Tips For Creating Extraordinary Landscape Photos With Trees

May 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

McBaine Bur oak at SunsetMcBaine Bur oak at Sunset Your ideas are the most important element in your photographs.  The camera used is simply a tool and regular people could care less what type of gear you used to create your photos.  I view that as a good thing because it is about the art, not about the equipment.  

Find a hook  (e.g., interesting shape or color, etc.) in your composition and then build a photograph around it.  Link your core subject with other elements in the environment.  Remove distracting elements. 

You can see from my image of this magnificent Bur oak tree to the left; I used basic elements to shape this image (shape, form, light, shadows).  I have exhibited this image a few times, and people tend to use similar words to describe it (e.g., elegant, peaceful, beautiful).  

It isn’t about the best light or an exciting location most of the time.  By photographing what you care about and are interested in, that will show through in your work.  If you want to create better tree photographs, learn more about trees and biology.  Take a class at your local college or university.  There are usually a wide variety of continuing education or adult learning classes available.  

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There is no need to chase light or seek perfect conditions all the time.  Make friends with some local trees and visit them often. This helps establish a connection with your subjects and also allows you to tell a story about your friend.  Look at this version of the photo.  The only difference is light.  I have a different emotional response to these images and it is important to understand the impact of your choices.  

Throughout the seasons the foreground has different textures.  This knowledge can be used to your advantage. As the light changes throughout the day so does the appearance of the tree.  With deciduous trees, they are constantly changing from first bloom until they lose their leaves.  A bare tree silhouetted against a sunrise/sunset looks much different than a fully bloomed tree in mid-summer.  Use these differences to your advantage when you are telling your story.  

If you use this information to create some amazing photos with trees, scroll down to the bottom of the article and click on the "Add Comment" button and share your experiences.  

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