How To Take Forest Photos Properly


Forest photography is a great way to capture the beauty of nature and preserve it for years to come. In this post, I’ll go over some tips on how to take forest photos properly so that you get the most out of your experience with nature!


  • Camera: You need a camera that can take good photos in low-light situations. If you have an older DSLR, you probably need to upgrade to something newer.
  • Camera Settings: The aperture of your lens should be set to f/2 or higher if possible, and the shutter speed should be between 1/1000th and 1/2000th of a second. If the shutter speed is too slow, your image may show motion blur from movement in the frame (for example, if someone walks by while taking photos), so make sure that there’s no wind!
  • Tripod: A tripod will help you keep your camera steady for long exposures, which will allow more light into the sensor so that there’s better detail in dark areas without overexposing them (like tree trunks). A tripod could also come in handy if you’re trying to capture pictures with nocturnal wildlife; they’re much less likely to move around when they know they’re being watched!

Composition and Angle

  • Use a Tripod

The most important piece of equipment you can use is your tripod. A tripod will ensure that your camera is stable, which allows for crisp shots without any blur. It also makes it easier to keep the horizon straight (if it’s not, check out this tutorial).

  • Use a Wide Angle Lens

When shooting in the forest, wide-angle lenses are best because they allow you to see more of what’s going on around you — and let’s be honest when you’re surrounded by trees and nature all around, there’s a lot going on! In addition to being able to capture more in each shot, wider angles exaggerate depth perspective (think how shallow everything looks when looking through binoculars). This can be used creatively; think about taking photos from above so that people look like ants or photographing someone running through the woods as if they were tiny specks compared with the massive trees around them.

Focus on the foreground.

When you’re taking photos of forests, it’s important to focus on the foreground. The foreground is the first thing that viewers see and should be interesting and in focus. Use this part of your image as a way to lead their eyes into the rest of your composition—don’t let it get too crowded with elements or too busy.

Use the colors of nature to make your images pop.

When taking photos of nature, it is important to use the colors of nature to make your images pop. It’s easy to go out into the woods and take a picture of a tree or a mountain peak, but if you want unique images that express what it feels like being in nature, you have to bring out the color palette that only Mother Nature can create.

You can do this by using warm tones (reds, oranges) for fall foliage and cooler tones (blues) for winter scenes. Use bright colors when taking sunset shots as well as nighttime photos where there is no light source at all except moonlight or starlight shining through trees or other natural formations.

Shoot down when you can.

  • Shoot down to capture the forest from a different perspective.
  • Shoot down to get more of the sky in the photo.
  • Shoot down to get the forest floor in the photo. This is especially important if you are looking for wildlife shots and want something other than grasses and leaves as your background (grasslands, marshes, etc.).
  • Shoot down to get the forest canopy in your photos. Shooting up at an angle will give you a view of how tall these trees really are!
  • Shoot down to get the forest understory in your photos.

A nice golden hour always works.

The golden hour is the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise. The light is soft and warm, and the colors are vibrant. It’s such a great time for photos, especially portraits of people.

Make sure you have a subject in your photo.

  • Make sure you have a subject in your photo.
  • How do you find a subject?
  • What are the best ways to focus on the subject?
  • How do you frame a subject?
  • What are the best techniques for using subjects to create compositions and moods, as well as stories within your photos?

Keep an eye on the sky.

Keep an eye on the sky.

While you’re looking for good composition, keep an eye out for the sky. The clouds can change the entire mood of your photos; when there are no clouds, it can make your photos dull and flat. If there are clouds that aren’t too far away from your subject, it can make them pop even more brightly against a blue backdrop or add a subtle touch of drama if they appear closer to you (as in this photo). Sunlight also makes everything come alive—the colors in everything around you will look richer and more vibrant if there is strong sunlight hitting them directly (in this case, we had perfect lighting because both sides of our subjects were lit by the sun).

Remember your camera settings.

  • Remember your camera settings.
  • The right settings for the right photo.

If you’re a beginner with digital photography, chances are that you’ve been using your camera’s automatic or semi-automatic modes and have struggled to understand why the photos that came out of it don’t look like the ones in those expensive coffee tables books you bought or on Pinterest. The answer is simple: the settings were wrong for most of those shots! And I’m not just talking about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance here; what about zoom? Flash? Focus mode? All these things play a role in getting better quality photos but only if used correctly (and sometimes even then).

Being ready for taking forest photos with proper equipment and settings leads to great photos

The first thing you need to understand is that, if you want to take a good forest photo, the right equipment and settings are essential.

You need:

  • A camera that is capable of taking high-quality photos in low light (without flash). This will let you capture all the details of your subject while keeping it sharp and clear.
  • The right lenses with different focal lengths which allow you to capture wide vistas or zoom in on specific details as needed.
  • A tripod so that your shots remain steady and sharp even when taking long exposures. You can even consider getting one with adjustable legs or an adjustable ball head for more versatility!


If you want to take forest photos, it’s important to be prepared for the job. Even if you don’t know what type of camera you own or how many megapixels your phone has can make all the difference in whether or not your photos turn out well. We hope that sharing tips on how to use these tools properly along with some helpful advice on composition and angle will help get you started on taking great pictures in no time!