm sure I read somewhere recently Wistmans has been somewhat trashed with the increased footfall.
 

Pete Larkin

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The light in #2 is just sublime - heralds warmth and spring. #3 reminds me of some of the woodland scenes in Vikings, for some reason - like it.
 

Fordsabroad

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Great pictures and very interesting explanation of your method. I struggle with woodland photography, when I download my images they do not resemble what I think I took! Plenty of my woodland images just resemble a pile of upright Sticks, mind you I think that of a lot of the YouTube images as well. I will persevere as I have the kit,the time and the subject is going nowhere- now I just need to find that mist!
 

cbarnard7

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With all the uncertainties the past year, at least I know I can count on Scott and his misty woodlands :). Great shots as always- #2 stands out to me. Mysterious and well-processed.
 

RGR

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Thanks for the inspiration. Great!

I sometimes think you need fog for trees and woodland. Otherwise, it is difficult to compose anything decent. They all look like the image below whenever the sky is in the image. It's different, but not quite as mystical as I feel in the forest.

20201115-122302-20201115-122302-DSCF0258.jpg
 

H1ghlander

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Thanks for the inspiration. Great!

I sometimes think you need fog for trees and woodland. Otherwise, it is difficult to compose anything decent. They all look like the image below whenever the sky is in the image. It's different, but not quite as mystical as I feel in the forest.
You're welcome and you are right regarding mist and sky. That woodland looks like it could have bags of potential in the right conditions.
 

RGR

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Oh, I have others too. But yours inspire me to rise more early and do some weather observation.

20081224-115121-20081224-115121-Spaziergang in Ormesheim 02.jpg
 

16 sport

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Love all of these shots and as many have said this is giving me the inspiration to start getting up earlier to go out and try to catch some early morning misty woods.
 
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